Sunday, September 07, 2008

Circa Copycat

As this school year approached, I knew that I needed to find something to help me stay on track better with history. Last year, we covered the Ancients up through a good bit of Ancient Greece, but we never made it up to the Roman Empire much less through the fall. The irony of all this is that I love history, have a history degree, taught history in a private school, and my children are history buffs too. However, I'm no multi-tasking, planning queen, and I dropped the ball on my favorite subject.

After spending a lot of time perusing the Sonlight website and talking to a homeschooling Sonlighter friend of mine, I nevertheless ended up deciding to go with Tapestry of Grace to help me weave history and literature more firmly into our schedule. I decided on TOG mainly because it seemed more flexible to use with the range of ages in our family. TOG's varied literature "worksheets" and mapped out Bible, History and Literature discussions attracted me as well.

Once I decided on Tapestry of Grace, I inevitably jumped on the Circa Notebook bandwagon thanks to Karen at Rivendell Press! Who knew it would be possible to get so excited over a notebook?! Since Karen already wrote wonderfully detailed posts about how she set up her TOG Circa Notebooks, I won't repeat it all here, but looky:


I printed out cover pages in different colors in order to easily tell whose is whose.

Not that I've completely done away with all three-ring binders from our school, but they are truly annoying. The holes on three-ring filler paper constantly rip and pages get lost. I can already tell that pages will stay put in the Circa notebooks much better; the notebooks are less bulky than binders; and it is easy to insert new pages, even of different sizes, into the place where they are needed.


I bought a Circa punch in order to put the TOG Student Activity Pages in the notebooks, along with regular notebook paper. I did not reformat the questions in the Student Activity Pages the way that Karen did (I'm too lazy). My kids will just answer the questions that I assign, incorporating the question into the answer. I write in extra instructions etc. on their SAP question's and then we pull them out of the notebook and throw them away at the end of the week.



I circa-punched 3-ring binder divider pages to divide the notebook up by weeks which I numbered on the tabs. (The numbers start at week 19, because we are starting TOG Year 1, Unit 3 in order to overlap some with where I left off last year.)


Anonymous said...

Yet another fun thing we have in common! I'm in my second year of TOG, and we made up these notebooks, too. I didn't jump on the circa bandwagon, although it was tempting. Please post how they held up at the end of the quarter. :)

Hillary said...


I'm doing Tapestry this year as well. I made the notebooks before we went on our trip in August, but I didn't go the Circa route. I just spent $2 to have them spiral bound at OfficeMax.

Let me know how the Circa works over the year, though. Tht sounds like an interesting option.

Anonymous said...

They look great! That's twice now I've seen the Circa binding... My binder pages are already ripping and we've only been going for a week :-(