School Daze Help: Tapestry of Grace

Although my educational background includes a teaching credential and a Master’s degree, my husband and I decided years ago that we wanted to teach our children at home. After teaching high school for a couple years, I came home to care for my baby full time. And prepare for a journey of a lifetime.

What a wonderful experience it has been! While it entails a fair amount of work and organization, the benefits far exceed the costs for our family. Our oldest boys are now entering 6th, 3rd, and 1st grades. They are all ravenous readers and love to learn. We feel so blessed by this experience.

At the beginning of our home education journey, I read two pinnacle books: Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson and The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. These two volumes helped me further develop my philosophy of education that began in grad school as well as gave me the confidence to pursue a classical education at home.

(Many people misunderstand the term classical, thinking that my kids study Latin verbs and chants exclusively. This is not the case. Classical encompasses a study of all of history from the beginning to the present and includes an appreciation of literature and languages of all times and places.)

One of the resources that has really helped our journey has been the integrated curriculum called Tapestry of Grace. Tapestry or TOG, is set up for a four-year cycle of studying the history of the world. It is a classical program that integrates history, bible, literature, writing, geography, and church history. Each year’s curriculum includes all the necessary information for teaching all levels of learning (K-12) for that subject matter.

For instance, last year we studied the Ancients (Egypt, Greek, Rome, and every culture in between). Tapestry provided me with book and assignment recommendations for every grade I was teaching. So, my littler guys read picture books about the Romans while my fifth grader read from history texts, biographies, and chapter books. But, our subject matter was the same, and so videos, art projects, and family discussions were set up for everyone to participate — on his own level. Whew! That made life so much easier. Plus, FishPapa had short 15-minutes CDs to listen to, teaching him the basics of our subject so that he could participate in our discussions and know what the heck his 5-year old was talking about when he mentioned Poseidon and his trident.

The people who produce Tapestry of Grace have put three weeks of everything they produce online for free. They’re offering a complete mini-unit on ancient Egypt, which consists of the first three weeks of Tapestry of Grace, specially prepared evaluations materials, a comprehensive writing program, customized maps, hands-on lap books, and their unique new “Pop Quiz,” which provides audio CDs so dads can come up to speed on what the family is studying each week.

Not interested in Egypt? Then “Sail to the New World” with the Pilgrims! There are three free weeks on the first American colonies, too.

Click here to choose Egypt or America for a free way to start exploring Tapestry. This is a great way to check it out and see if Tapestry will work for your family.

We’re getting ready to start our new year with the Middle Ages and Knights in Shining Armor. So wonderful that my kids are excited about what they are learning.!

This is something that really “works for me.” Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for a host of ideas that work for others — on a variety of topics.

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Comments

  1. RainyPM says:

    I’m so excited about this curriculum. I’ve just about decided to homeschool my daughter. She’s 3 now, and I’ve been trying to decide how I want to go about it. I’m definitely going to check out Tapestry of Grace’s trial, and I already love how they have a quick catch-up for dads. I’ve wondered how to get my own husband involved.

    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Bethany says:

    We do TOG too. And although my son was only in 1st grade this year so we pretty much just scratched the surface…we had fun with our TOG group celebrations. I know that when all three of my kids are in school it will be great too.

  3. The Joys of having Boys says:

    I saw this curriculum at the last convention that I went to. I wanted to ask what you did for science and math?

  4. FishMama says:

    We do Saxon Math for everybody and it has worked well. For science, I follow the recommendations in The Well-Trained Mind which have been really helpful.

  5. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

    I’m going to pass this along to a friend who’s homeschooling. Thank you!

  6. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for the resources! I used to teach high school and community college, and I plan to homeschool as well. So it’s always nice to meet a like-minded mom. Although I have a while to go…my son is only 19 months.

  7. I’m so glad you posted this! I had looked at this in the past and decided not to do it as our library was sorely lacking.

    But now, we’ve found a great library in the next country! I think it’s time to order those 3-week CDs.

  8. Innocent Observer says:

    Thanks for posting this. I have been looking for a history guideline so we are very exited for this free trial!

  9. kristen says:

    I just found your blog when I was looking for an Indiana Jones cake!!

    I started reading through your entries and got excited when I saw you home school, like we do, but then I saw you use TOG, like we do!
    We love it! We will just be starting year 2 in about a month. Great to “meet” another TOG user.

  10. Hi there,

    I have read through the well trained mind and I have been told about Tapestry of Grace. I would like to know how closely TOG follows the recommendations and ‘how to’s’ of the WTM.

    For example:

    1. In the logic stage the WTM assumes your child should begin reading primary sources. Does the TOG resource list include primary sources or do they wait until the rhetoric stage?
    2. How extensively does TOG cover music and art? The WTM seems pretty intense.
    3. When studying history and geography the WTM’s process is read/narrate/colour/map/memorisation/other reading (grammar stage), time line/outlining/primary sources/notebook/memorisation (logic stage), is TOG’s approach the same?
    4. Does TOG have Great Books on their resource list similar to those suggested in WTM?
    5. Does TOG teach critical thinking?
    6. Would you use TOG for all 3 phases? I’m thinking about using Story of the World for grammar and then TOG for logic and rhetoric.

    I live in South Africa, to import curriculums from the USA is expensive so I must be sure about my choices so as to not waste money.

    Thank you for your website.

    Taryn

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      TOG is really just a list of books to read, K-12, over 4 years. Unless you have access to those books, then it might not be the best option. I actually chose not to use it this year. We own the first three years of the curriculum, and I just couldn’t justify the expense of Year 4.

      I think if you’re good with WTM, then it’s not broke, so don’t fix it. ;)

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