I have to admit there are an awful lot of good ideas in Tapestry.  Day 2 (and about 4 weeks of setting up) and I can see why so many people love it!  Marcia must have one of those amazing creative minds I hear about. 🙂

We made these cards today for geography and she also has games planned for them.  She made templates to fill out on the back.  We made them in PrintShop (just a cheapy version bought many eons ago from Ebay) and used the U.S. map found on each state page in Wikipedia.  For the state outline we used this site:  State Outlines and just blocked out the name of the state on the index card.  On the back he’ll fill in all of the state’s information.  They can be used in games or as flashcards, but what a great way to learn all the states and capitals! I especially liked the site listed above because there is a red star where the capital is on each blank map.

Example: South Carolina

Example: South Carolina

Have I mentioned to you that I’m loving Tapestry of Grace?  For the person who is deadset against textbooks and wants their children “on the same page” I would almost think it was written JUST for me.  The problem is that by the time I’d write my own curriculum I was too worn out to do all the creative things I could find ideas for on the internet.

I feel like the walking spokesperson for Tapestry of Grace at this point, but I promise I’m using a paid for version, lol.  And the OLD version to boot.  You can do Tapestry on a dime… Well, er, maybe a quarter.  And, yes, we’ve had to tweak it.  But I’m using a curriculum I’m thrilled with to no end.

By the way, we took her suggestion and we’re also making President cards this year.  Christian truly enjoyed filling out the card and reading the information yesterday.  Gasp! It almost didn’t feel like school work.  And to have something really tangible to show for the effort is really neat.  Plus it’s easy to store… And we all know I’m a little beserk about that.

That’s right.  It’s February.  It’s when all of us stereotypical homeschool moms expecting a large tax refund because we have a dozen children buy our curriculum. 😛  It’s said tongue in cheek but there is more than a little truth to it!

So after MUCH torture, a lot of research, even more second guessing, I’m made a decision.  (Drum roll, please.)

 

Tapestry of Grace Year 2

Tapestry of Grace Year 2

It was no easy decision.  My criteria was stiff.  We’ve followed The Well Trained Mind (loosely) for years.  I firmly believe the Classical Method of education has much to offer.  I prefer it in a more Charlotte Mason format than how Susan Wise Bauer outlines it in TWTM, but all in all, I think it offers children the best education.  That said, I’ve found it more and more difficult to accomplish.  Could the six children being born in just under eight years have contributed to that?  Possibly. 

I will say that I chose this curriculum based on my oldest two children.  Last year we did Sonlight.  I’ll say right now I think Sonlight is excellent.   I had drooled over it a lot before we bought it.  But, when it got here and I had chosen three different Cores because my children just weren’t able to combine.  We had a VERY academic 12 year old, a 9 year old, and a 6 year old.  It just wasn’t working because I wanted to discuss the books, do all the read alouds, and do it at my pace.  Sonlight is VERY well laid out… down to the day as a matter of fact and I’m not that organized.  I don’t like daily plans, they are very constrictive to me.  And I didn’t like reading aloud 3-4 hours a day. 

What I’m hoping Tapestry of Grace will offer me.  Well, for one, they offer weekly plans.  Their discussion lessons are loose, based on a general subject, not specific, so that you can supplement books to their program and not just use only their spines.  It’s really MEANT to be supplemented and I love that as we are constantly getting books from the library on every topic that comes up.  Second, it is the single most combinable curriculum I’ve ever seen.  When you get to Lampstand Press which is their bookstore, it’s going to ask you what year.  And then it will show you ALL the books for each learning level.  This is one year, customized to each level, and they all fit together.  The weekly suggestions are all right there for you in the single curriculum, by level.  Which means, that at a glance, I’ll be able to lay out plans for my 7yo, my 9yo, and my 12yo. 

I’m NOT thrilled at making my own lesson plans.  But I have such great Excel spreadsheets drawn up from doing it for the past eight years, I’m sure I’ll manage.  More importantly it’s about tweaking it to our family.  And it’s really built for multi-ages, not just an after thought. 

 

I am NOT doing this with our little ones.  I think like most Moms of Many (MOMYS) we often feel pulled in two separate directions.  We have to do school with the olders and middles by necessity.  And it feels as though the littles don’t get the same Mama Time that the first half did when they were little. 

Little Hands to Heaven by Heart of Dakota

Little Hands to Heaven by Heart of Dakota

Little Hands to Heaven is a complete preschool program that includes:

  • letter recognition
  • letter formation
  • letter sounds and motions
  • early math skills
  • Bible activities
  • devotional topics
  • art projects
  • dramatic plays
  • active exploration
  • finger plays
  • music

More importantly, it’s just plain fun and gives me a chance to play with and giggle with my littles.  Rebecca is just at the very top end of the age range and I know it won’t challenge her much, but she’ll enjoy the stories and the songs and the Mama time and Abigail and Timothy will be able to do it as well.  Rebecca is a little girl that LOVES to “do” school and while I’m not fond of workbooks, she loves them.  So we’ll round her out with a little Italics workbook and with Explode the Code and of course, we always use The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.  

I’m still up at arms about Science, but quite honestly we do a LOT of hands on science and science reading, so I’ll figure it out.  Right now it’s just a relief to have a decision made.  Now, we only have to get through the wait for our boxes!  Time to clear a shelf!  Uh oh…….