I know that there are several readers waiting on my comments about Tapestry of Grace history and worldview. I honestly have just been procrastinating the writing of the entries. This past week, I had a question from a TOG Mom about some specific rhetoric level history plans and how it looks in our family. I decided to share my response as a way of giving you a glimpse into how TOG history works in our family. The question was about TOG Year 2 and Unit 4. There are a lot of specifics in this post that if you are not familiar with TOG might now make sense. I hope you can weed through the specifics and see the bigger picture to gain an idea of how TOG works.
For those that don’t use TOG, as part of the history work each week there are “accountability questions” and “thinking questions”. These are listed in the “student activities” each week.
Also, in our family we have Monday and Friday meetings. Monday morning is our time for meeting all together to get the week’s work lined up so the boys can work independently Tuesday through Thursday. We meet again on Friday morning and share our narrations and have about a 45 minute discussion. Fridays are our favorite day of the week as far as homeschooling. The discussions are always lively and it is truly a three way conversation where each of us shares what we gleaned from the readings and notes.
Question from a TOG Mom:
I’m wondering how you handle your end of week meetings. Do you go through the accountability and thought questions as is? A part of me likes the concept of those questions as it seems to sum up the readings, but another part of me sees them as being totally opposed to CM methods. How have you reconciled that? How do you determine what to follow as written and what to lay aside? How do you determine how much to do of a unit?
Here is my process (which can be done far in advance):
1. Read the Teaching Objectives for history and geography.
2. Read the General Information for All Grades (blue) page.
3. Pick books that will fulfill the week’s (or the stream of the unit’s) objectives.
4. Turn to the Teacher’s Notes and skim through for the highlights in history and geography. (Highlight things I think we will focus on at our meetings.)
5. Turn to the Student’s Activities page (blue) and read through the Accountability and Thinking Questions. Pick some main ideas to introduce on Monday and then follow up with on Friday.
6. Copy off any pages needed for the boys.
1. Communicate the week’s theme, the weekly objective, and then read with them the General Information page.
2. Turn to the Teacher’s Notes and share any background info that they may need to know to get going.
3. Stack up the week’s books on the table and make sure they know what pages are expected for the week. (I use Homeschool Tracker to print out the week’s checklist.)
4. Make sure they have any maps or Student Pages they need for the assignments.
1. The boys share their narrations (oral and written) from their work if they have not done so as they went along.
2. I have the Teacher’s Notes and any assigned questions in front of me as they narrate and I generally keep track of any points they share that fulfill the objectives we are including for the week.
3. I try to not lead the conversation but rather build on what they share. I will also try to connect the current week to the previous week if possible by a few leading questions or statements.
4. Wrap up our conversation with asking them if they have any more thoughts. I try share my thinking or experiences if I have any at this time too.
Since this post is getting really long, I will stop here and next time share how this all looks in real life with an example of how we actually used TOG with specifics.
Look for that post tomorrow.
Updated to include the link to Part 2