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Thread: Beginning a School Year in the Middle of the Year Plan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Beginning a School Year in the Middle of the Year Plan

    I know that TOG can be picked up in the middle of the year, but we've dabbled in other things and are just returning. We loved Y1 and the first 1/2 of Y2 so much that we've done them twice! Problem is, my soon-to-be 8th grader hasn't had US History. We would like to start US History at the beginning of next year. (We're finishing up what we're currently doing this year.) Would there be an issue that I haven't forseen in beginning in about Week 20 of Y2 at the beginning of next year and then just continuing on from there? Is there anything magic about keeping the Year Plans for separate grades?

    We're in Texas so record-keeping really isn't a problem. I figured, for my records, I could print out the Scope & Sequence from Y2 and Y3 and just indicate where we started and stopped. We really want to stop and savor the big things like Jamestown, Colonial America, Civil War, and WWI. I want to feel like I have the freedom to do that but, being a recovering list-checker and rule-follower, I think I just wanted some sort of reassurance that it'll be okay.

    Basically, my questions are these:

    If we finish Y2 and part of Y3 and stretch it out through his 8th grade year, is there a problem with high school credits that I"m not seeing?

    Which year of Literature tends to be the most challenging? I was thinking British Literature but it seems to be spread out between Y2 and Y3. I wanted to make sure the most challenging was around his 11th grade year so he'd be fully into the rhetoric stage.

    Any thoughts or advice from veterans would be most appreciated.


  2. #2
    There is absolutely no problem with starting/stopping wherever you'd like with your school year and beginning in the middle of a year plan. That is the beauty of history--it's a continuum. That being said, the four year plans just make it easy to know where to start and stop to be able to go through all of history easily in each of the 3 learning levels (especially R).
    I can't really tell you which year of Lit "tends to be the most challenging" as I am about to go into R next year with my oldest...however I do know that each year is totally customize-able (whether you'd like to do all assignments as listed or cut some and make it a lighter load...) and would suggest you read the article on teaching Rhetoric Literature on the Loom for each year plan for help on how to customize Lit for that year. Hope that helps at least a little.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Since your oldest is eighth grade, you need to figure out where his high school credits will fall to make sure that they line up so that he has ones that whatever he plans to do after high school is prepared for. IF that plan includes college, spend some time now looking at the admissions part of likely choices and make sure you are covered for those destinations. Make sure you think out both what he will be doing next year but at least give some thought to what he will do all four high school years. You don't want to arrive at his senior year and find he is missing some portion of history that a school wants on his record.

    Tapestry is more than adequate for covering everything even the most demanding college could expect, but don't be unrealistic in how your own plans will intersect with Tapestry.

    Personally these are my choices for difficulty of literature from hard to easier:
    Year 2
    Year 1 and 3
    Year 4

    Year 2 in my opinion has a combination of probably the most material covered along with the most difficult material, difficult language usage, and the most difficult format, poetry. Years 1 and 3 are similar in amount covered and advanced language usage, but each presents different difficulties Year 1 is all poetry but the topics and plots are fairly accessible. Year 3 is prose but the content is progressively difficult. Year 4 does have mature material but is the most easy to read and also probably the least in terms of quantity.
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon

  4. #4
    Unless your student is a super strong and eager Lit reader, I'd encourage you to go ahead and start in the middle of Year 2 (Week 20-ish, as you say) and stick with D Lit for him while he gets his toes wet in R-level history. Then, next year, if he seems ready, I'd pick up R Lit from the beginning of Year 3. It's harder to pick up R Lit in the middle of any given year because the student has not had the lit analysis grounding which is taught in the first half of each year, plus eighth-graders usually wrestle with R Level Lit reading level anyway (it is most suitable for grades 10 and up, unless you have a 9th grader who is strongly inclined towards Lit). As a final bonus, I keep hearing that teenage boys surprisingly love the poetry at the beginning of Year 3, so that might be a nice entry point for him. ;-)

    Hope this helps a bit! Just thoughts off the top of my head. :-D

    Christy Somerville
    Author of the Rhetoric Literature Program
    Lampstand Press

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