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Thread: Accountability, Thinking and Discussion questions

  1. #1
    I am planning on just doing the core history of Y4. Is it possible to asterisk the questions that just go with core or the ones that go with In-depth so that they can be distinguished. It is frustrating to have my daughter trying to find answers to questions that are not in her reading. Thanks

  2. #2
    President, Lampstand Press
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think it's really possible with how the discussion questions and outlines are written, or indeed, how they are intended to be used.

    We write Tapestry to be used differently than textbook programs, and it seems that you are thinking more of a textbook approach. When we write Tapestry, we offer core and in-depth reading more like two eyes in the same head, not like a still shot and then microscopic look of the same thing. While "in depth" readings CAN be left out, what one loses is the depth of vision that the program offers when used as written. I hasten to say that you are the teacher and you know your child best, so use Tapestry in any way that you wish. The purpose of this explanation is to tell you why we feel it wouldn't be possible for us to act on your suggestion.

    Our approach is to provide readings in more than one resource per weekly historical topic so that students have an account or analysis of the same information from differing angles. We then discuss that information and draw in worldview and biblical analysis as well. Over time, this approach grows both their discernment and knowledge, while also teaching them to sort and sift information, as indeed they will need to do all of their adult lives. We also find that the historical information "sticks" better than with textbook approaches because students understand it more thoroughly. We feel that a textbook approach, where information is succinctly given and then questions are very obviously answered in the text does not do the same kind of preparation for life, or depth of education on the weekly topics, nor lasting educational value. If I may analogize the two approaches: TOG is a banquet full of meaty, satisfying dishes; textbooks are more like fast food. The TOG approach does take more time, but it also yields the results for which people purchase it: a deep understanding of the flow of events in God's story and a rich intellect that is capable of bringing a biblical understanding to current events.

    When we write Tapestry discussions, we pull from the information we've recommended as a whole. The discussion relies on both Thinking and Accountability Questions, and may not follow the order that they are asked of the student. AQ's are fact-based. They show students the main idea of what's to be learned in the week-plan, and often the "answers" to these questions are found not in the discussion outline, but in your TN Background Information. The TQs are to get them started thinking about the more complex aspects of the week's topic. Answers (for R's) must be thought out; they are not usually explicitly answered in the readings, but can be reasoned from the information given there.

    Furthermore, our D and R discussion outline answers have italicized sections (meaning that we feel students can at their stage can give you the gist of our answer--though often not completely and never in the exact words we use) and non-italicized ones (meaning that this is not in their reading and you should share it with them in lecture-style conversation). This style of learning and teaching can be a new approach for students and moms who have long used textbooks, and if they don't understand it's intention or organizational scheme, it can indeed be frustrating. Knowing WHY the questions and discussions are the way they are, you can then determine how best to use them with your unique student.

    If you want to use Tapestry for history and literature guidance for older students, and for help with fun hands-on projects and geography and art history, as well as writing assignments--in short, all that Tapestry has to offer, then it is still possible to use our Alternate Reading charts to approach just history using textbooks. Some aspects of the discussion outline will then serve you since you can lecture from it. However, you'd probably not use many of our AQ's or TQ's. It is also possible to just assign core History readings and trust your student to answer only AQ/TQ questions that were in her readings.

    Hopefully, understanding the goals of our reading assignments--to provide more information than a normal textbook does so that the student understands enough about the weekly topics that she can form worldview-shaping opinions as you have weekly discussions that are not simple Q & A session with simple answers to obvious questions--will help you to guide your students' readings so that frustration for both of you will be eliminated.

    LMK if this raises more questions for you...

    No one can do me a greater kindness in this world than to pray for me.
    --Charles Spurgeon

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