Tapestry of Grace Homeschool History Curriculum




Description written by David Somerville,
Creative Director, Webmaster of Tapestry of Grace
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Tapestry of Grace is the award-winning, integrated, four-year, classics-based Christian homeschooling curriculum for the whole family; its assignments span history, literature, writing, government studies, group activities, bible survey, geography, church history, hands-on projects, worldview studies, time line, and fine arts.

In her book, 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Cathy Duffy explains,

"Tapestry of Grace (TOG) is a unit study curriculum that covers most of the major subject areas for students in grades K through 12. Some features that make it especially appealing are Christian worldview studies incorporated throughout the curriculum, a chronological approach to history as the basic organizing theme, and a classical education approach based on the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric stages of learning."

Tapestry covers 12 subjects for grades K-12, enabling the whole family to learn together. The backbone of the program is a chronological study of world history; assignments in every subject covered are based off that week’s historical studies. This means that Mom doesn’t have to prepare lesson plans in unrelated subjects for each level!

"If you are looking for comprehensive guidelines for providing a classical education to multiple children, Tapestry of Grace could be the answer. The materials are incredibly thorough, and can be personalized for the individual needs of you and your children." (Diane Wheeler, senior staff writer for The Old Schoolhouse magazine)

The entire scope of Tapestry of Grace is divided into four year-plans: a year-plan is the full course of study for an entire school year with TOG.

Tapestry of Grace is now available in the new Digital Editions.

These are:

Year 1: The History of Redemption (covering human history from Creation to the Fall of Rome in 450 AD)

Year 2: Between Ancient and Modern (from the Fall of Rome to the Signing of the US Constitution in 1787)

Year 3: The 1800’s (from the US Constitution to the year 1900)

Year 4: The Twentieth Century (from the turn of the century to the new millennium, with a brief study in eschatology)

Each year-plan is comprised of 36 week-plans, which contain:

  • Threads: an at-a-glance view of the week's topics by subject and learning level.
  • Reading Assignments: the 'menu' of reading options for your student, also divided by subject and learning level. Assign as much or as little as your student needs.
  • Weekly Overview: these two-page charts display the objectives for the week to the student, and act as a handy reference for the student asking, "What should I do now?"
  • Writing Assignments: in TOG, the writing is always linked to the reading and discussion topics, to help students learn both writing and the week’s material. "Since the writing assignments tie to the week's studies, the children are well prepared to write about their chosen topics." (Anne Andis, Homeschooling Today)
  • Student Activity: these pages are "home" for your students. Detailing items from the Weekly Overview charts, each student finds assignments appropriate to his week’s reading and level of learning.
  • Pageant of Philosophy: this unique approach to studying human philosophy is not found in every week-plan, but makes a great supplementary item when it appears.
  • Teacher's Notes: here, the teacher learns in summary what her children are reading about in detail. A great time-saver for the busy mom. "Mrs. Somerville's desire to equip homeschooling parents is evident in the numerous teachers’ aids included in the curriculum.” (Anne Andis, Homeschooling Today)
  • Supplements: appearing only in some week-plans, Supplements provide extra material, suggestions, information, or food-for-thought.

Week by week, your student will cycle through the four year history of the world three times over his entire K-12 education, studying at progressively higher levels, and learning on the way how to be increasingly self-disciplined. This multi-leveled, multi-subject approach benefits unique learners.

"...this program provides what most other curricula do not -- materials for the entire K to 12 grade levels. This is especially important for children who are better in some subjects than others: a child might be able to enjoy literature at the high school level, yet only be able to handle writing at an upper elementary level. This curriculum is ideal for a gifted child, whose development is often uneven. What a great program!" (Kathi Kearney, founder of the Hollingworth Center for Highly Gifted Children)

"The flexibility of this program is one of its major assets!" (Cathy Duffy) Flexibility is a key component of Tapestry of Grace, which is designed to benefit families in any learning environment. Reading assignments are divided into Core and In-Depth, supplementary material is clearly marked as such, and author Marcia Somerville constantly encourages moms to assign only as much work as is right for their individual students. TOG is also written so that it’s easy to substitute good books from your local library for assigned titles, meaning you can insert your favorites and save money on unnecessary book purchases.

