We got the chance to interview Adlai about her experience homeschooling, and learning through the whole book, classical education that Tapestry provides. I love how she wants to get a degree to teach young children because of her heart to disciple them!This interview has been edited lightly for clarity
What are your future plans?
I am hoping to pursue an Elementary Education degree. I love children and am passionate about helping them learn, especially if I can influence them in a godly direction.
How has Tapestry helped you in your education?
TOG [Tapestry of Grace] has prepared me on a really high level. I am able to participate and understand complex issues because the way TOG forces its students to dive beneath the surface and analyze most everything. For example, the debate sections of the history discussions were challenging, but a valuable learning experience since it caused me to fully examine what people are saying and to analyze what I truly believe about it from a biblical perspective. This has overflowed into all areas of my education, not just TOG.
How would you respond to somebody who asked you whether your classical education is going to be useful in your chosen major?
TOG definitely has equipped me to educate others because of the excellent education I have received through it. TOG teaches students to seriously examine various issues in the subjects it covers, which helps me believe I might be able to do the same for my potential students. Also, TOG looks at everything through a biblical worldview which encourages me to do the same.
Another aspect of TOG that has benefited me is seeing it applied at all levels of learning. Our family has used TOG for almost all the years that my mom has been homeschooling us. We have a large family, so I have been able to see TOG in action at every level, sometimes simultaneously. Having to plan my own homework schedule has been a helpful tool, also, because it taught me to use my time wisely plus to think ahead and create goals for my education. All these are useful tools in the classroom.
What are some of your favorite aspects of Tapestry?
My favorite aspect of TOG is definitely taking everything (especially real world issues) and examining them through a biblical worldview. I also appreciate the way TOG provides in-depth studies.
What have you learned the most through your Tapestry studies?
The thing I have learned the most from TOG is probably the ability to look at a situation or worldview, dissect it, and then bring it back to scripture to biblically compare it. Also, TOG has taught me to appreciate and respect different opinions or views without necessarily accepting them.
How has Tapestry shaped your worldview?
TOG has had a huge impact on shaping my worldview by helping me examine the world through light of scripture. In history, the discussions asked questions that forced me to take a stand on what I believe. In literature, analyzing the perspective of the author helped me to realize there is always a bias in one’s work and how to identify it.
What was your favorite subject or time period you studied in Tapestry?
My favorite time period was probably Year 4 (1900s to Present). I really enjoyed analyzing the literary works and diving into the rich history that happened recently because it helps me to understand the current events I read about in the news and their origins.
What was hardest for you in your Tapestry studies?
The hardest thing for me in studying TOG was probably the initial workload. It is a really intense work load that requires a lot of analysis and heavy reading. Although it took a lot of time, I became accustomed to the level of work and the knowledge I’ve acquired because of it was totally worth it.
Did you have a favorite historical figure or anybody who was particularly inspiring?
While I always enjoyed learning about the backgrounds behind some of the world’s most influential people, I wouldn’t say that there was one particular person but many who inspired me. Learning about how various people overcame their difficulties, stood up for their faith, and achieved great accomplishments gave a richness and inspiration to also be faithful and persevere in my own pursuits.
What are some of your other outside interests? How did you fit that in while keeping up with your school?
Music. Although my parents require us to have a musical education, it has often been a source of joy and relaxation for me. Writing (for pleasure) is another passion of mine, and my mom made room for me to pursue that through NaNoWriMo and other venues.Adlai, playing her violin
What advice or encouragement would you want to give to homeschooled students?
Don’t judge yourself too harshly. You are probably the only child in your grade (as most homeschoolers are!) so you might be tempted to try to hold yourself to the standard of perfection, which is unattainable. This can make you feel like a failure, but you’re not. You need to trust that giving it your best is success.
What advice or encouragement would you give to homeschooling parents?
Homeschooling is an amazing thing. I am best friends with my six siblings because of it. It has made our education a family event. Our dinner conversations often form around whatever complex issues we are discussing through TOG. It is worth the hard work to give your child an education centered around God and His hand on history.
Any other thoughts?
My mom told me that new homeschooling parents often feel obligated to use every single TOG source and fear they aren’t giving their children the proper education without all of the sources; however, as my mom commented, TOG is a resource and you need to mold it to your needs so that it best suits your family. We haven’t always used all the aspects of TOG, but it’s always been the perfect fit for our family and adding more would have been too much.
Online classes are a wonderful benefit for homeschool students, especially those who want more peer interaction. They also help the homeschool mom by taking some of the planning and discussion load off of her. At Tapestry we offer live online classes through the Lampstand Learning Center.
These classes are taught by skilled teachers who have a lot of experience in both homeschooling as well as teaching classes online. Many of these teachers have graduated their own homeschooled students, so they value the benefits of homeschooling while encouraging students to learn to operate in a classroom like setting. These teachers know how to hold your student accountable for their work and how to challenge them to do the best they can in their classes.
It is so good for students to learn to be accountable to someone outside of their parents. It is also helpful for older students to have another voice confirming what you have been telling them. They may think you are overly picky about school, but then their online teacher tells them the same things about how they need to improve in their schooling, or come to discussion better prepared!
