Showing posts with label Tapestry of Grace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tapestry of Grace. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tapestry of Grace, Year 2, Unit 4

I loved Unit 3 so I was so excited to dive right in to Unit 4. This Unit did not disappoint, it picked up right where we left off in Unit 3. We spent a lot of time reading about Benjamin Franklin, learning about his inventions and his huge involvement in the starting of our country. I really had no idea he played such a huge role. We also spent time on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I loved relearning all of this. I'm certain I studied all this many moons ago when I was in school but it just means so much more now. Plus, I love learning alongside my boys.

For some reason I have very few photos to share. I've noticed that I take more photos of Hallow these days and less and less of the boys! I do have a few to share so here goes.

We attempted to make our own letterpress but it wasn't as successful as I had hoped. I bought alphabet pasta letters so we could spell out words, ink them, and press them on paper. But the pasta came with a very limited selection of letters. We had M, T, H, N, A and I. It is really hard to spell words with just those letters ya'll! Caleb managed to spell MATH with his letters and Benjamin did I AM MN (I am McLelland). This is proof that sometimes crafts just don't work out.

Caleb drew a picture of Washington for the cover of his lapbook. He used the Draw, Write, Now books to do this.

The completed lapbook. 
I love these and plan to use them while the boys are in the grammar levels.

We had one ongoing project throughout the unit. We worked on newspaper articles each week. By the end of the unit we had a newspaper with stories from that time period. We did articles on Boone, Franklin, and Revere. Of course, Caleb had to have a Bird of the Week column. 

We wanted our newspaper to look old so we crumpled it up and soaked it in coffee. I put it in a low temp oven for a few minutes to dry it out.

It came out awesome!

We just had so much fun with this unit, with this whole year really. I love this curriculum and I can't wait to dive into Year 3 in August. 

While this is a TOG post, I do have to share one of my favorite things Benjamin did this year. He did My Father's World for first grade. Each day he had to read a story from his Bible reader and then write a summary about the story. He loves Minecraft right now and his passion for it was reflected in his drawing.

See how the pillars and trees look like Minecraft? So cute. I love that kid.




Friday, June 17, 2016

Last day of school pics, homeschool style


Today was our last day of school. Of course, I had to get some "last day" photos. The boys hate this but I force them to humor me. It's the least they can do, right?


The boys fill out this questionnaire on the first day of school, then again on our last day. They love comparing their answers and seeing how they have changed.



Look how much his handwriting has changed!! I love it!


I make the boys a certificate every year...because I'm a dork.

As a reward for all of their hard work this year, I let them spray me with silly string. Caleb loved spraying me while Benjamin chose to save his string for another time (he's a saver hoarder ya'll).


Yay for another successful year of homeschooling! I can't believe this was my third year to homeschool. It goes by so fast ya'll. I'm so blessed to be able to do this. It isn't always easy and I get frustrated and question my ability to do this. But then I remember that God called me to do this. And I do believe He called me to do this. Homeschooling was an answer to prayer, an unexpected answer, but an answer nonetheless. Since God called me to do this, He isn't going to just let me fail. When He calls us to do something, He gives us what we need to do it. I have to remind myself of that often. I truly feel blessed and grateful for this time with my boys. I love that I get to spend each day with them, teaching them and learning along side them. I love that we get to have conversations all through the day that I might miss out on if they were in public school. It's a good gig this homeschooling thing.

With another year behind us, we will take the next 6 weeks off and then start back up August 1st. This is my first year to follow a more year-round, flexible schedule and I think I like it. I just felt less pressure to get it done by a certain time. I love that we can take a week or two off when we need to. I love that we can take all of December off. October is a crazy month for us, so it is nice to know I can take time off if needed. Flexibility is freedom.




Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tapestry of Grace, Year 2, Unit One

We recently wrapped up our first unit from TOG Year 2. If you have been following this blog for a while, you know how much I loved TOG last year so there was no question that we would continue into Year 2. This 10 week unit took us through the Middle Ages. Here are some highlights from our studies.


