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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homeschool Snips & Tips Wednesday 2/23/2011

OK, here's my Homeschool Snips and Tips tip for this week:

If you've got a larger than average family, or even if you're just homeschooling more than one, or are thinking about it, chances are you're going to get overwhelmed at some point.  Think about it:  I've got six kiddos.  So far.  All but 2 of them (the twins) are different ages.  All are going to be at different levels at some point.  Try as hard as I did to keep my oldest two on the same "level," they had other plans, and now one is pulling ahead in one area, the other in another... ((sigh))

But, if I tried to plan 6 different classes, for 6 different kids, at 6 different levels--I'd seriously lose my mind.  

I figured out early on (thank goodness) that I was going to have to find something that simplified our school.  I could NOT have 6 different sciences, histories, language arts, ect, going on, and still manage to keep my brain on straight. We absolutely had to be on the same page.

After much, much, MUCH searching, researching, and asking around, we settled on
Tapestry of Grace. It was perfect for us. There are many products similar to Tapestry of Grace out there, but this is by far my favorite. Let me tell you why:

1. I'm an avid reader. I'm the kid who would drive everyone nuts by not letting go of the cereal box in the morning until I had read every. single. thing on it, just because it was there. BUT... I hated reading in school. Reading short stories out of those readers seemed so pointless to me. And, frankly, the stories were boring, and, if they did happen to be out of good books, there was only a snippet of the story. Reading real, classic, wonderful literature, in whole books form, is much, much, SO much better! My kids enjoy reading, and it's not a "class," it's a way of life.

2. A chronological study of history. Let me just say... I hated history. I mean despised it. I told my husband very early on that he would be the one teaching it, since he loved it so much.

I've since changed my mind. ;-)

The way I learned history, and the way most American schoolchildren do, was disjointed. You start with social studies, then maybe jump to American History, then perhaps to modern events, then back to world history, then back for at least another year of American, perhaps a year of government, if you're lucky, and you go to a good school, maybe some political science...

It didn't make sense to me. We jumped all over the map. When I started schooling my own kids, I knew I just couldn't do that.

Eventually, I learned about a chronological study of history. That makes SO much more sense to me!! Now, we're seeing the big picture. It flows, like a story. And children, especially young children, they "get" that.

4. Different children learn in different ways. Some are visual, some are hands-on, some are auditory. Most are a combination of all, but no one is exactly the same combination. Tapestry of Grace provides resources and activities, from Lapbooks to teacher's notes to help you lecture, to video and book resources, it's all there to make sure that everyone is covered. That's really, REALLY important when you've got a houseful of learners you need to teach.

5. K-Mom teaching. Every day, I realize how much I missed with my own education. I have to relearn a lot. Things I either forgot, or never learned to begin with. With Tapestry of Grace, that's expected. They understand, and they've provided a bunch of resources to help you do just that, from the teacher's notes included in your week plan, to Tapestry Teachers Training (which I HIGHLY recommend, by the way!!).

There's so much more that I could say about Tapestry of Grace, and I probably will, in another post, but my main focus of this one is to find a curriculum that makes your life easier, not harder. That's what Tapestry of Grace does for us. It's been an absolute lifesaver for our homeschool. Without a doubt, I would crash and burn without it.

You can Explore Tapestry of Grace for free by clicking the link and using a free, 3 week sample. Enjoy!!


1 comment:

  1. This is what we use as well and I agree on the points you made.