For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Monday, March 14, 2016

Our Tackling of the Social Studies and Science

Welcome back to week three of the 2016 Virtual Curriculum Fair, hosted by Kristen, Laura and Chareen. This week we are talking about Social Studies, Science, Culture, and Worldview.
When it comes to social studies, once I found Tapestry of Grace 6 years ago, I fell in love with it and we are sticking to it. Some have found Tapestry difficult to handle or manage, but this curriculum works for our family at several levels.
  • I love its Reformed Christian overarching theme, tying History together. Because of this, worldview and Church History is being taught as well.
  • I love its buffet style, you are not given a strict way of doing things.
  • I love that it is classical, meaning taking into account the three stages of Grammar (fact learning), Dialectic (more discussion and thinking driven), and Rhetoric (ability to express and defend one's position).
  • Covers History systematically and chronologically, you can see the progression of man's history and how all events in History are tied to each other.
  • I love that it includes the Geography part of social studies. Through Tapestry we've traveled throughout the world, learning its geography as well as encountering different cultures.
  • I love that it also includes government and philosophy studies which really are tightly connected with history.
  • I love that it includes a literature component which allows for my kids to read through classic works of literature that tie in with their history studies. The curriculum contains not only a literature reading list but also literature study worksheets.
  • I love that I do not have to buy any History curriculum until they are done their schooling.
Tapestry of grace is a 4-year cycle curriculum: Ancient Times - Between Ancient and Modern - The 19th Century - The 20th Century. We are currently doing year 2 and this is our second round through.

Tapestry of Grace is heavy on reading. At the younger grades we made time for hands on activities (which are suggested within the curriculum). Now that we are in the middle grades level, with all the other subjects, that side of the curriculum has not really been touched. I am also very glad we did the geography part in the younger grades because we have not been doing much of it this time through either.

This year we are trying something new. We are participating in an online co-op for both the History and Literature part of the curriculum. They meet every Wednesdays at 9am. Zach has really been enjoying taking part in that class. There are about 9-10 kids in the class, and they are a nice funny, cool bunch of kids. They end up having quite lively discussions, which is the goal of the whole exercise. I love that being a part of the co-op has helped Zach and I stay on track. It really causes him to get his readings and accountability and thinking questions done, which was a struggle last year when we started the dialectic level. He definitely wants to do it next year and I am planning on having Johann join as well.

As for Science, well, up to now we were enjoying Visual Learning Systems, a review product from last year. But since our subscription expired last week, I am a bit at a loss. For now I will default back to a copy of Focus On Middle School Geology from Gravitas Publications (Real Science 4 Kids) that I happen to have on hand. We have enjoyed their books in the past. After that I probably will make use of the science videos on HelpTeaching.com while figuring out what we will do next year. I am strongly leaning toward Classic Science Chemistry.

Here are a few links for you to check out: 

Tapestry of Grace posts:
     5 days of Curriculum Evaluation: Tapestry of Grace
    Top Ten reasons Why We love Tapestry of Grace
    2012 Virtual Curriculum Fair - Social Studies and Science

And that's it for us. Browse around the other blogs participating in the fair this year, and see how other tackle Social Studies in their homeschool:

Yvie @ Gypsy Road - Bringing It to Life! History, Geography, & Science 
Jen Altman @ Chestnut Grove Academy - Virtual Curriculum Fair 2016: Exploring Our World, How We Do Social Studies and Life/Earth Science 
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World - Learning About the World Around Us 
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses  - Social Studies a Science of Relations
Lisa @ GoldenGrasses - Exploring & Discovering Around the World 
Annette @ A Net In Time - Science and Culture Around the World and at Home
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break -  Exploring History and Geography 
Laura @ Four Little Penguins  - Going Around the World at Our Kitchen Table
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory - Our Tackling of the Social Studies and Science
 Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset - Encouraging Curiosity about the World


1 comment:

Annette said...

I guess I will need to check out Tapestry of Grace. Sounds like a good program.

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