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Condensing Tapestry TOG years 3 & 4


talantine
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I am not sure if this will work, but I am way behind where I want to be in my Tapestry years.  I am just starting Year 3 when I should be finishing it.  I want to be done with one full rotation by the end of next year when my son finishes 8th grade so we can either begin a new 4 year rotation or he can go off to high school having completed a full rotation of history through modern.

 

So I will probably make it through Year 3, unit 1 by the end of this school year (the end of June).  I will then have the next year to complete TOG year 3, unit 2 through the end of TOG year 4. (63 weeks!).  This would put me into September 2015 even if week do a TOG week every week, year round.  That's not going to happen!!

 

He is working at the dialectic level.

 

So, any suggestions? 

 

Thanks,

Tammie

 

 

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Personally, I would just keep going regular pace and figure this out at the end of next year, but here are a couple ideas. You could skip the country study weeks in Year 3: 7-9, 14, and 26-28. There is some repeat at the start of each year, so week 1 of Year 4 could probably be skipped. Weeks 29-36 of Year 4 could be condensed into about 2 weeks. That cuts about 14 weeks. And/or you could go through and pick out highlights, skipping in between. For example, skip or skim weeks 13-20 and go normal pace through the Civil War weeks.

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I have condensed many weeks of TOG, trying to get all four years into a three-year time frame. This was with younger kids, but since you're planning to do all four years in high school I don't think it will be a problem. I would start with the Week Plan Titles and decide which topics you are content to save until high school. Also, as Tracy P mentioned, there are getting started weeks and review weeks that you can chop off the schedule as well. You can make note of which topics got short shrift and be certain to cover them well during the next cycle. 

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Thanks for getting me started on a plan!

 

since you're planning to do all four years in high school I don't think it will be a problem.

 

Well, I don't know what my son's high school plan will be - maybe home, maybe school - so I want a good foundation.

 

Personally, I would just keep going regular pace and figure this out at the end of next year, but here are a couple ideas.

 

You could skip the country study weeks in Year 3: 7-9, 14, and 26-28. There is some repeat at the start of each year, so week 1 of Year 4 could probably be skipped. Weeks 29-36 of Year 4 could be condensed into about 2 weeks. That cuts about 14 weeks.

 

And/or you could go through and pick out highlights, skipping in between. For example, skip or skim weeks 13-20 and go normal pace through the Civil War weeks.

 

 

What are the "country study" weeks?

 

I like your mention of picking out the highlights, skimming in between.  Most past posts I have found talk about combining weeks on things that are taught over multiple weeks but it didn't make sense to me to boil three weeks on the civil war down to one.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks for getting me started on a plan!

 

 

Well, I don't know what my son's high school plan will be - maybe home, maybe school - so I want a good foundation.

 

 

What are the "country study" weeks?

 

I like your mention of picking out the highlights, skimming in between.  Most past posts I have found talk about combining weeks on things that are taught over multiple weeks but it didn't make sense to me to boil three weeks on the civil war down to one.

 

Thanks!

Hi Tammie!

The country study weeks are the weeks that mainly cover the geography of a country. Year 3 has South America and Africa.

 

An example of combining weeks would be looking at the thread you want to follow and cutting out the extra reading. For example, you might decide not to study each president and cut out that reading/AQ questions. For weeks 31-33 you might decide to just focus on immigration. So you would just read the Ellis Island book and not the president book or the Andrew Carnegie book. Then use the immigration discussion questions from each week for your discussion. You could easily do that in 1 week instead of 3.

 

I wouldn't condense the Civil War weeks, though.

 

Week 36 and yr 4 week 1 are the same. The end of year 4 doesn't have a lot to it, imo (having just looked over it).

 

You could also choose to focus in-depth on American history and "fill in" the world history with Story of the World readings. They are short, but do provide an overview. (They are scheduled as alternate UG readings)

 

I think you could do it. Sure, you would loose in-depth study, but remember how fast TOG goes through the Middle Ages and Renaissance? Most schools do World History in 1 year, which is even faster. There are always choices and decisions to make. I took a whole class in college on Thomas Jefferson, so I could say that the few weeks he is covered in TOG are way to short/fast.

 

Stay focused on your goals. You want him to have an overview of history by the time he gets to high school. You, having chosen TOG, probably want him to be able to discuss issues regarding history. Which issues he discusses are not really *that* important. He can't discuss them all. Even if you condense year 3 and 4, if he is having the discussions regularly, you are still getting the dialectic benefit from the curriculum.

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Thanks for getting me started on a plan!

 

 

Well, I don't know what my son's high school plan will be - maybe home, maybe school - so I want a good foundation.

 

 

What are the "country study" weeks?

 

I like your mention of picking out the highlights, skimming in between.  Most past posts I have found talk about combining weeks on things that are taught over multiple weeks but it didn't make sense to me to boil three weeks on the civil war down to one.

 

Thanks!

 

Oops, I should have said continents study. The weeks I listed focus on the history of a continent - Africa, Australia, and South America. It kind of stinks to skip them because those places don't get much coverage elsewhere, but that is going to happen no matter what.

 

One other thought - If you do keep up normal pace (maybe condensing in a couple places as you go) and realize that you won't finish, you could assign SOTW 4 as summer reading after 8th grade. It would not give much depth for an 8th grader, but would at least ensure familiarity with whatever modern history you didn't cover.

