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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Be A Better Teacher

I admit it, I've been using the curriculum that we have pretty much as is, nothing else thrown in except an easy project or game here or there. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not. Every family's educational philosophy is different, teachers are different.

I have looked at Tapestry of Grace in the past and found that I could NOT figure it out, how it is set-up, how it works, etc. After having "TOG" being buzzed around me for a while now in the homeschool circles I participate in, I realized I might need to look at it again. This time, Tapestry of Grace has a 3 week sample which is actually the first 3 weeks of the Year 1 program, I've printed it out. I have read it, put it down, and read it again. It's nice, I have to tell you but the price, woo-boy! If you take into consideration there are 4 sets, each containing grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages- the price isn't that bad. Look for yourself.

What is making me pick the sample up again and again is the teacher's notes section. There is SO much there, history questions, geography, vocabulary, etc. I'm not an instant-jumper though. I want to see if I can do something myself first, which brings me to the topic of this post.

How can I be a better teacher? When I'm teaching my children there is a major difference between how I teach my 7 yr old and how I teach my 3 yr old, I can make things interesting for my 3 yr old, my 7 yr old just gets what the curriculum says in most cases. I do some things outside the box but not enough.

I looked on the internet and found some articles worth reading:

Marva N. Collins - Educational Program and Philosophy

ADLER ARCHIVE: The Paideia Program

The Education Resource Center: Article & Essay Archive

Watch this free online video series:



Barb said...


How about going over to the TOG forum on their website and asking questions?

Join the Yahoo group for the year you are thinking about and ask questions. (This is what I did, both for the year I am in and the year coming up.)

Buy a year used, even if it is the classic version so you can sort of get the feeling for it without investing a lot of money.

Buy a unit from TOG and see if you like it.

Ask people who don't like it what they didn't like about it.

I spend a lot of time going through each unit picking out what I have on my shelves that will fit in with what we are planning on learning for the year. TOG at some point is something that you hand over to the child as far as picking and choosing. We plan each week together now and I think that is why we have been successful.

Email me if you want more info.
Harmony Art Mom

Mrs. L said...

First - ditto Barb's advice. Excellent.

We use TOG and love it. It can look extremely complicated, but really - it's only as complicated as we make it out to be.

We don't do all the reading. We don't do all the projects. We don't do all the - anything! Two weeks before we (my husband and I) pick what were going to do. I search online for necessary books from our library and put them on hold. Others are purchased used for cheap. Some that we will use for a long time or for multiple years I purchase from Rainbow Resource Center.

Yes - a few hundred is tough to swallow. I found, though, that after I purchase the 4 years, and cycle 4 children through each 3 times - THAT's a pretty good deal!

Whatever you decide - as long as you continually seek to grow as a consistenly improving parent, your children will be just fine.

Old Dominion Heather said...

The works of Mortimer Adler and the life of Marva Collins are two of the main influences in my teaching. I read the Paideia Proposal while in college... fascinating stuff. Marva Collins is just phenomenal.

Carol G said...

Hi Jessica,

I tagged you if you want to post about what you are reading right now. No pressure.