"The flexibility, the quantity of info, the QUALITY of info are all here." (Merryann38, HomeschoolReviews.com) Not only does TOG allow for scaling back or bearing in on specific topics, but its publishers have provided additional time-saving resources available for purchase. Map Aids (quick helps for geography), Evaluations (weekly tests, which may be used as study tools), Pop Quiz (the week in 15 minutes on audio CD, with accompanying conversation-starting cards), and Writing Aids (the writing companion to TOG) are all available for purchase from Lampstand Press. None of these products is necessary to implement Tapestry of Grace, yet each one is designed to make the teacher’s workload lighter and the student’s experience more enjoyable.

"This curriculum was designed to create strong writers and readers. While that sounds good, how does TOG equip the parent-teacher? …we found this to be a cornerstone strength of TOG – as it should be with any sound curriculum – after all teachers must be equipped to teach." (Cyndi Simmons, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, Homeschooling Parent)

Tapestry of Grace is designed to fit both single families and those learning in a co-op. In fact, using Tapestry in community such as a local co-op or online support can significantly reduce the initial effort involved in planning your school year. TOG does require an initial investment of time to set up, but becomes increasingly intuitive as the school year progresses.

A question which is difficult to answer, but often asked, is "What is a year of using this entire program going to cost us?" Lampstand Press estimates that if a family purchased every single book and supplementary resource for their whole family over an entire year-plan, it might cost as much as $2,000. However, several factors ensure that no family is likely to spend that much, including:

  • TOG-recommended resources can be found in most libraries, or titles owned by the local library can be substituted for those recommended by TOG.
  • The Lampstand Press Bookshelf offers generous bulk discount orders, removing as much as 10% and granting free shipping on all titles for certain orders..

Is it worth the price? "Tapestry of Grace is cost effective because it can be used with children at all ages, and can be re-used at a higher level as the children grow." (Cattails, HomeschoolReviews.com) Cyndi Simmons of Homeschooling Parent concluded an extensive review with the following statement,

"I have reviewed the curriculum as well as put an extensive questionnaire before Tapestry of Grace (TOG) curriculum users. Not only do I think this is a wonderful curriculum that has crossed our path at Homeschooling Parent, I am so impressed with Tapestry of Grace, that we have made a commitment to use it in our home with our four children this coming fall. In publishing over 20 issues of Homeschooling Parent, this will be the first time that I have made a significant change in our homeschool program as a result of a curriculum that I have reviewed."

One great benefit to Tapestry is its extensive online support system. "The website is an amazing resource - I mean amazing. The internet support groups are amazing... I've made lifelong friends already." (Karen Hindt, HomeschoolReviews.com)

"The Tapestry of Grace website is loaded with ideas and assistance for its users. Forums for users to ask questions (often answered by the author herself) and book lists and links to many wonderful internet resources greatly enriched our family’s study." (Anne Andis)

"Never, ever have I ever visited a curriculum website that gives so much information! What does that tell me right from the start? – There's confidence in this curriculum!" (Cyndi Simmons)

TapestryofGrace.com and its parent site LampstandPress.com are built to aid, inform, encourage, and inspire homeschool parents, and are constantly being improved to better support homeschoolers. The Forum section of the website alone is worth the visit – here, thousands of homeschooling families across the world share questions, stories, answers, and tips with each other, so that even the most uncertain of beginners can rest assured there is a large support community ready to help.

The website includes a free 3-week sample of TOG Year 1: The History of Redemption.

"Go to Egypt" is a guided tour through beginning Year 1, allowing interested families to download entire week-plans (with comments added by the author) to see how it works for their family. The end of "Go to Egypt" contains links to Lampstand's online Bookshelf, other sections of TapestryofGrace.com, the online community, and full reviews of Tapestry of Grace.

"Mrs. Somerville has developed a curriculum that disciples both parents and children and helps us excel in areas that are occasionally difficult to navigate ourselves. Through Tapestry of Grace we obtain encouragement to press on with the vision to homeschool our children, all for the glory of God and for helping our children grow 'in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.'" (Anne Andis)

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Homeschoolers Curriculum Reviews

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Tapestry of Grace - We love it! 
Tapestry of Grace is an award-winning, multi-level, integrated, 4-year, classics-based, Christian curriculum for the whole family. This curriculum covers …

Dad Not rated yet
Very pro catholic- white washes the Catholic church's role in the dark ages by calling it the medeival ages as many revisionist "historians" do. Despite …

Mom of 9 Not rated yet
When we began Tapestry of Grace, I asked my oldest daughter what she thought of it after the first few weeks. She told me that I didn't seem so 'scatter-brained'. …

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Mom of 9  Not rated yet
When we began Tapestry of Grace, I asked my oldest daughter what she thought of it after the first few weeks. She told me that I didn't seem so 'scatter-...

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