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Tammie, I want to challenge you a bit on this, even though you didn't ask.   :)

 

I went back and read some of your previous posts to see where you're coming from.  I notice you have a dc with dyslexia and apraxia.  My ds5 has verbal apraxia and appears to be dyslexic and dyscalculic as well!  So there, we have something in common.   :D  I also noticed you're an engineer.  I'm not an engineer, hehe, but I can appreciate that it might make teaching history feel like you're leaving your comfort zone.   :)

 

Ok, all that said, what's the big rush?!?!  It's true 8th grade is setting the stage for high school, and it's true you're going to have to make some honest decisions, as typically it's not reasonable to expect that you'll go back and forth (homeschool to ps).  Sometimes you can, but in general they may decide not to accept any of your credits, meaning he'd be starting over.  So this is definitely about setting the stage for plans for 9th.

 

That said, there is NO NEED to rush through years 3 and 4 of TOG.  There just isn't.  American history is typically very slighted in classical circles.  People get so enraptured by teaching ancients, with all the fanciness of the Illiad and Oddyssey and whatnot, and then they realize modern history (world or american) got slighted.  

 

You're also buying into the pressure to stick to 4 year circles.  MANY people do not in high school, and you might get there and realize he does not WANT to.  What you actually need to do is think in terms of where this leads besides a 4 year cycle.  Does your state offer free dual enrollment?  Might he want to take AP classes online or with self-study, to try to knock out some gen ed credits toward his future math/science degree?  Think long-term like that.  Think about what kinds of goals he might like to have and what would set him up for them.

 

Suggestions.

 

You could do the BJU American Republic text.  It's a VERY nice course, concise, even has video lessons if you want.  It would get done, covers a ton of history, and would set him up well for high school history in the ps or using any approach at home.  You could add onto it your TOG lit and hands-on.  

 

You could do TOG3 for 8th, planning on TOG4 for 9th.  If he ends up going to the ps, they might have a Modern History class he could take his freshman year that would continue the sequence.  Then in 10th he could do world history, 11th US, 12th gov/econ.  That would be a pretty standard sequence in the ps.  If he continued to hs for high school, he could do TOG4 for 9th, marking it on the transcript as Modern History.  Then for 10th you could do a condensing of TOG1 and 2, picking just the highlights and your favs, calling it World History on the transcript.  Then for 11th do AP US History and 12th do some kind of interest-driven study or another AP class, maybe AP Macroeconomics.

 

Get a vision for where this is going.  Very few people on the boards seem to do a 4 year cycle straight through high school.  Kids get interests and things they want to pursue.  They get lured in by AP or DE (dual enrollment) or CLEP as ways to achieve their college goals or improve competitiveness in college admissions.  

 

At the very least I'd think through where this puts you if you rush through years 3 and 4.  It flops you right back at ancients, where you just spent an inordinate, possibly exhausting amount of time.  You might want a break from that.  You could do american this year for 8th in one year, then plan on geography in 9th just to give him a BREAK from it.  

 

The main thing is, whatever you do, do WELL.  You won't regret things you do WELL.  Do it well and do it in a way that sets him up to be ready for goals he might have.

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OhElizabeth, thank you for your thoughtful reply.  And thanks for learning a little about me.  I'd love to hear how your ds5 is doing.

On challenging me, I very much appreciate and hope for varying views.  That's why I am here!

 

So, what IS the rush?  I guess there really isn't one except that I don't know what the plans are for high school.  I would like to go through one full "cycle" of history before it is in someone else's hands.  I want my son to first learn history without the bias that comes in our schools here (we are in NY).  I do want him to form his own ideas and opinions, but I want him to hear a view our family believes first.

 

That and the co-op we belong to has classes that go with a 4 year cycle and we are off! (Not really a big concern for me.)

 

My first thought when deciding what to do next year was to finish up American History with another program but I didn't find one that I loved.  Many are a full year course on American history starting before colonization and we just studied up through about 1800.  I know I can just adjust, but none "spoke" to me.

I use TOG because I like the discussions.  My son is not a writer.  Definitely dyslexic dysgraphia, so the discussions are his "output" and my input.  We are slowly working on getting things down on paper, but public school caused damage that i have worked hard to repair.

 

I need the discussion guides that TOG offers or it won't happen.  It is hard enough with the guide!

 

I have looked at what NY does for high school history.  I suspect it is the norm as it follows the Common Core.  For 9th  and 10th grade, it is Global History and Geography, 11th is United States History and Government, and 12th is Civics and Economics. 

 

We didn't spend that much time the past few years on History, so it wasn't a matter of immersing ourselves in Ancients or anything.  I just started homeschooling for 5th grade so we were slow starters, and then I had a baby and then she got very sick and hospitalized for a length of time with pertussis.  I don't like saying we are behind, but we are not where I wanted to be!

 

I think your advice to think about where we are going is important.  I hadn't thought much about what our actual history courses for high school might be.  I also don't want him doing the same thing in 9th grade that he did for eighth grade if he heads to school.

 

My thought at this time is to continue using TOG unless I find something I prefer, and I think I will not worry about going quickly through it, but I will choose what we will study, and will concentrate on American History.  I definitely do not want to slight American history.  It is my favorite and I am pretty biased there!

 

If he is home for 9th grade, we can go back and fill in the world history, if he goes to school he will get it there.

 

So much to think about!

Thanks again for the replies!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok....I would go through plans and pick and choose pieces. The Modern History in Pictures book could be used alone for year 4. Flesh out with added resources as you wish. Also The Century video series can vibe found in full on YouTube. Great for year 4.

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