Sunday, May 06, 2012

Thinking...

When we made the decision this year to leave CC and pursue TOG, I found myself thinking about a far greater number of things than curricula and which is the best. I was thinking about the future of our children, the final outcomes of their education, not just the nuts and bolts. What I desired was to find a curriculum that matched my vision for homeschooling, as closely as possible. We decided to write a vision statement for the education of our children. Here it is:

To raise and educate wholehearted individuals who are life-long learners, who understand and carry out our purpose and obligation to the Almighty, from worship to the spread of the gospel, to the establishment of Godly generations until the return of Christ. (Psalm 145:1-8)
This year has been phenomenal, overall. I have enjoyed every aspect of using Tapestry of Grace as well as our time spent with co-op friends. I would venture to say it has been our best year yet, but each year seems to be better and better as we gain new skills and new insight into our educational experience. I am learning better how to meet the needs of my children, and they are responding in ways that reward those efforts.

Our whole family loves the study of history, but I have found something this year that we love even more, and that is literature, especially literature that is shared. Tapestry of Grace encourages read-aloud selections for each period of history that is being studied. We read nearly all the assigned books this year (there were a couple we didn't get to) but we found that often one book led to another--as in the case of Oliver Twist, which led to David Copperfield, which led to Great Expectations, all of which were enjoyed immensely. We developed a habit of listening to audiobooks after morning lessons, over lunch. Tom Sawyer was a family favorite, as was the Secret Garden, and these are not the only stories, by far. One day I spent nearly four consecutive hours reading Moccasin Trail because none of us could bear to put it down! All of these books have greatly illumined the various periods of history that we are studying. It is the power of story that has made this school year come alive. It is the power of shared story that has breathed life into our days and made us feel excited about school. We still have the math and the writing and the grammar, but the knowledge that if we hurry, we can get to the story sooner...that is fun...that is learning!

So I am thinking about things in a slightly different way for next year. I am wondering how they will take shape, but I believe that for 20th century history, literature study will be front and center, helping us to understand and appreciate the events which have so impacted our current existence. I hope to be able to begin to foster a love for literature and for reading which will establish that vision that I have for life-long learners who are followers of Christ.

3 comments:

  1. Hello :) Our family is beginning our TOG journey this July after making the decision to transition from CC (much thanks to your insightful posts on that!). We have a couple of other families that are going to join us and we are going to get together every 3 weeks. Just wondering if you could share what your group does when you meet- we're thinking of about a 30 minute literature time (choral reading or some such activity), 30 minutes for each family to do a presentation on their favorite thing from the 3 weeks, and then doing a project or activity as well as just fellowship and playtime. I'd love your input on what has and hasn't worked for your group!

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  2. Hi Rachel, Thanks for the reply! I will give a reply to this question in a new blog post, hopefully by this weekend. If you check back next week it should be up.

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  3. Hey Kelly! I'm new to your blog and getting ready to kick off our first year of homeschooling! We are starting with ToG year one and I'm so amped about the history/lit combo! Already encouraged by your posts! Xo

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