I’ve explained how I personally use Tapestry of Grace with a large family and a loose schedule, but I thought it might benefit you to get a good overview of the curriculum minus all my tweaks and interjections…well, I’ll still interject things, but I’ll try to keep that to a minimum.
Tapestry of Grace is, in its essence, a Classical Curriculum. But… (see I told you I was still going to interject things) …you DO NOT have to be a Classical Mama to use it. It isn’t THAT kind of Classical Curriculum. In fact, in my mind, it is one the most flexible curricula out there.
Do you love living books? This is the curriculum for you!
Do you love a curriculum that is woven through all the subjects? This is the curriculum for you!
Do you need a curriculum that works for all age groups? This is the curriculum for you!
Do you want your children to have a meaty, but interesting educational experience?
Yes, this is the curriculum is for you!
I was initially drawn to Tapestry of Grace for 2 reasons:
- It is chronological. That is the nature of Classical curricula, and that is how my brain likes to organize things. I was fascinated by how interwoven history was – something I was not taught in public school – and I wanted my children to learn history that way.
- It uses living books. I knew I wanted to read aloud to my children from the very beginning of our homeschooling days, but I wasn’t sure how to pick books, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to teach history from living books without a little help.
I’ve since learned to love many more things about TOG! I love that I have one curriculum for ALL of my children. I love that I have a smorgasbord of ideas to choose from. I love that my kids love it!
I do need to mention that Tapestry of Grace is what is considered a comprehensive “Humanities Program,” so you will not see science, math, phonics, grammar, or foreign language included. However, they do often reach into these subjects. For instance, inventors are discussed in their respective time periods, so your child is connecting people and events with what they are learning in their science books. I like being able to choose my own books for these subjects, so I’ve never seen this as a problem. (In a few months, I will be doing a post and video about what we use for these subjects, so hang tight…and subscribe here so you don’t miss it!)
Tapestry of Grace can be purchased in either digital or print (I prefer to buy the combination because the digital curriculum updates automatically, but I like to have the notebooks to work from). The full curriculum is broken into 4 years – from the Ancient World to Modern Day. Your child may end up going through the curriculum 3 times at different levels during their homeschooling career; however, don’t let that trip you up. I typically take 1.5 – 2 years per Year program. (If you would like to see a Scope & Sequence of what is covered in each year, scroll to the bottom of each Year page. These can also be printed off for your convenience.)
There are tons of extras you can add on to TOG. Many of the following I do not use, but that is because when I first started using Tapestry, these things were not available and I’ve just stuck with what I know. That said, preparing for this overview has opened my eyes to some things I think would definitely be beneficial for our homeschool. I’m not going to go in depth with all of the extras, but I do want to mention a few:
Writing Aids – Tapestry provides you with writing assignments for every grade level, but perhaps you feel you need more explanation or guidance to teach the assignments properly. This is where Writing Aids comes in handy.
Map Aids – Tapestry includes tons of geography! Map Aids gives you all the needed maps and answer keys for the geography portion of the curriculum. No more searching online for just the right map!
Lapbooks – Do you like the Unit Study feel? Tapestry can definitely give you that! Use their Lapbook templates to supplement your learning and dig deep into each unit!
PopQuiz – If you are trying to find ways to include Dad in your homeschooling efforts, this is a great option! Perhaps Daddy travels a lot or is in the military. He can use these “Pop” quizes to brush up on what the children are learning (via audio or text) and then use the provided questions to “quiz” or simply discuss that week’s topics with the children.
Now, let me answer a few more questions about Tapestry of Grace that might help you make your decision as to whether or not this curriculum is for you…
How difficult is it to plan out Tapestry of Grace lessons?
I feel like it is fairly simply (and I like simple!). At the beginning of a Year, I look through all the books needed (you can find them on the Bookshelf Central link on the Tapestry of Grace website), and decide which books I need to purchase for the year. (I’m planning to do a more in-depth post on this topic later on.)
After that, I plan weekly. Yes, weekly. The levels in TOG are color-coded, and everything I need is included in each week plan. You can watch this video (and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss subsequent Tapestry of Grace videos!) to get a quick overview of my weekly planning sessions. It really is very simple because everything is right at your fingertips. You do not have to be uber-organized to use this curriculum.
(Get a free sample lesson plan at TapestryofGrace.com!)
At what age can I start Tapestry of Grace?
I started TOG when my oldest was 6; however, Tapestry has a product called Primer that I believe would have been very beneficial for me to start with instead. I felt like I was drinking from a fire hydrant and gave up on Tapestry over and over for many years trying to get my bearings with it. Primer is a gentle introduction to how history is woven into a tapestry. From there, you can move into formal Tapestry of Grace. Personally, I believe WHEN you start depends on the child. Some children need a little more maturity under their belts before they can truly enjoy Tapestry.
Do I need to buy all the books Tapestry recommends?
Short answer: no. Long answer: The books TOG recommends are really, really, really good. They are one of the big reasons I decided to go with Tapestry. That said, I do not use every single book they suggest. I have a lot of books and resources in my personal library and at our local library that work just fine.
Have more questions?
Because I can’t possibly answer all of your Tapestry of Grace questions in this already extremely long post, it would be beneficial for those of you who are interested in learning more to join the Facebook Party TOG is hosting tomorrow night. There will be prizes and freebies and plenty of people there to answer your questions! I’ll be there too!
Would you like me to write more on Tapestry of Grace? Let me know in the comments section, and please include the topics you would like me to cover!