Monday, August 6, 2007

You know your curriculum is working when ...

your children freak out when they hear you accidentally say you won't be using it this year, even though you meant to say not this week.

I told the girls they wouldn't be doing Tapestry of Grace this year.  I meant to say this week.  They got upset and were so disappointed.  I quickly corrected them, and they were relieved.  But that was so reassuring, to know they do enjoy our curriculum and are looking forward to it.

Yesterday bubbebobbie asked me what age I thought a family should begin Tapestry of Grace.  I fully agree with Marcia Somerville, the creator of Tapestry of Grace.  She advises that a family begin Tapestry of Grace when their oldest child is entering 5th grade.  That will give the oldest 2 full cycles of history, including a complete 4 year cycle of history at the rhetoric level (high school). 

We didn't begin until the end of our oldest's 5th grade year.  So she'll get a four year cycle at the rhetoric level, but only 3 years of non-rhetoric.  She'll be ending on year 3 of Tapestry of Grace.  She'll begin her high school years with year 4 of Tapestry of Grace, the modern history. 

We thoroughly enjoyed using Five In A Row for our curriculum up until that point.  I cherish the memory of our early days of homeschooling with Five In A Row.  We still revert back to it with our youngest students sometimes.  At times, Tapestry of Grace becomes too dry for them, so we return to Five In A Row.  Then, after awhile, they begin to miss out on the history lessons, or become interested in what their older sisters are learning, and we return to using Tapestry of Grace with them.

Tapestry of Grace's greatest achievement and quality (to me) is the fact that I can use it to teach ALL my students at the same time, using the same curriculum.  That is why we switched to it.  I was tired of juggling multiple levels of Five In A Row, and we were fast approaching a time when our oldest were going to have completed all of Five In A Row and need a new curriculum, anyway.  Tapestry of Grace was designed by a homeschool mom with a larger family, who was struggling to teach multiple levels of different curricula.  It was designed for the larger family, with older and younger students, and that is why we use it.

It's second greatest quality is that the older students are not dependent on me to teach them each day.  They're not waiting for me to sit down, read to them, and discuss with them ... while a toddler tries to climb all over us.  If I have a teething baby crying, and clinging to me all day, they're not being shorted in their lessons. They're learning the art of self-education, and I'm able to handle teaching the younger students to read, and proper behavior, and focus on household management without neglecting the education of either the older or younger students.

I love that it's a Christian curriculum.  I love that it uses wonderful living books, and not textbooks.  I love that it includes many different school subjects in one curriculum.  I love that it is history based.  I love that I only have to buy four year plans to use over and over.  I love that I can use the library system without having to buy all the books.  But its main selling points, to me, were what I stated in the two paragraphs above.

And as bubbebobbie recognized, I am very happy with it.  And I'm so glad my children enjoy it, too.  It's good to know I'm not just using something that I like, and they only tolerate, or even hate. 


1 comment:

  1. MoreLittleWilsonsAugust 8, 2007 at 6:43 AM

    Hi April.. yes I Remember you - in KS right. I'm still on Jody's boards, though not as busy there.. I spend more time at now..

    I'm glad I joined the Homeschool Open House, I'm meeting lots of new bloggers, but there are soooo many contests and give aways and blogging theme of the week type things that I just can't keep up..

    Suspecting another pregnancy right now and so it's got me tired and napping, and hard to even think of things to blog about. I don't know how I'll start school in a few weeks with my brains all foggy like this.


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