Conquering the Fog: How to Begin Tapestry of Grace

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How to begin using Tapestry of Grace in your homeschool.

Tapestry of Grace sponsored this post. In the interest of disclosure, I purchased all 4-year plans of Tapestry of Grace, and I’m starting my 7th year of using Tapestry of Grace with my own children. All opinions are my own honest opinions.

If you’re starting Tapestry of Grace, I’m fairly certain you’ve heard of the fog.

That’s the point in time when you’re looking at the year plan, reading the introductions, and thumbing through the weekly plan wondering where do you start?

Your first action should be to grab the books you need for Tapestry of Grace since books make up the heart of the curriculum.

Choosing Your Books

If you want the easiest method, go to BookShelf Central, click on Tapestry of Grace, click on packages, then pick your year and level. You’ll have a choice between the basic book selection and deluxe book selection. Make your choice. Next, add any other levels you need, place your order, and you’re on your way!

Otherwise, begin by printing or copying the reading assignment sheets. The simplest method, if you have DE, is to open up your year plan, choose a quarter, then scroll down the screen. You’ll see a link on the left-hand side saying, “Browse the full unit.”

Click to open the PDF. It includes every week in the unit!

Now choose your week on the left-hand side, click on reading assignment, before printing the reading assignment page and the following page for alternative and extra resources.

I end up with a big stack of papers!

Then go through and note which books you have, which books the library has, and which books you want to order. The close you can keep to the Primary Resources list, the close the SAP will match.

This is mostly a concern for dialectic and rhetoric. The accountability questions, thinking questions, quizzes, tests, discussions, and writing assignments are based on the Primary Resources List. Kids may have trouble finding the answers to questions if they’re reading alternative resources.

However, I’ve always used it as an opportunity to teach my kids to research. So it’s not the end of the world!

I don’t worry about finding the exact books for the grammar stage. Because the kids aren’t answering specific questions, there’s a lot more flexibility about which books you use.

No go choose and order your books!

Student Activity Pages

You’ll need student activity pages for each child you’re teaching this year. I print my student activity pages from my DE version. You can also copy them from your print version if you prefer.

But what if you don’t have access to a printer or copier? Go to the Tapestry of Grace store and order the student activity pages you need!

Again if you want a truly easy start to Tapestry of Grace, order the books from BookShelf Central and order the student activity pages from the store at Tapestry of Grace.

Have the Books, Have the SAP, Now What?

You have the books and you have the student activity pages, so what do you do now? My strong, strong recommendation is to file the student activity pages. Each week I can quickly grab the papers my kids need.

Workbooks are also popular. Every time I sit down to create a workbook, it seems like a lot of work. But they work wonderfully for some families!

You can also file the pages away in a large binder. The point is to ensure the kids have access to the pages when they need them.

Tips for Scheduling Tapestry of Grace

Scheduling Tapestry of Grace can work in one of two ways. The first is you sit down and assign the work to your children. The other is to gradually hand over the reins and teach your children to plan their own work. I’ve alternated between the two.

The goal is to have your kids planning their own work in high school, so they know how to plan days and weeks once they hit college and adult life.

Here’s a detailed look at how to teach your children to plan their own work.

Otherwise, I sit down sometime over the weekend to plan my kids’ schoolwork.

Tapestry of Grace recommends that kids read their history assignment on Monday and Tuesday, discuss on Wednesday, and write on Thursday and Friday.

That’s never worked well for my kids. They thrive with short assignments but get bogged down with the long assignments.

We discuss the week’s readings on Friday and all written assignments are due at that time.

So the first thing you do is glance through the weekly plan, determine your goals, and study the assigned reading list. Then divide the readings over the number of days you have.

Remember Kids Differ

Some of my kids thrive on reading one book at a time. Actually, one child would actually grab all his history books, park himself in the kitchen in front of the posted reading assignment list, and read through his history books then and there.

Another child needed each assignment to be short. He would complete his readings if he only had to read a couple of pages in any given book at one time. So I’d assign, say 3 books a day, and he’d happily read 5 pages in each book. Heaven help me if I gave him 15 pages in one book! The assignment would never be completed.

The point I’m trying to make is to know your children and adapt the assignments to each individual child.

Lower grammar kids are very similar to their high school counterparts. One child will happily sit, color, and listen to one book for hours on end. The other child gets bored quickly. I need to keep things changing every ten minutes or he’s trying to wander off to play with Legos.

Once you’ve gone through and assigned the readings, add the writing assignments. If your kids are reading and writing at the same time, like mine, encourage the kids to take notes as they read. It saves time! ‘

Another option is to run the writing assignments one week behind. So kids are reading and discussing week 4 material, but completing week 3’s writing assignment.

Remember Tapestry of Grace is a tool. You run your homeschool!

Be sure to add the literature and geography assignments as well. My children complete literature throughout the week, so I divide it over several days. Geography is completed on Monday or Tuesday. History makes more sense if you know the geography of the area.

Glance through the fine arts assignments and see if there’s a project you’d enjoy doing. Children love completing history projects on lazy afternoons!

My Typical Schedule for Tapestry of Grace

Conquer the Tapestry of Grace fog! Learn how to begin using Tapestry of Grace in your family with pointers, advice, and schedules.

This is a sample of how I usually schedule Tapestry of Grace throughout the week. It’s NOT the end-all-be-all of how to schedule Tapestry, simply what works best for my family.

  • Monday
    • Dialectic & Rhetoric
      • Read through accountability & thinking questions
      • Review this week’s writing assignment
      • Edit last week’s writing assignment
      • Begin history & literature reading assignments
      • Geography & mapwork
    • Lower & Upper Grammar
      • Review writing assignment
      • Begin history & literature reading assignments
      • Geography & mapwork
  • Tuesday
    • Dialectic & Rhetoric
      • History & literature reading assignments
      • Take notes for this week’s writing assignment
      • Final draft of last week’s writing assignment
    • Lower & Upper Grammar
      • Continue reading history & literature reading assignments
      • Take notes for writing assignment – will need help
  • Wednesday
    • Dialectic & Rhetoric
      • Finish history & literature reading assignments
      • Fine arts reading assignment
      • Outline writing assignment
    • Lower & Upper Grammar
      • History & literature reading assignments
      • Outline writing assignment with Mom
  • Thursday
    • Dialectic & Rhetoric
      • Answer accountability & thinking questions
      • Rough draft
    • Lower & Upper Grammar
      • History & literature reading assignments
      • Writing assignment with Mom
  • Friday
    • Dialectic & Rhetoric
      • History & literature discussions
      • Accountability & thinking questions due
      • Mapwork & geography questions due
      • This week’s rough drafts and last week’s final drafts are due
    • Lower & Upper Grammar
      • Complete this week’s lapbook sections together
      • Complete the literature worksheet together
      • Do a fun project

You’ll find there are many, many different ways to schedule Tapestry of Grace for your family. Try out different schedules to see what works best for your family. Keep in mind that Tapestry is meant to be a buffet with too many options to complete in a week. You’re not supposed to be able to fit every activity into one week.

It’s your homeschool so adapt the curriculum to fit your needs!

Ultimately the best way to clear the fog is to jump in. Begin using Tapestry of Grace by reading through the week’s plan.

You’ll soon find the system that works best for your family!

Learn more about Tapestry of Grace and the benefits it can offer your family.

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