Friday, August 27, 2010

Tapestry Fog

Sometimes you read something and think  "Nah, that won't happen to me."  Well, it happened.  I succumbed to the "Tapestry Fog".  It's a condition that affects new Tapestry of Grace users and lasts for about four weeks.

Symptoms of  "Tapestry Fog" begin when those shrink wrapped packages of paper arrive.  It's often mistaken for giddiness over new curriculum.   A sense of total elation accompanies the trip to Staples to purchase new, quality 3-inch binders.   The victim trembles with excitement as she assembles each unit.

Then the victim begins searching for the books that make TOG work.   The victim has no budget left for additional books because she spent it on TOG itself.  There's a feeling of panic as the victim realizes that very few of the suggested books are available through the local library.  The feeling is compounded when said library institutes a $2 fee for each interlibrary loan request.

Then it's time to plan lessons.  There's a feeling of uncertainty over which level to place each child, but a decision is made.  Then the questions begin:  Which books do we read for history?  Shouldn't we read as many as possible?  What day do we do geography?  What exactly is the Loom?  When are we going to find the time to follow all of those links?   If we do all of this, when are we going to do math?  If we do all of this, when are we going to eat?

The victim is now officially overwhelmed as the Tapestry threads seem to unravel each time she touches them.  There is no order, no direction.  The victim wails, "Dear God, what have I gotten us into?  I can't do this."  The fog has claimed another homeschool mom.

A week goes by.  Books are read.  Work gets done.  Maps get colored.  Hands on activities are completely omitted.  Prayers are said.  Week one ends up taking two weeks to do.   But then something happens.  The victim notices that the books are scheduled to last more than one week.  (It did say week 1 of 3 in the notes, but a victim of Tapestry Fog doesn't always notice such things.)  Week two brings a confidence to read one biography aloud for the family instead of having two biographies on two levels.  Week three finds the victim with no recommended books on inventors, but dad steps in and shows how to test batteries with his voltmeter.  Lego inventions are built.  Teacher's notes, encyclopedias,  and websites substitute for books.

Then it happens.  It is week four.  It's time to study Thomas Jefferson and Lewis and Clark.  But now there is no panic.  The fog has lifted.  Choices are made.  Projects are planned.  Library books are checked out.  There is no panicked rush to do every single thing in each thread in one week.  There is no urgency to do even do each thread.  The former victim of Tapestry Fog is now a cautiously confident Tapestry Mom.  She is capable of seeing TOG as a buffet where one picks and chooses what to do.

This mom could have saved herself a lot of trouble if she had done a little more research (Tapestry Blog) and lot more praying.  Once again I took it all on myself instead of letting go and letting God.
Books for Weeks 4 and 5

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Like Night and Day

Wild Thing has been busy drawing animals.  He was showing me some of them, and telling me facts about each one.  He pointed out that a certain animal was "ternal".  I asked him what he meant by "ternal".   Wild Thing looks at me like I am totally stupid.  He says, "You know, mama.  Ternal means that it's awake in the day.  Not ternal is awake at night."

I guess I know what tomorrow's vocabulary lesson will be.