Have I mentioned that Tapestry of Grace is the backbone of my homeschool? It’s a curriculum created by a mother of 6 who was desperate to bring some sanity into her school day, so she linked as many subjects as possible to history.
We switched to Tapestry 2 years ago. It was one of the best decisions we’ve made in our homeschool.
Tapestry of Grace: Designed for Large Families
The general idea behind Tapestry is that it’s a classical unit study designed for a large family. There are 4 levels to cover all the school age children in the house.
- Lower grammar is designed for non-readers, K-2 or 3rd grades.
- Upper grammar is for elementary kids who read well, 3rd – 5/6th grades.
- Dialectic level is aimed at children in the 6th-8/9th grades.
- Rhetoric is the high school level.
There is a bit of overlap between the levels because children don’t mature at the same rate. Some children need extra time to bloom, while others are kicking to move quickly into higher levels.
Each week has a general history topic, but the children study that topic at a level appropriate for their age group. I’m happy because all the kids are studying, for instance, World War 1. I’m able to stay informed through the teacher’s notes that Tapestry provides.
My 4th child is doing the Tapestry Lapbooks as an evaluation tool, while my older children sit down with me each week for an in-depth discussion of their history and literature readings.
My preschoolers aren’t doing the history readings yet, but the literature readings for the lower grammar stage are delightful. I’m checking the books out from the library for our evening read-aloud. Many are children’s classics such as Blueberries for Sal, The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, or The Complete Adventures of Curious George that can be enjoyed year after year after year.
Tapestry of Grace offers an overwhelming buffet of options for the week’s history studies. There are evalutions, lapbooks, accountability questions, discussions, worksheets, maps, writing, projects and field trips suggested.
No one, to my knowledge, can do it all. But having a buffet of possibilities allows me to customize for each child without having to juggle tons of different programs.
Tapestry of Grace Encourages Customization
All the school-age children complete the reading at their level. It’s what they do with that reading changes.
One child completes the accountability questions. If he can’t find the answer in the reading, he researches the question in the encyclopedia or on the internet. Tapestry of Grace has honed his research skills.
Another child loves to write papers. Yes, really, he loves to write papers. So each week he writes me a paper on a topic of his choice from his reading in Modern History in Pictures and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 20th-Century History.
So far we’ve covered chemical warfare in WW1, the German Spring Offensive, the flu epidemic, and Stalin. It’s been an easy method to add more writing to his school work without trying to pile all sorts of curricula on him.
Another child prefers worksheets. So I print up the weekly dialectic evaluations for her to complete. Each week she fills in the information. The worksheets cover similar topics to the accountability questions, just in a different format. She’s happy, I’m happy, and we’re having good discussions.
My 4th student fell in love with lapbooking last year. He and I sit down every Friday to complete the lapbooks. We discuss the work as he fills out the various sheets. It’s been a wonderful method to add a light discussion to my 5th graders week, and we enjoy the time together.
I enjoy being able to allow the children to personalize their education while keeping the standard high and maintaining my sanity.
Do you personalize Tapestry of Grace?