Friday, January 30, 2009

Tapestry of Grace Week 19

We really enjoyed our first week of Tapestry of Grace. So far, so good.

We studied Manjiro,

the opening of Japan by Commodore Perry,

and President Millard Fillmore.

We also covered the Opium Wars in China as well as the Taiping Rebellion. Whew! That's a lot covered in one week, but it really didn't seem like too much.

Ruth learned a bit about Chinese brush painting from this book. She made this picture of a dog from the instructions.

We will be adding writing back in next week, so hopefully we'll have some notebook pages to share then.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Idealess? Really?

Ruth attends enrichment classes once a week. This week, they asked the students to write a poem. Ruth loves to write, so this would not typically be a problem. However, they gave them a form to follow that has fill-in-the-blanks. Ruth does not like being told what to write. At all.

So, she ended up writing a poem about how she couldn't write a poem. I thought it was pretty clever, so I'm sharing it here. I've underlined the prompts she was given.


Whenever I'm asked to write a poem,
Whenever the teachers ask me to play with prose,
All night I think, searching my mind
A mind like an empty slate!

Late into the night I work feverishly
Why don't the words come easily?
Whenever I write a story, it's like a faucet turned all the way,
And they dance across the page.

By Robert Frost
By Emily Dickinson
By Shel Silverstein
By Robert Louis Stevenson
My deepest respect for them all.

Idealess, indeed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It Must be January Because...

I'm making changes again in our homeschool. I don't know what it is about January, but it always brings about a need for change. I've lost enthusiasm for what we're doing and feel the need to shake things up.

This year, I've decided to give Tapestry of Grace a try. I know, big change. What's funny is that when TOG made the decision to go digital, I basically gave up on it, and was pretty vocal about it. However, my pull to that program has never gone away. I was looking at it last week and saw that Year 3, Unit 3 fits in perfectly with where we are right now. I thought about it for awhile and finally decided that I would not be able to let go of the idea of TOG until I had actually tried it. If it doesn't work out, we haven't lost anything. If it does, I've found something that quells a lot of my fears about homeschooling my kids as they get older.

So, I did it. I am currently working on scheduling out the next 9 weeks. I've decided we're just going to do the 3 R's next week while I finish up the planning. Then, the following week, we will dive in.

I've read Harmony Art Mom's method of using TOG in a more Charlotte Mason fashion, but for now I'm just going to use it as written. I will tweak it later. I'm afraid if I try to tweak it now, I will just get overwhelmed. I am, however, taking her words to heart and being very careful about not selecting too much from the options.

One of my biggest questions was what to do about Ruth's Eastern Hemisphere study. There's no way to do both. She has been doing some of the American History readings we've had this year, so she's up-to-date on that. I've decided to shelve the Eastern Hemisphere study for now and have both kids do TOG. It would be very easy to finish over the summer or even as a slowed-down side project next year.

I'll keep you posted on my experiences. I am very excited about this and hoping it's a good fit for us.