For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 Days of Curriculum Evaluation: Tapestry of Grace

Here we are at day 3 of the 5 days of  ... blog hop. I have been having a blast reading my other crewmates' blog posts on topics such as Traveling with Kids, Artistic Expression, Social Media, Classical Education and lots more.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my different curriculum evaluations. Today we will be tackling Tapestry of Grace.

I heard about tapestry of Grace a couple of years ago. Considering myself more of a classical homeschooler, I was very attracted to Tapestry. Why? because Tapestry's philosophy of learning is classical. It follows the Trivium's stages of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric. On top of that it also follows the classical 4 year cycle through History. We are now in our second year and will definitely continue on with this program up to grade 12.

Tapestry of Grace is more of a unit study kind of curriculum but it is literature, living books and Great Books based as well. The core of the program rests on the reading of good literature and history books  (3/4 of which are readily available at our local public library). When one looks at the program it can seems daunting at first (that's why many go through a stage called the Tapestry fog) But once one understands what they are trying to accomplish and that it is a buffet, that fog starts to dissipate.

How has Tapestry of Grace worked for my boys? Well, my eldest absolutely loves History, that is his favorite subject. He loves to learn about the events that happened in History and how related they are to each other. He loves learning about the people and civilizations of the past, and even about dates, yes dates!

Both my boys are at the grammar level, so we do not do a lot of what Tapestry offers. That said, I can't wait to get to those parts (dialectic and rhetoric discussions, philosophy and worldview) as the boys get older. For now, we:

  • Read lots of History books
  • Read lots of literature books related to the time period in History, or biographies of people in that particular time frame of History. Just yesterday we read about Hayden in The Farewell Symphony and about John Harrison in The man who Made Time Travel
  • Do lots of discussions of events in History. 
  • Map and geography studies
  • Church History

Tapestry contains lots of hands-on as well which come from books such as Colonial Kids for example while studying the colonization of North America. I am not a very hands-on mom so this year we did not do as many, but last year we did quite a few, which the boys enjoyed a lot.

Thanks to Tapestry, Zach has a good understanding of how History is a chain of events, and how God superintends everything that happens to bring about His overarching plan.

Tapestry is often referred to as a buffet, and as such, the key about using this curriculum is to do what you want and can do, and not worry about the rest. The way I look at it, as I use this curriculum, is that we will go over the same time period 2 more times before the child finishes grade 12, so whatever did not get done this time around, will be done at some point.

As I evaluate how Tapestry is working in our homeschool, I would be amiss not to mention how it has blessed me personnaly. I have learned so much from this curriculum when it comes to how History has developed over the years, and how God's hand has been at work in all of these events of the past. Often time when we study History, we tend to study events in a vacuum, or as a bunch of dates, and miss the whole picture of what God is doing through the actions of human beings (bad or good). In the end it is God's plan that is being fulfilled. As a true Christian curriculum, TOG (as often referred to), while appreciating each events of History in its own right, drama and excitement (which is the appealing part to kids; at least my boys - the more battles the better), it also helps me show the boys how the advances in History are but God's way of bringing about HIS plan, and most importantly it seeks to emphasize the greatest need of humanity: its need of a Saviour.

Here for another praise to a Christian, in-depth, flexible and very adaptable curriculum.


Mary said...

I use and LOVE TOG. Great post!

Brandi said...

Great post! I am glad to hear a such a good review about Tapestry of Grace, we are reviewing one the units next school year : )

Unknown said...

Great post on TOG! Thanks for linking up!

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