We learned about monks and their life inside a monastery. We made "dinner bells" out of small clay pots. Monks remained silent so they would use a bell of some kind to call everyone to meals.
While TOG isn't Benjamin's main curriculum, and won't be until next year, I try to pull him into as many of the activities as I can.


In the Middle Ages books were rare and very valuable. They were written by hand and had intricate designs and pictures. They are called Illuminated Manuscripts. Monks living in monasteries would spend hours hand writing books. We made our own Illuminated letters using markers and glitter paint.

We spent some time studying cathedrals and their beautiful stained glass windows. We made a simple version of stained glass by using black glue (I mixed black paint into a bottle of glue) to outline our design.

Once the glue dried, we used water colors to paint our designs.

 We learned about Mohammed and the start of the Muslim religion.

Caleb made a replica Mosque.


 Then we moved on to the Vikings. This was a favorite with the boys. Turns out the Vikings were a bunch of trouble makers.

We made a Viking ship complete with Playmobil Viking figures. We wrote "Ravager" on the side of the boat in Norse, the language of the Vikings.

We also made a Viking Longhouse.

The boys even decorated the inside of the house making beds out of Lincoln Logs and a table out of cardboard.

We made shields.

Our completed lapbook for the unit. I love the lapbooks, they provide such a great review at the end of the unit. When you spend 10 weeks covering a large span of time, it is nice to have a quick review to wrap up the unit.


Benjamin is working very hard in first grade. We are using My Father's World and it is moving pretty fast. I never really appreciated how weird and random our language is until I started teaching Benjamin to read. I swear some of the words we use and the sounds in them make absolutely no sense when you break it down. Anyway, he is learning and I'm certain he will be able to read at some point. :)

He made a giant ABC scroll.

He does regular copywork and he seems to enjoy it. His handwriting has improved tremendously over the last few weeks. My little lefty. 

So that about wraps up the first chunk of our school year. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

First day pics, homeschool style!

We officially started our 2015-2016 homeschool year today. I can't believe this is my third year to homeschool. Time flies folks.

Us homeschoolers have to take the obligatory first day of school photos too....even when our kids don't want to continue this tradition. I will make them hold up these signs when they are in highschool even if they roll their eyes in the photo.

I'm so excited to see how he grows this year. Last year really laid the foundation for reading and writing so I think he is really going to take off. 


First he turns 10 years old, now he's a 4th grader. Stop it.


Just like last year, I had the boys fill out a "first day" questionnaire. They will do this same questionnaire on the last day of school to see how things have changed.

The first day of school is always a nail biter. I never really know how it's going to go. Let's face it, I've let these kids vegetate the last few weeks. There has been a lot of video games, television, and other mindless entertainment. We've just been lazy and having fun. So I kinda threw them back into a routine today without a lot of warning. Surprisingly, they did great! We got off to a great start this morning and both boys had all of their work done by lunch. Truly a perfect homeschool day. 

Given their awesomeness and complete cooperation this morning...they got a sweet treat this afternoon. They deserved it.

I got the "first day of grade" signs here.
I got the "first day of" questionnaire here

And for those of you who are interested, here are our homeschool curriculum choices for this year:

I loved, loved, loved TOG last year and have no plans to switch. This will be Caleb's main curriculum. I will pull Benjamin in on some of the activities and lessons as well.

Essentials in Writing
I discovered this complete grammar and writing curriculum at a homeschool conference last spring. I loved it. It is a DVD driven curriculum with a workbook.

This is their first grade curriculum. By the end of this year Benjamin should be a solid reader and writer. This will be my last year to use MFW as Benjamin will be using TOG full time next year. 

I'll be doing this with Benjamin because MFW doesn't seem to address grammar directly and I love the ease of FLL. I used Level 1 and Level 2 with Caleb and had great success. 

No changes here, Caleb is doing Gamma and Benjamin is doing Alpha. 

