In my continuing series on teaching multiple ages, today I share with you how to plan Tapestry of Grace. Even if you don’t use Tapestry, many of these planning tips can be applied to teaching an age range in general. Join me…
I think the biggest learning curve with Tapestry of Grace is finding what works best for your family. Opening up that year plan full of a wonderful amount of information and a long list of resources can be overwhelming. Give yourself a grace period of settling into a Tapestry of Grace plan that works best for you – and in learning how to use that plan. Be easy on yourself. But, you, as the teacher should always continue discovering how to best use Tapestry for your family.
How in the world do you plan Tapestry of Grace (TOG) for all levels? Lower Grammar, Upper Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric?
Well, I don’t have all the answers but I can share how I do it. I will share the steps, the thought process I follow – especially now that I am well into teaching all of those levels together.
Make Tapestry of Grace part of your days. Especially with multiple ages, tather than thinking of TOG as something separate to do, you must build in those times naturally. Often we enjoy learning a little more learning with our One More Thing After Lunch, by listening to a Pop Quiz in the car, or even reading at bedtime. Read while younger ones nap. Read while they are up and all over the place playing. Have a busy child work on a lap book while you read aloud.
One basic schedule that helped me (and still does) when we started was:
- Monday – history core reading
- Tuesday – literature
- Wednesday – writing
- Thursday – geography
- Friday – arts and activities
This schedule helps me just to sort of mentally check off those subjects. Of course we are likely still doing independent history reading other days too. And tweaking and finishing writing assignments.
Consider learning styles
Scan the offerings and pick the assignments and activities you know your child will learn best from. As long as I gather the supplies and plan for my Middle Girl to create a display board and do as many arts and activities as possible, I know she will learn so much. Lapbooks meet her needs as well. Audio books for my auditory learner, stacks of books for my visual learner.
Here’s the big one for us. Get as many of the suggested TOG books as possible – for all ages – from the library. Reserve even those from the alternate list, another search on the same topic. Have them available, within sight. You’ll be surprised at how many times those books are picked up and read or how it reminds YOU to read aloud. Having them right there will encourage your children to pick them up.
Just having the books in the house helps us get to the reading. Often I can’t find the ones suggested so I go to the alternate list or even do a general search at the library on the topic. I also look at what books suggested cover all the age range – and lean heavily into those.
Pick read alouds – literature – that will span your age range. Rather than trying to read aloud a selection for each age group, pick one you know will be a core history learning resource. Stick with it. Make it the bedtime reading each night.
Look at your calendar – mark out Tapestry days. Those days you are staying home all day. Plan the family projects for these days. Or just plan to gather around the couch and enjoy read alouds. Sometimes the best way to accomplish something is just to commit to a full day. A great example of this is the days I marked off for our recent salt dough map of the 13 colonies. A few more planning tips:
- Use the planner YOU like. That’s the secret of my success. I use those columns of Tapestry plans and make them work for me.
- Pick one, giant family project to work on along the way or work towards.
- Add needed supplies to your grocery list. That way you can pick up things for learning while you are already out. No need for special trips.
- Do a lap book together as a family as review of your unit
- Make sure to enjoy the movie suggestions too! Especially those appropriate for the whole family. These times open up so much discussion.
Have a weekly meeting with your older TOGers. One of the beautiful things about Tapestry of Grace is how the assignments grow your children and develop their independent learning styles. Have your older students write in assignments in their planners – or whatever form of assigning you prefer. Keep in touch with your older students throughout the week. Touch base again with another meeting on Friday.
Tapestry of Grace helps to build independent learners. I’ve seen this more and more in my older children. Those wonderful books we’ve enjoyed spark that desire to gain knowledge. My eldest came to me this past week and told me she wanted to read more classics. So, I told her she should pull the Homeschoolers Book of Lists down and take a look at the high school level lists. She did and she reserved a good stack of classics at the library. These are in addition to her regular Tapestry assignments. We aren’t studying the Great Gatsby this year but she finished Fitzgerald last Friday.
We have an annual habit of sharing our unit celebration with grandparents at Thanksgiving. The children even throw in the latest piano piece and maybe a short Thanksgiving skit. Celebrating a Good End + New Semester plans and a Thanksgiving Homeschool Celebration.
In summary, remember you can even let some of the reading overflow into the summer. You are not trying to fit every last thing in – enjoy these times of learning together!
- When Do You Plan for School? How Long Does it Take?
- Tapestry of Grace at Hodgepodge
- Tapestry of Grace for the Teacher
- How to Plan for a New School Year
- Books for Tapestry of Grace
- Would you recommend Tapestry of Grace for Kindergarten?
Many thanks to our Friday hostesses!
- Homeschool Mother’s Journal at iHomeschool Network
- Collage Friday hostess Mary at Home Grown Learners
- Jamerrill at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling
- Weekly Wrap-Up hostess Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
- No Fear Homeschool High School at The Daisy Head
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I hope my hodgepodge way of planning has been helpful. What are your planning tips for teaching multiple ages?