Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Tapestry of Grace Year 2 First Impressions
I started re-approaching the idea of using Sonlight at the beginning of last year. I really love the idea of it. We love living books and I want to use history as our spine. I researched and talked with friends, went over what made me try it the first time, but for some reason, for which I am still not entirely sure, I chickened out last minute.We finished last year using an eclectic mix and the year was fairly smooth.
But it still wasn't what I was wanting.
When my friend and contributing writer Christa started researching Tapestry of Grace, I was initially impressed but not particularly interested. I still pretty much had my heart set on getting back into Sonlight. However, as time went on Christa started using Tapestry of Grace and after hearing all of her glowing feedback, I re approached it and eventually decided on giving it a try. I purchased the Digital Edition of Year 2 Unit 1and thus, last week began our Tapestry Journey.
First Impressions: I have come to learn that there is a coined term for the first few weeks of Tapestry to new user, it is called the TOG Fog. It is very accurate. In the beginning there is so much information to take in that you sometimes feel like you are drowning. Since Tapestry differs from Sonlight in that it is meant to be less of a plan and more of a "buffet" that you take what you wish from, you will spend a few days staring at pages of suggested resources. I am pretty sure I developed a twitch from trying to sift through the information. You will spend much of week 1 fumbling through as you figure out how to teach, what to teach and how much to teach. I purchased the digital edition because I have a patience problem and the download gave me the satisfaction of instant gratification. I am not sure I would recommend this to someone else with my personality. I can not read through the amount of info that TOG offers, over the internet. I spent a good portion of 2 days printing out the 700+ pages, hole punching and organizing them. Had I purchased the print edition it would have been done for me. Please take that into consideration before deciding if the extra money spent on print might just be worth saving your sanity. I did eventually get everything organized and that alone lifted a good portion of the fog. I won't lie, it was a lot of work, but I am grateful to have a hard copy.
Even in my fog, I did feel like we got a lot done. I love the hands on activity options and we had tons of fun creating our map. I loved that we had so much to chose from but didn't feel like we were missing something if I chose not to do it. I also love that from the beginning TOG starts setting the pace for creating independent children who can work off of an assignment sheet rather than having to be hand held the entire day. My girls LOVED their check lists. I am also glad that TOG offers the option to purchase in units rather than having to make a large investment in something that might not work. It is a little more expensive but I think it is worth it.
At the end of the week we felt like we had accomplished something and I feel as though we dug a bit deeper than usual, but we did it without piling on a bunch of boring busy work. I am looking forward to week 2.