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.