Disclosure: The following is a Sponsored Post from Tapestry of Grace.
Are you a homeschool mom? Then you are a Teacher! And teachers need professional development to keep growing in their fields. You can probably think of quite a few ways to get some professional development under your belt (reading books, going to a homeschool convention, or watching a webinar), but I’d like to share about a wonderful way to learn in your field that you may not have heard about or thought about before. Last summer I took a couple of classes with Tapestry University. Read on to learn about this great experience!
The 2 classes I took last year with Tapestry University were called
- Teaching the Tough Books: Year 1 and
- Socratic Discussion Practicum
I chose those 2 classes because I use the curriculum Tapestry of Grace and was scheduled to teach high school literature with our co-op. Specifically, I was to teach about ancient literature (Year 1) and lead Socratic discussions with the class. Since I had never read any ancient literature or been involved in Socratic discussion, I knew I needed some help!
This year they have a big variety of classes. You don’t have to be using Tapestry of Grace to benefit from most of these. Some of the class choices this summer are Year 1 History for the Parent-Teacher; Year 2 History for the Parent-Teacher; Year 3 History for the Parent-Teacher; Year 4 History for the Parent-Teacher; Practical Logic; Worldview Matters; Four Weeks With Shakespeare; Sense, Sensibility, and Literary Analysis; Great American Poets; Tales From the Era of Realism: Flaubert and Tolstoy; Tales From the Modern Era: Short Stories and Metamorphosis; Socratic Discussion Practicum; How to Write and Grade Good Sentences; How to Write, Arrange, and Grade Good Paragraphs; Writing With High School Students; and Critical Thinking and Advanced Writing.
See the Tapestry University website for full details.
How Does It Work?
The classes are live and were really easy to access. I didn’t need any special equipment- just a computer, a good internet connection, and a microphone. (My microphone was built into my laptop, but you can use one included in a headset as well). Each class is 4 weeks long. If you can’t catch a class live because you’re on vacation or something, you can listen to it and catch up before the next class. I did this a couple of times. I also listened sometimes even after attending the live class, just so I could review some information that I missed.
I loved hearing the teacher teach the class live, being able to ask her questions, chatting with students during the class (in the chat box), and having relevant homework to complete during the week. The Socratic discussion class was very interactive. I even got to practice leading a couple of students through a Socratic discussion!
By the way, the homework isn’t overwhelming. I was assigned to watch some Tapestry Teacher Training Videos: Holding Socratic Discussions, Developing Learning Skills, and Intro to Systematic Literary Analysis. There were also reading assignments that were either part of Tapestry curriculum I owned or were provided for us. The homework took 1-3 hours each week. If you choose to do the full reading of the literary works you’re studying, that would take longer. But those weren’t required.
Why I Loved Tapestry University Classes:
- Prepared me for teaching high school- both for my own kids and the Rhetoric class at our co-op.
- Taught me how to lead a Socratic discussion.
- Gave me confidence in working with high school students. I knew exactly what to teach them about the play “The Trojan Women,” for example because I had learned it during our class.
- Gave me practice with real students. I prepared my “script” that I was to use with them, deciding which questions I should ask. Then, during the class, I led the 2 high school students through an actual Socratic discussion. I got first-hand experience with them as to what it would be like before I did it with my own high school students.
- Had very experienced teachers taught me- Christy Somerville and Sheri Payne.
- Watched training videos that were very in-depth.
- Took quizzes (one online, other by phone) to get “credit.”
- Gave me interaction with other students–who are homeschool mom just like me!
- Was flexible, could watch the “replay” if I missed it live.
- Loved how the teacher used Powerpoint slides during the class.
- Liked the topics/choices available.
Why You Should Choose Tapestry University Classes Over Other Professional Development Choices:
- The live classes each week will keep you accountable to get the homework done.
- You’ll be able to connect with other moms.
- Four weeks is a perfect length.
- You don’t have to leave your home (get a babysitter, travel, etc.).
- Flexible enough to catch up if you miss a live class.
- Lots of choices to learn how to teach some difficult subjects.
- You can do the class anywhere you have an internet connection!.
- The cost is very reasonable.
- Most classes are appropriate for all homeschool moms, whether you use Tapestry of Grace or not.
The two classes I took last year were so helpful to me this year as I homeschooled that I’m definitely going to be taking some more Tapestry University Classes this summer. Look for me in Shakespeare and Writing With High School Students!