We started our Tapestry journey three years ago when my daughter was twelve years old. I'd done so much meticulous research into different classical curricula before we started with TOG that I was sure she would love it as much as I already did. But she didn't. In fact, she flat out disliked it.
I couldn't understand why she had such hard feelings about the curriculum. She liked the craft projects. She loved the books. But she flat out disliked the questions that came along with each weekly assignment. But I knew the questions were important for her overall understanding of the curriculum. I had to help her meet this challenge, but I didn't know how.
After posting a few exasperated pleas for help on the TOG forum, a few veteran moms helped me to realize that I needed to have more frequent discussions with my daughter than I was having at that time. I would introduce the topic for that week and then let her work independently while I took care of my younger ones. We'd only met once more to discuss her assignments for the week. But she was not ready for that level of independence. She needed me to walk with her a bit more. Once we started meeting more often for our Tapestry Time (about 2-3 times a week), she really started to enjoy the curriculum. In fact, she now prefers to do the readings and writing assignments over the craft projects.
Another resource that has been very helpful in teaching my daughter who is now moving into the Rhetoric stage, is the TOG webinar on Having Socratic Discussions. I've learned a lot about how to have age appropriate Socratic discussions with all of my children. I addition to the forums and webinars, I also learned to prep for our discussions by reading over the extensive Teacher's Notes sections and taking notes.
She has really blossomed a lot in the past three years. My daughter feels very confident when she interacts with her peers at co-ops or during her club meetings, like speech and debate. She likes to include things that we've learned in TOG in her speeches - a quote, a vingette about a famous person, or an allusion to a work of literature. It's amazing to see my daughter, who once complained and moaned about doing TOG, now eager to use that material in other areas of her life.
I've grown a lot as well in the past few years. I was very new to homeschooling and hesitant to post for help when we started doing Tapestry. But after reading through the forum posts, I realized that TOG users are a real community. I even joined the one of the TOG yahoo groups for extra support. I love the fact that I'm supported by other homeschooling moms who are using this season of homeschooling as an opportunity to redeem their own educations. I've even formed a bond with a fellow TOG user at my church and I introduced several moms to TOG who have begun their own journeys with the curriculum.
Since this post is about using TOG with older students, I felt it is appropriate to include myself and my husband in this category. I love the Teacher Note's feature of Tapestry. I've learned so much more than my children just by reading the extensive notes for each week.
Even more, my husband has also learned a lot just by listening to our discussions and using Pop Quiz. We're amazed at how inadequate our own educations have been and praise God that we now have the opportunity to redeem them and to better prepare our children to know God through the tapestry of grace and redemption that he has woven through His creation.