Live Online Classes with Lampstand Learning Center

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.

Do you want your student to learn from excellent teachers? The Lampstand Learning Center has wonderful online live classes for your student!

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!

This year we are also offering a class for the Upper Grammar students where they begin to have History and Literature discussions, as well as an Upper Grammar writing and grammar course.

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!

Pin It! Maps Review

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!Using pins to label beautiful maps makes geography so much fun! Read all about 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.We love using these pin maps to make geography fun!

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.My girls love doing Pin It! maps!

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!These Pin it! Maps are so beautiful and fun to use!

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.

Summer Teacher Training

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!Would you like some help to be an even better homeschool teacher? Check out our summer online classes!

Some of the classes we are offering this summer:

Read the class descriptions and sign up for one or more classes here!

Meet a Homeschool Graduate: Rachel

Rachel kindly allowed us to interview her about her experience homeschooling, and learning through the whole book, classical education that Tapestry provides. Rachel and her family have done Tapestry since she was in first grade, and have used a variety of learning methods, via an online co-op, the Lampstand Learning Center, and a local co-op that her mom helps run. I love that although Rachel hasn’t settled on all her future plans, she sees the value that her homeschool high school education gave her. I also love her advice to both homeschool students and their parents!Read an encouraging story about the benefits a highschool senior sees from being homeschooled.This interview has been edited lightly for clarity

 Rachel, what are your future plans?

Currently my future plans are rather loose. I am, however, planning on attending college in the fall and furthering my education. I made the decision to attend college so that I can further my education, as well as provide myself with the opportunity to grow and procure achievements to help with my future after school (such as a degree).

How has Tapestry helped you in your education?

Tapestry has helped in my education in the way that it is set up. The format encourages critical thinking and reading skills to develop. Those skills are useful in all areas of schooling and life. I don’t have a chosen major or field as of yet, but the format of Tapestry promotes skills and techniques for learning that go beyond simply history and literature.

Meet Rachel, a homeschooled high school senior who talks about things she benefitted from in homeschooling.What are some of your favorite aspects of Tapestry?

I enjoy the discussion aspect a lot. If there is a specific area I’m struggling to retain or grasp information on, the interactive discussions usually help to cement it. I also like that the literature curriculum goes side by side with the history portion. Knowing the historical, political, and contextual background of a certain work really enriches the experience of reading and studying it.

What have you learned the most through your Tapestry studies? How has it shaped your worldview?

I have learned how to read and think critically, and to develop my own thoughts and ideas as well as being able to present them in a comprehensive manner. I wouldn’t say Tapestry has shaped my worldview, but it has shown me how to be more aware of it and how to analyze other’s worldviews.

What was your favorite subject or time period you studied in Tapestry?

Year 4 [Modern History] in both history and literature. The history is captivating and the literature is all so consistently rich and enjoyable.

Did you have a favorite historical figure or anybody who was particularly inspiring?

No particular historical figure, but I really loved and have been inspired by some of the authors I’ve been exposed to through Tapestry. Writers and poets such as George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, William Wordsworth, William Blake, and more.

What are some of your other outside interests? How did you fit that in while keeping up with your school?

Well, fortunately, I am an avid reader, so when I don’t have time during the semester to read books of my choosing, I am still getting a taste of new genres and works through literature class. I also enjoy cooking and baking as well as playing ukulele and guitar. It can be hard finding time to do those things during the school week, but they make a great break from the perpetual assignments.Meet the Woods family, who have used Tapestry for many years with their children.The Woods Family

What advice or encouragement would you want to give to homeschooled students?

Make the most of it and put in an effort. In homeschooling (I’ve found) if you don’t have the self-accountability, motivation, and follow through, you’ll get nothing done. Also, more Tapestry specific, don’t be afraid to admit you don’t have the answer. If your teacher asks something and it totally isn’t clicking, instead of just rambling and making up answers (I have been there), simply say “I don’t know” and make an effort to listen and understand the answer. You’re allowed to not know the right answer, but don’t use that as an excuse to come to class unprepared. Genuinely try your hardest to find answers and explanations and to learn. You can only get out of it what you put in, so work hard.

What advice or encouragement would you give to homeschooling parents?

Help your student, but don’t hand them the answers. Help them to understand the concepts and to reach the answer through their own effort. Give them advice, the materials, and the tools, but not the final product. That said, some days are harder than others. Be discerning and don’t excuse them from too much, but be gracious.