Friday, January 29, 2016

Tapestry of Grace Review and Giveaway

After almost 17 years of homeschooling, I finally got my hands on Tapestry of Grace.  A little late to the game, I know!  Can I just say WOW!?  It is overwhelming and impressive all at the same time. Luckily, the overwhelming wears off quickly and leaves behind a well laid out, highly organized, and in-depth Christian, classical study.

Tapestry Of Grace is a four year cycle Classical study for all ages.  History based and reading oriented, it divides the world's history into four periods of time, each further divided into four units to be taught in one year.  If you use the program with your child from the beginning of their school career, the theory is that they will cycle through all four periods three times, at a higher level and more in depth each time.

The classical approach that Tapestry follows includes four levels of study - Lower Grammar, Upper Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric.  Each are color coded in the lessons and are geared towards the learning styles typical of the ages associated with each particular level.  Tapestry of Grace is unapologetically Christian, with everything based around the Word of God and the truths of the Bible.

Week by week, you open the teacher's guide and go!  There are schedules in chart form,  reading lists, weekly overviews, student pages, and a large number of teacher notes!

So for any given week you will open your guide and see-

Threads- This is where you will find your teaching objectives for each week in checklist style for each subject.  Subjects include History, Writing, Literature, Geography, Fine Arts and Activities, Church History, Government, and Philosophy.  If there is an assignment for the level of the child you are working with, you will find it there.  Note, there is not an assignment for every level in every subject. Each lesson varies.  The pages that correspond in the teacher's notes are listed beside each assignment.

Reading Assignments- Next you will find a two page spread of the reading assignments, again for each subject and each student level.  You can purchase the suggested books or the optional ones given from Tapestry or another source.

Weekly Overview- This two page chart shows you at a glance what you will be doing for the week. It is great for people like me who like to see the big picture. It lists what you will study in each broad category, as well as the specific people, any vocabulary, dates for your timeline, individual student and group activities available, and map information. There are even videos on the Tapestry website that will help you with planning if you are new to this curriculum!

Writing Assignments- Here you will find writing assignments broken into 12 levels.  Younger levels focus more on grammar, dictation, and basic writing, while upper levels move into higher writing skills such as analytical essays and play writing.

Student Activities- This section begins with general information for all ages and then has worksheets and such for each learning level.

Teacher Notes- The final section for each week is the part you as a teacher will appreciate the most. There is background history, discussion outlines, and the answers you should be looking for in the various levels.  Answers to any worksheets used are also given.

Seems like a lot, right?  It is!  But as someone who tried a classical approach for several years with no guidance, I can assure you it is just what you need.  For a few years I followed a classical approach on my own.  Each week I would spend hours planning, gathering information and books, making up worksheets, and trying to make it all tie together into one neat package.  I wore myself out and after two years I threw in the towel.

I wish I had known about Tapestry then!

What a blessing it is for classical bent moms and teachers out there to have a one stop shop for quality education.  The information presented is solid and the help behind it is top notch. You can ask questions along the way and there is a community of fellow moms on a forum on the website.

If you are a hands-on type person like me you can purchase each level in a hard copy.  If that is not as important to you, you can also save some money and buy it in Digital form.  My hard copy did come with two digital downloads for Grammar.  Also included was The Loom CD.  This CD is a great place to get started if you have never been exposed to Tapestry of Grace before as it has set up help. It also contains numerous workbook pages, documents, charts, recipes for art projects, and more.  It certainly helped me in understanding the ins and outs of the program and the vision!

As far as help goes, I also know that there are many moms out there just like you that LOVE Tapestry of Grace and enjoy sharing their experiences with newcomers.  If there are questions you want answered by someone other than a company rep or online forum, although those are great places to start, reach out!  I know there is a wealth of information to be shared and I know that Tapestry lovers are eager and willing to share!

Tapestry of Grace is having a big Facebook party on February 2 from 7-8 EST with chances to win some great prizes as well as get some free three week samples!  I hope you will join us there!

You can also access free online samples of Tapestry on their website!

* We were given the Fourth Year of Tapestry of Grace in exchange for an honest review of their product.  All opinions are our own and were not influenced in any way.


1 comment:

  1. I've always been interested in TOG but it always overwhelmed me too. The writing sounds awesome. I have a friend who uses TOG and has for years. They are all super smart :)


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