Noeo Science: Chemistry (by Logo Press)
We did Noeo biology last year and enjoyed it. This curriculum has a Charlotte Mason approach with reading and daily notebooking. There are also experiments, which the boys love. I like the simplicity of this curriculum. 

That pretty much covers our core subjects. We will continue to do plenty of nature walks this year as well. The boys will also do a monthly book club and the one day a week co-op/Mother's Day Out they did last year. 

I feel excited and blessed! I can't wait to see what our school year brings. 


Friday, May 29, 2015

Tapestry of Grace: Year One, Unit 4

We have officially completed our first year of Tapestry of Grace. You should know by now how much I have enjoyed this curriculum. It has blessed us so much and I can't wait to dive into Year Two in the fall.

Unit 4 took us through Ancient Rome. I will admit that we kinda blazed through this last unit. It's the end of the school year, our minds are mush and we are just trying to push through. We are like the little engine that could.....I think I can, I think I can....



Since we just wanted to chug along quickly on this home stretch, we didn't tackle as many activities.

We did make our own crayon etchings.
First the boys colored firmly on white paper.

Then painted over the coloring with black paint. Let it dry.

After the black paint dries you can scratch it off to make a design. You can see the crayon underneath.

We made a simple catapult. Notice Caleb sneaking a marshmallow into his mouth.

These are Roman Standards. The Ancient Roman army always had a standard bearer that would carry something like these while marching into battle. 

We made a Roman aquadect using paper towel tubes and tin foil. The boys loved this because it was messy and wet.

Benjamin made bridges to support the aqueduct using his connecting blocks. You can't see it in the photo but we even had a public bath house at the bottom of the aqueduct, complete with Play Mobil figures in a tupperware container. 


We did some other activities that I just didn't get photos of. I was slacking by the end. We studied the city of Pompeii and we made a volcano. We also created our own currency with paper.  

And we completed our fourth and final lapbook of the year. 

Even though we moved quickly through the unit, it was still a rich experience. I have learned right alongside the boys this entire year. I have so enjoyed going through ancient history. It has truly been fascinating. I can't wait to journey through the Middle Ages in Year Two of Tapestry!

To see more about our Tapestry of Grace experience:




Another homeschool year wraps up!

McLelland Academy wrapped up another successful year of homeschool today.  Woot-Woot! Even us homeschoolers take the obligatory end of the year photos....





A little photo blooper for your amusement. Brought to you by Caleb's hand.


On the first day of school back in August, I had the boys fill out these sheets.

Benjamin's questionnaire on the first day of school.

Benjamin's questionnaire on the last day of school. 
Did you see what he wants to be when he grows up? A service dog trainer! Oh my, I love that boy.

Caleb's questionnaire on the first day of school.


Caleb's questionnaire on the last day of school.

The boys had completely forgotten that we filled out these sheets at the beginning of the year. They loved going back and reading their answers and seeing how things have changed over the last school year. Benjamin's favorite food is still mac 'n cheese, and Caleb's is still pizza. Some things never change. 

I made a certificate for each.


It really has been a great year. I was nervous about conquering Kindergarten with Benjamin because teaching him how to read and write terrified me. Turns out I didn't need to be scared. He has made so much progress this year and it has been a privilege to play a role in his learning. He is a busy boy so I really had to learn how to let him go at his own pace and give him lots of breaks in between. We found a good system that kept both of us happy. 

I loved doing Tapestry of Grace with Caleb (and Benjamin) this year. Choosing that curriculum was so intimidating but I'm so glad I listened to my gut and jumped in with both feet. I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to journey through Year Two of Tapestry of Grace next year. 

Even though we did wrap up our main curriculum for the year, we will have "mini summer homeschool". The boys will continue to do the 3 R's (reading, writing, and arithmetic) throughout the summer. I have learned that taking long breaks from those three things is a really bad idea.

For review and for those of you that care, here are the different curriculum we used this year:





Math-U-See Beta and started Gamma (for Caleb)



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