It was with a little trepidation that I contacted Tapestry of Grace and told them that I would love to try out one of their yearly lesson plans. I was hesitant to try yet another program, but this looked so much like how I was homeschooled (minus all the work that my mom did to create the lesson plans herself) that I just had to try it.
When I first received Tapestry of Grace and looked at it, I was a little overwhelmed. There is just so much text everywhere! This one program covers 1-12th grade, but obviously there are different assignments, so there is a lot of material offered. I’m getting ahead of myself though…
What is Tapestry of Grace?
In my own words, it’s a unit study type program with a classical emphasis. On the website they say it is a classical curriculum, but I have easily tweaked it to not be the traditional classical curriculum that you might think of.
What type of Family Is Tapestry of Grace best for?
If you love textbooks and want to simply sit down at the table and check off your work each day, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re a family that loves to read and learn together, this is an amazing curriculum.
What ages can use Tapestry of Grace?
The nice thing is that all ages can use it! Yes, the whole family studies the same topic, but it’s broken up into 4 different levels – Lower Grammar, Upper Grammar, Dialect, and Rhetoric. This covers 1st through 12th grade. They even have a Primer curriculum for K-1st grade for children that are the oldest in the family.
So, why did I want to try Tapestry of Grace?
I love reading to my children. When the days are crazy busy and I might have a mommy meltdown, reading together draws us back together and helps us to focus. I’ve tried to go without reading aloud to them each day, but we all miss it and I’ve recognized how important it is. I’ve looked and looked for a curriculum that would include all my children learning together, but I never found one that suited our family.
That is until Tapestry of Grace. My friend Amy has written several times about it, and I finally decided to click through to the website and watch the video explaining what Tapestry of Grace really is. After exploring it online I decided to try yet another curriculum (yes, I love curriculum).
I’m totally in love. Completely. And the best part?
My children adore it as well.
How does Tapestry of Grace Work?
There are 4 years that cover history in chronological order. It starts in the Ancient World and goes through the Present Time. Each year is meant to be covered in 1 year, but I can already tell we might take 1 ½ years to go through it. A child can go through each year 3 different times through their school life, each time covering more and more as they advance in grade levels.
When the curriculum arrives it is broken up into 4 separate packages. There are 4 binders worth of material total (the binders are not included), and I’m so grateful they didn’t try to put it all into one! Because this curriculum covers 1st-12th grade, at first glance it can look totally overwhelming. That is, until you learn the system and how it works.
I’m using Lower Grammar and Upper Grammar for the ages of children we have. Lower Grammar covers 1st-3rd grade, and Upper Grammar covers 4th-6th. There are 4 different colors that show what level your child needs to be in, and you simply look at the bottom of the page to see the color you need for the level your child is in. Once you get to know the layout it get’s to be much easier.
There is a lot of paper each week. I kept turning the pages, wondering how in the world I was going to cover all of this, until I discovered that most of the paper is for the Dialectic and Rhetoric levels where you have a lot of discussions with your student. The picture below shows what one week looks like!
You can do as little or as much as you want. You need to feel confident going into this curriculum that you truly are the teacher and you own the curriculum, it does not own you. Right now with a baby under 1 who is still a high needs baby, we are not doing everything. I consider what we are doing the basics, but I’m not stressing about it because I know we will come back around and cover this time period again!
What subjects does Tapestry of Grace cover?
The subjects offered are literature, history, arts/actives, worldview, vocabulary, geography, and writing. You have to add math, science, grammar, phonics, and foreign language.
There is a big emphasis on literature books (“living books” as Charlotte Mason calls them!), and you can purchase them through Bookshelf Central, but I use my local library as much as I can. If I know we are going to be in a book for a month or more and the library does not have it, I’ll go ahead and purchase it.
Besides the main curriculum they offer some other helpful items, some of which we are using. Here are a few items.
Map Aids – I recently went ahead and purchased these and it’s a huge help! You can just print off the weekly map that you need and it includes a basic black and white map for your children to draw on, plus the finished map in color. You can see the pictures in this post of my children working on it.
Writing Aids – This is a helpful instructional book for all levels to help teach writing. It does not include grammar. I have this book, but so far we just haven’t dove into it yet. I’m hoping to read through it this summer and implement it when we start back up again this fall.
Lap books – If you are a hands on type family, this is a great option for you! These are geared towards the Grammar age children (1st-6th).
Pop Quiz – I think this is an incredibly wonderful idea! If the dad would like to be involved in what the children are learning, he can put this CD in and listen to it on the way home from work and have questions to ask them at the dinner table and interact with them! I’ve also heard some mom’s prefer using this to learn what is coming in the next chapter.
Planning Aids – I’m so excited about this! While I haven’t had trouble scheduling out the week, life is busy and this planning aid offers weekly lessons already made for the grammar levels!
I love knowing that we can all learn together, yet be on different grade levels. This week we did map work and my 6th grader really enjoyed getting to color in his map after learning about Charlemagne.
While I know our Kindergarten age child did not comprehend nearly as much about Charlemagne as the 6th grader, she also sat in on the history read aloud time and wanted to be included in the map work as well. I was thrilled with how long she sat and worked on her own map!
If you would like to learn more about Tapestry of Grace, they are throwing a Facebook party for my readers! They will be offering some prizes, and helping explain more about Tapestry of Grace. Just click here to RSVP.
You can also download some free samples of the curriculum, and look at the scope and sequence of each year (just click on each year and scroll down to see it).
Expect to see more on the blog about Tapestry of Grace. I’m hoping to use this for a very long time!
*I received Year 2 for free to review, but I was not paid for this review. All thoughts are my own!