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Monday, June 18, 2007

Incorporating Tapestry of Grace

If you read this blog then you know I've created customized lesson plans for our SOTW Vol. 2 year (2nd grade) that incorporates our own books and uses History Scribe's biography and narration pages. See it here: Our Tailored 2nd Grade History

We've decided to use Tapestry of Grace for at least 5th grade and up and leave the option of using it open before then. It contains a lot of features that I feel we're missing from our history studies and it's how I wish to teach in the long-term. I've already done all the work for 2nd grade but I plan to use TOG's Redesigned Year 2 to start bridge the gap between using SOTW and TOG.

GEOGRAPHY. We haven't done geography the way TOG does but for 2nd grade we will be using The Geography Book by Caroline Arnold within our earth science studies, so I will be making sure that as we study geography we will define the geography terms TOG has. We will also use some of TOG's geography suggestions as we move along in SOTW, like creating salt maps and distinguishing geographical areas in the places we are studying.

HISTORY. I personally will be reading the teacher's notes from TOG as we move along with our history studies to learn on my own and be able to highlight certain subjects for Camille. I will also choose between SOTW's and TOG's discussion questions as they seem appropriate. My main goal is to be learning on my own at a higher level as we study history on Camille's level, this way I will be prepared for later studies with Camille. I will be reading the scripture references for grammar level as we move through our studies but I will not restructure our history studies to fit TOG for this year. We will read SOTW Vol. 2 straight through as already planned and add in TOG elements. I will also use the People section of TOG to guide our biography pages which may require more reading on our part so this element will be determined as we go.

LITERATURE & READ ALOUDS. The whole point of creating our tailored history plans was to use the books we own instead of being dependent on the library. This has freed us tremendously to spend as much time as we'd like on a certain subject or time-period. We will borrow Tapestry of Grace's literature selections for lower & upper grammar as they fit our studies. I hope to use the worksheets for certain books that TOG has because I feel they are great for this stage! If nothing else, I will recreate them for the books we already have to be read.

FINE ARTS & ACTIVITIES. I am very impressed with TOG's activities and I will pick and choose what to do throughout the year while still using Artistic Pursuits (which is used in TOG) and Harmony Fine Arts (which is perfectly tailored to TOG).

SCHEDULING. One of the main features of TOG is preparing children to own their studies, which includes providing a weekly overview for their lessons. This is something that I have rebelled against but understand the importance of. I will prepare a weekly schedule for Camille with her and allow her to start owning her studies. This will also allow both of us to be prepared for our studies and provide attainable expectations and goals.

I am quite pleased with our decision to move towards using Tapestry of Grace in our studies, we may transition fully next year but no matter the decision, we'll utilize elements until we're ready to fully transition. I may come back and add/edit this post but I think I have it all- at least as far as I have thought about things! : )



Barb said...


I started having Monday morning meetings with my boys when we started TOG three years ago. This is hard to get going but once your daughter gets the hang of putting her own schedule together in a few years, you will be so happy you started this meeting time. I made up a sheet for each boy the way they each like it...sure, it's more work to have two different sorts of planning sheets but I say whatever works for each child is worth it.

The other thing that drives me nuts is that they write things down in their own way, not necessarily *my* way but again, whatever works for them. Friday morning rolls around and we have our meeting time again to go over their history, writing, and literature for the week and they are usually prepared. If they are not prepared, we discuss what happened and decide if it rolls over to the next week or not. Sometimes we just plan too much work or they get interested in a topic and dig a little deeper than we anticipated.

TOG has made our family a unit as far as learning together. We have end of the unit celebrations and we try to include the whole family in those. If you want to know more about that, email me.

Sounds like a good plan to me,
Harmony Art Mom

Netane said...

Thank you for posting this. The forums are full of information...I am in prayer about when to purchase and all looks great!


~~ Dawne ~~ said...

You sound very excited about TOG! : )