Friday, August 30, 2013

Tapestry of Grace Year 3, Week 2: Napoleon: The Man and His Career

We made it through our second week of school!  Everyone is doing great!  Meryn is having a great time at play school each day, although she missed three days this week.  Tuesday was a celebration of a Hindu festival that was on Wednesday, so she didn't go either of those days.  Thursday, the minister in town decided it was a holiday that day as well at the last minute, so all the schools were closed again. Happy times!  But we made it through with Meryn at home, and learned a lot!

This week in Tapestry, we studied Napoleon.  We learned about his birth, and that he was actually born in Corsica, and grew up speaking Italian, and always spoke French with a funny accent.  We learned about his military career, successes, and character flaws, his marriages, and his rise to Emperor.  We also learned the basics of the French Revolution, how it was influenced by the American Revolution, the causes leading up to it, and the leaders involved in its success.  For me, this was a really interesting week, because there was a lot about this part of history that I was completely ignorant of.  I found myself reading the kids books long after they lost interest! :)

I was so proud of Luke this week as well!  Last week, we did lots of analysis on The Hare and the Tortoise by Aesop.  This week, his task was to immitate it in his own words. Day 1 was recalling the story and narrating it to me.  The second day, he worked on writing a first draft.  The third day, we edited the first draft together, and the fourth day, he wrote a final draft based on the corrections.  I made a mistake on the third day. I sat down with him with a green pen and started talking through his draft and marking corrections.  BAD IDEA. : ) If I had read the teacher's manual better, I would have known that.  So we started over (after I copied his rough draft onto a fresh sheet of paper), Luke with the correcting pen in hand.  I allowed him to find as many correction as he could, and we worked on re-wording some things together.  He did a fantastic job, and I was so proud of the result!

"The Hare and the Tortoise
The Hare was once boasting before other animals. "I have never yet been beaten" said he. "I challenge anyone here to race with me" he said.  Soon a Tortoise spoke up. "I accept your challenge."  "That's a good joke" said the Hare.  So the Tortoise asked for a race. So a course was set and a start was made.  Like a jet the Hare zoomed off, but the Tortoise plodded on.  The Hare was tired so he decided to take a nap.  The Tortoise plodded on.  He was near the finish line.  When the Hare awoke he knew he had lost.  Moral, Slow and steady wins the race."

How awesome is that?!  And it will just get better from here!  I am so proud of Luke's first composition and can't wait to see how he improves and grows this year!

We're doing more notebooking this year.  I've adapted the Veritas Bible so that we do not have as much writing.  Instead, they get to draw or color a picture each week.  This was Luke's copy of the artwork on the flash card in his notebook.  I love it!

Here's a little look at how I'm organized this year.  I've got a sheet for each child's assignments for the week, with our five daily subjects, and the elective across the bottom row.  I spent quite a bit of time before school started mapping out the first nine weeks and making detailed lesson plans.  Each week, I just work off those and fill out the spreadsheets and put them in my notebook. It has saved me a lot of time, I think, and I don't have to think about school planning on the weekends. I hope I can keep doing this throughout the year for each new nine weeks!

Then I have an additional sheet with all the Tapestry assignments for the week. I've tried to get into computer planning programs, but I just love paper and writing, and having a notebook.  So this works for me!

This is a look into the pages of Classical Writing Primer.  Kiryn drew what she can see from the north side of our house this week.  I love the detail of the Indian flag! 

The kids each have two notebooks for the year.  These are the subject notebooks, and they contain notebook pages for Bible, dictation and copywork pages for spelling, and any other sheets we need for the week.  Their math is done in a separate book, and their science also has its own notebook for observations.  

They've got their own assignment sheets at the front of their notebooks each week. Its easy with these Proclick binders!  Last year we used the standard two ring D-ring binders you can find here.  They were fine, but the kids lean on their pages a lot, and were constantly tearing them out.  These spirals can easily pop open to add a page wherever you want, and zip closed again.  So each week, I turn them so that this weeks work is on top, and put last weeks at the back.  Everything stays in order, but no searching!  

This is an example of their Tapestry notebooks.  Their Student Activity pages are in there, the Introduction and summaries for the week, as well as any literature evaluation and map work.  Another thing I love about these Proclick binders is the books can open up to one page and be folded, and then lay flat.  It makes it easy to turn the book and do geography, as pictured above.  

This is working so well for us, and I couldn't be more pleased with how this year is going!  Two weeks down, thirty four to go! :)  

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