Thursday, June 05, 2008

TOG Planning

I know we need a new plan around here. We've gotten very lazy in the care and keeping of our papers -- and I'm just as bad as my kids. There's got to be a way to organize ourselves and stick with the program all year.

Several ideas have been tossed about on the TOG Loose Threads forum. I really like Laurie's method of having a clipboard for each student to keep all their work & papers together through the week. Scroll down to May 19 on this link to see her great ideas. This looks like a good way to go.

But I also like the workbook idea shown by Karen Ciavo over at her blog, Rivendell Press. What an inspiration!

This looks like a sure-fire way to keep papers together and in a neat fashion, and it just might work for us next year. So, I've been knee-deep in paper these past 3 days, trying it out. I gave it my all, and put together Unit 1 workbooks for My Boy and My Girl.

My Boy is doing Rhetoric level in all subjects except literature. Since he'll be ninth grade, I hope this will be enough challenge for him without overwhelming him. My Girl will be doing Dialectic work for the first time also, but I'm sure she's ready for it. She's been reading Dialectic literature for a year now. The only thing I'm sure she'll balk at is doing all those Accountability and Thinking Questions.

In their workbooks, I copied the "General Information for All Grades" and the Reading Assignments page back-to-back. This is the first page for each week. Then I have the AQ's, TQ's, geography assignments, Bible questions, literature worksheets, and writing assignments for that week. These I copied into Word from my Loom disk, and edited to add blank lines. I won't go into much detail because Karen did such a fabulous job explaining it all on her blog. I will add that I had to recreate some of the worksheets (using Tables in Word), and I created a Venn diagram for one week because those formats didn't copy over.

I used card stock for the cover, and I also put a sheet of red card stock in between each week. I thought about buying week dividers from Lampstand for these, but I just couldn't justify the cost. I hope the card stock will do nearly as well. For the pages, I used the 20# paper I had on hand, but it's really not ideal for front/back copying. I might buy heavier paper for my next unit.

I'm also going to put a slash pocket in the back of the workbook, for the kids to keep their weekly schedule and any handouts in. The idea will be that this pocket will be EMPTY by Friday. We'll see how that goes.

My kids both want to try transparency maps this year, so I didn't put maps in the workbooks. Instead, we'll use a separate binder for those.

Another decision I had to make was concerning their writing. We will be using Writing Aids and following the writing assignments in the week plan. I finally opted to put a copy of the red writing assignment page in the workbook, but to make a separate Grammar & Composition notebook as the program suggests. That is where we will put the handouts and graphic organizers from the Writing Aids disk, along with their finished writing projects.

I also removed a very few questions from My Boy's assignments. I remember reading that if a student does all of the Rhetoric assignments he could receive Honors credit, and 3/4 of the assignments to receive regular credit. Since this is his first year in Rhetoric, and he will also be busy with Speech & Debate in the fall, we're going to go for regular credit this year.

Here are a couple of pictures. I haven't taken the books to be bound yet, as I'm waiting to see if I think of anything I've left out.

One nice thing about doing these workbooks is that I've really gone through and read all the questions and discussion prompts. All I can say is, wow. We last did the Ancients when my oldest was 10, so of course we didn't go into the detail he'll be getting now as a 14 year old. Tapestry of Grace is so beautifully rich! I can't wait to get into these discussions and readings to learn all this myself. I always knew TOG was excellent in the Rhetoric level, but now that I've seen if for myself it's as though it were a whole new concept for me. Just, wow.

1 comment:

Kristine said...

I am quite sure I found you at WTM. We don't use TOG but I know a lot of people on the Loose Threads list.

I actually "knew" Dody from another online list before she began Loose Threads, and we eventually met each other in person at a homeschool conference in Denver several years ago!

How funny to think that you and I "know" many of the same people, and from two different places on the internet!