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Thread: How Much Work is Tapestry?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    How Much Work is Tapestry?

    This question often comes up on these and other forums and I often see folks talk about Tapestry being teacher intensive. I usually don't quite agree with that, but in the last six weeks I've had an experience that I felt might help folks understand this issue.

    First, some background about my family. We've been using Tapestry for six full years and our now doing Year 3 for the second time. I two boys one 17 and a junior, one 14 and in 8th grader. My oldest is your dream Tapestry student, he loves to read and works independently with little intervention on my part. My youngest is a regular boy, who isn't that keen on reading or history or literature. He needs my supervision to make sure he isn't wasting time. Thankfully, I've been working with him for the last few months on scheduling his Tapestry assignments so he can finish them in the week.

    In late October, my dad who lives in town had emergency surgery. He's 86 and is the "care giver" for my mom who uses a walker and has some senile dementia. He's 86 and she is 82. He was told later by his surgeon that half of men his age would not have survived the surgery he had. After about a week in the hospital, he was discharged to a rehab and skilled nursing facility. He had an unclosed wound (intentionally) and was still wobbly on his feet. He is now in his first days back at home and should in another month or two be back to where he was prior to surgery (he walked several miles a day most week days). He's been cleared to drive and build up his stamina.

    Fortunately my mom is not so poorly off that she could not spend these weeks on her own. While she could not manage bills and other household tasks, she could manage herself. Still it has been a tough few weeks and I am still going over to see them daily (changing my dad's bandage at the least). My boys have mostly been on their own with me checking in with them as I could.

    Here's the cool part and where Tapestry comes in. I've tried to do our Tapestry discussions within a week of the boys being finished with an assignment. I realized last week that I'm still having these amazing discussions with them each week about 19th century history, lit and church history. With my oldest we had a great discussion about Tocqueville's analysis of American life, Jacksonian politics, Les Miserables, and Charles Finney's theology. All this without any input from me except to lead the discussion. Even that, I picked up the notebook and read the questions.

    I'll be the first to admit that some of this rested on my summer prep: I had the books on the shelf, I had SAPs printed out for them, and they knew what to do in terms of looking in the big notebook for their assignments. But still the lack of my involvement and the incredible depth of the discussions is in my opinion not available in any other program.
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon

  2. #2
    I agree with Pat. Tapestry is not all consuming, rather it's ripe for the picking. This is my second time to use year 3.

    A typical week for us:

    Rhetoric 9th grader:
    American History 1 credit: She spends 3-4 hours a week independently preparing for discussion, completing mapwork, and reviewing with quizes. 2 hour discussion and timeline with Mom.
    Church History 0.50 credit: 1 hour independent reading, 1 hour church history discussion with Mom
    Government 0.25 credit: 1 hour discussion with Mom

    Dialectic 7th grader
    History- 2-3 hours independent reading and preparing for discussion. 1 hour discussion with Mom
    Geography- independently 1 hour
    Literature 2 hours independent reading and preparing for discussion. 30 minute discussion with Mom
    Church history- varies 30 minutes reading

    Upper Grammar 5th grader:
    History: 1-3 hours independent reading sometimes a worksheet if we're not writing in history. 10 minutes timeline with Mom.
    Geography: 1 hour with Mom
    Literature: 1-3 hours independent reading.

    Weekend Prep: 1 hour reading teacher notes, 30 minutes organizing: pulling books, copying, placing Tapestry assignments on students and my week's schedules
    Week: 2 hour history discussion with Rhetoric and Dialectic (1st hour with both), 1 hour church history discussion with Rhetoric, 1 hour government discussion with Rhetoric, 30 minute literature discussion with Dialectic, 1 hour Mapwork with Upper Grammar, 10 minutes timeline with Upper Grammar

    Note: You may noticed I have not included writing on any student, no literature on the Rhetoric student, and very little paperwork and discussion in history and literature with the upper grammar student. I've chosen to use other curriculum to meet these needs. The option of "Cherry Picking" what works for my students and my family's dynamics has kept Tapestry doable these seven years.

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