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.
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.