These classes are engaging because they are real-time classes. The students are not answering questions from a taped video. Instead they are able to meet other students who have different views than they do. They learn to interact in a classroom setting where they get to reason and try to defend their point of view. Their opinions can be challenged by their peers, helping students to define what they believe and why they believe it. These discussions can get wonderfully lively when multiple students are discussing a topic together!
Students also benefit from sitting under a different teaching style than your own. Through these classes they learn to adjust to a different teacher’s standards and grading. This will give them skills for both college and relating to different types of bosses in their future jobs.
Another major benefit of an online class is that it frees up a lot of time in your schedule. Rather than having to prepare for a discussion, host the weekly discussion, and then grade your student’s work, you are able to focus on administrating the school week. When you feel inadequate to teach writing, for instance, you can sign them up for a writing class. You will feel confident that through that writing class they will learn from a skilled teacher.
As the parent, you are there during the week to answer questions, guide their work and help them as they are learning to be more independent in their schooling. This also frees you up to focus on the younger students you have in the home, so that they don’t get left out of the fun of their read-alouds and history projects!
Although we are focused on Tapestry related subjects, this coming school year we are offering some wonderful electives. These are not Tapestry related, but will have the same excellent content and teachers that the LLC consistently offers. These electives are Logic, Economics, Government, Health and Wellness, and a grammar elective.
Check out all our online classes here, and see which ones will benefit your homeschool!
It is so important that we choose to value what the Lord values for our children, and not get pulled into what our culture deems crucial for our children’s happiness.
Have you ever discovered a product that answers a need SO perfectly, you just can’t help raving about it? I have wanted to enrich our geography a little more, and I am thrilled to have discovered Pin It! Maps. These maps have added so much fun to our geography, and they are both beautiful and fun to use! My kids and I love combining our Tapestry geography with Pin It! Maps!
I enjoy geography, and I delight in teaching it to my kids through our Tapestry studies. It enriches their history, and gives them a wonderful understanding of the world. But over the past school year, I have wanted something to enrich Map Aids. My kids benefit from the focus that Map Aids gives during their history studies. But as I have gotten more comfortable as a teacher, I started to look for something that would broaden their understanding of geography without distracting from the focus of our Tapestry geography.
I kept my eyes on different geography supplements over the school year, in case something stood out. Then I heard about Pin It! Maps. Pin It! Maps are large, glossy maps with flag pins that allows your child to label countries, capitals, landforms, or putting country flags on the respective countries. Each category of flags are color coded so you can easily focus on one topic or another.
I received a review copy when we were beginning to study Ancient Greece and Rome in our Tapestry studies. I pulled out the Pin It! Map that focused on Europe, and separated the flags that I wanted my girls to know. Then I tried to have them pin the map weekly, so not only would they know the places they were studying in that particular week, but also they would have a feel for the Mediterranean area. For example, while we were studying Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius for one week, and used Map Aids to focus on those places, the kids had also been spending the whole unit labeling a map of the Mediterranean. My kids now have a better understanding of what happened in Pompeii because they have consistently seen the geography of Greece and Rome.
This has been the perfect fit with our Tapestry studies. It allows me to keep our geography studies focused on what we are studying in history, but it also enlarges the scope of the map. It will give them a good understanding of world geography as we move through our Tapestry studies, because although history continues to move on, geography mostly stays the same!
Pin It! Maps has a number of wonderful maps to choose from, but one of my favorites is their Early America’s maps. They are their historical maps, and would have been so much fun to use when we studied the American Civil War last year! I am glad we will cycle through that time period again and I can put those maps to good use.
The Tactile nature of using Pin It! Maps delights all three of my children. It gave them something unique to do, that was unlike any of our other subjects. As a teacher, I liked that I could simply add or remove pins if I wanted to make it more challenging or easier for each of my students. Using these maps could be used for all grades of school, and even I like labeling those maps with the fun pin flags!
I cannot stop raving about the quality of Pin It! Maps. They are so beautiful I want to fill them in! You will be able to use it for all your homeschool career, and then share it with your grandchildren! The maps are beautiful, large and glossy. They feel thick in your hand. This is not something you can create at home using your printer and laminator. I was honestly surprised how inexpensive they are given the quality of the product! All my homeschooling friends and family will tell you that I pull out the maps when they come over because I have to tell them how amazing these maps are!
I find geography fascinating and I want to pass that love along to my children. I want my children to not just look at a past time in history and judge it according to their worldview. I want them to understand what factors influenced people’s decisions. Geography often plays a much bigger part than we give it credit. Pin It! Maps gives you those tools to understand geography, while having fun learning it!
Disclaimer: I received a free review copy for my use. All comments and thoughts are my own.
We need the Lord’s help to live in a Christlike manner. Children know when you are telling them to do one thing, but not living that life yourself.
Every year at Tapestry we offer some wonderful summer classes just for homeschool parents. This is a time to encourage you, give you training that you might need to teach some of the harder classes you may be adding this year, and to give you fresh tools and encouragement for the next school year.
These online classes will help you learn alongside other Tapestry parents, while you share tips and advice. Through taking these classes you will get practical help to become a better classical teacher!
Some of the classes we are offering this summer:
- A learning plan for all homeschool seasons
- How to teach and grade writing
- How to teach systematic literary analysis
- Socratic discussion practicum
- Teaching the tough books