Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tapestry of Grace Comments

We are two weeks away from finishing our first full unit (9 weeks) of Tapestry of Grace. This is a huge accomplishment for us (as I mentioned before, we *almost* finished a unit of TOG when Ben was in 1st grade; but, I had a brand new baby and couldn't quite wrap my brain around lesson planning at that season in life). One of the reason that we've been so diligent with this unit is because we have been working with another homeschooling family and meeting weekly to do a craft and geography/mapwork to enhance our readings. I have so enjoyed these weekly meetings! It has been a long, long time, since my homeschooling has involved weekly hands-on activities, so this has been such a blessing to Ben and I.

So, this week we met, practiced our Morse code abilities and did our mapwork. Afterward, I really wanted to learn how this other mother ("D." I'll call her) used TOG to accomplish educational goals. I decided to use this post to flesh out these new insights.

1. Type out student threads for Ben. Give him this to help him to guide his reading during the week. (Currently, we are doing the Core history readings together, but eventually he will need to be responsible for them on his own).

2. Mentor him for a few weeks with the student threads and core history books. Help him to take "notes" and use the sheet to write down ideas for discussion

3. Plan on having discussions with him about the student thread material. Do this whether or not we are reading together or not. This will prepare him for accountability discussions when we hit he dialectic level (6th grade). Also this will prepare him for the tests, which we will begin to use in 5th grade.

So, I only have two weeks left of this unit, but my intention to to implement these strategies this week. Tomorrow (Thursday already) will be the first day that we'll have a chance to read W26 core history materials (looks like a great book...America at the Time of Sitting Bull). In the future (the fall!), my initial plan will be to try this:

Monday: read general introduction (first page from SAPs) at breakfast. Read over student threads with Ben prior to starting school. Assign core history readings to fall, in general, over the first 3 days.

Tuesday: continue reading

Wednesday: continue reading

Thursday: met for a discussion of the student threads

Friday: test

Plus, we'll have TOG group where we can do geography maps and an activity together.

Well, it is a starting point at least.

1 comment:

Julieanne said...

I received one unit of TOG as a review product on the first year of the TOS Crew, and while it was difficult at first to wrap my brain around how the entire program works, we saw that this year (while using that unit) we accomplished so much great learning in history and literature!

Prior to that, for about five years, we met with one other family for an afternoon, every other week, for a cultural lesson on whatever historical era or people group we were studying, a craft that went with that era or group, a snack (same theme), and a game. Plus, in the first few years, we did "show and tell", but the kids would write out 3 clues to help the other children guess what their "show and tell" object was. It was so much fun!

We stayed very accountable to our in-depth history program we were using at that time, and it was a great experience. Then, her son grew older, and since he was the only boy, he didn't feel comfortable coming to the "history club" we had since there were three other pre-teen girls there (one was his sister). We miss those history club dates, but it was a lot of fun!

I wish there was a family using TOG in our county, but so far, I haven't found one yet. Sigh. We'd love to do an informal co-op day about every two weeks, with another family using TOG. I'll keep praying...if the Lord wants that to happen, He will make it fall into place!