What I’ve Learned Homeschooling With Tapestry of Grace

What I've Learned Homeschooling With Tapestry of Grace

One of those wonderful benefits of homeschooling is continuing to learn right alongside your children. History, a love of art, composers, nature study. I just love continuing education. For many years now, Tapestry of Grace has truly woven together all the learning in our home. All ages learning the same topics, on their age, grade and skill level.

We’ve used Tapestry since our eldest was in upper grammar level. Now we have a child in each level: lower grammar, upper grammar, dialectic and rhetoric. It just keeps getting better because now we are cycling back through history!

Today, I offer you a Tapestry tour. A top ten list of Tapestry of Grace resources, frequently asked questions and tips for the teacher. And if you don’t use Tapestry of Grace, I hope you just might find some of the advice for teaching multiple ages and homeschool planning helpful in general.

How Does Tapestry of Grace flow? at www.hodgepodge.me

How Tapestry of Grace Can Flow  A Hodgepodge reader asked: I can’t grasp how it all flows? You schedule one subject per day so what exactly do they DO on those days within those subjects?…read and answer questions, do projects, have meetings…I guess I don’t follow how you can just cover one thing per day…

How to Plan Tapestry of Grace for Multiple Ages at Hodgepodge

How to Plan Tapestry of Grace for Multiple Ages and Levels (when you are teaching lower grammar, upper grammar, dialectic and rhetoric) 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.


Tapestry of Grace for Kindergarten Of course I absolutely love Tapestry of Grace for many, many reasons. But if your oldest is Kindergarten, I honestly would wait another year or two to make a big purchase. Concentrate on the three Rs and reading wonderful books together.


Tapestry of Grace for the Teacher  Answering a reader question: “But I feel overwhelmed by Tapestry of Grace. How do I make it work? Never have we ever done all of the subjects each week. Tapestry is truly a smorgasbord. When I open that week plan, I zone in on the learning levels for my children and ignore the rest. Even then, depending on the week, we may choose to only tackle the core history assignment. Other weeks, as we are wrapping up a unit, we may concentrate more on the arts and activities, doing assignments and larger projects together as a family.


Books for Tapestry of Grace Question: How do you choose the books you need for Tapestry of Grace? Answer: Basically, Tapestry of Grace has done the work for you! However, in this post, I will share examples of how I tailor the Tapestry book list to our needs. I will also walk you through the simple steps of planning – pointing you to Tapestry of Grace plans, the Tapestry website and their Bookshelf Central.


Hands On Art and Activities (Salt Dough Maps, Display Boards & More) Hands on geography is a super fun way to learn. Earlier in the school year we created an imaginary land, each child contributing to the map as we reviewed mountain ranges, peninsulas, tributaries and more.

You might also like Hands on Geography for Multiple Ages.


Unit Celebrations A unit celebration brings closure to our studies and boosts us on to further learning in the next unit. In the past, we plan for our unit celebration to happen on Thanksgiving Day while the side dishes are warming in the oven. I shared more about this at Heart of the Matter: A Thanksgiving Homeschool Celebration.

Tapestry inspires our own art projects like a Medieval castle (pictured above)

Unit Review with Lapbook  What we’ve discovered is the lapbook is a wonderful tool for review. Each child can pick several favorite or interesting topics. Then, using our Tapestry of Grace books from the library, on-hand resources or the online Tapestry of Grace links, the children put it all together.

history shelf

Homeschool Makeover: History Shelf The Problem: Spending time searching for what we needed to start our history studies. History books scattered throughout the house. Supplemental material getting lost in my stacks. Answer: IKEA Expedit shelf! With two baskets for all those Tapestry of Grace extras (e.g., Map Aids and Writing Aids discs, Pop Quiz and more).

Tapestry of Grace at Hodgepodge Interested in more Tapestry of Grace? Visit: Tapestry of Grace to learn even more!

Help for Homeschoolers

10in10 Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

It’s ten weeks of top ten lists with iHomeschool Network and Top Ten Tuesday with Angie at Many Little Blessings! Click over to see the 10 week schedule and visit all the other homeschool participants.

Are you a fellow TOGer? What years have you worked through? Do you have any Tapestry of Grace questions?


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      Hi Jennifer, I invite you to explore all the posts I have linked here, especially this one: http://www.hodgepodge.me/2012/11/how-to-plan-tapestry-of-grace-for-multiple-ages-and-levels/ and this one has a little more detail of the actual planning and printing: http://www.hodgepodge.me/2011/06/helpful-habit-preparing-for-a-new-school-year/

      I also have a weekly meeting with my older children. They have planners where they mark their assignments and the books to read that week, writing assignments:
      Lots of resources listed here with a more detailed explanation of our weekly meetings: http://www.hodgepodge.me/2013/01/homeschooling-high-school-update/

      By the time my children reached high school with Tapestry of Grace, the majority of the time is independent learning. We sort of have a rough schedule that we follow so we can concentrate on history, literature, writing, geography and we talk about it all throughout the week. Because I’m reading aloud with the younger ones – all of them. Tapestry builds independent learning habits with the way it is structured. So, in summary, I’d say teacher intensive on the front end – learning Tapestry and how it works for your family, gathering resources to have available in your home. But for the older ones, not as teacher intensive in the older grades. Hope that helps!

      • 3


        I love this idea of a weekly meeting and the planners. Mine are not in HS yet, and I think this will be a very valuable idea to me. I have been reading your (and Danika’s) TOG posts for a couple of years. It looks intriguing, but I too have felt overwhelmed and not known where to start. I haven’t committed yet, but I’ll keep reading to see if I want to make the jump. Thanks for the tip!
        Deborah recently posted..When Our Prayers Go UnansweredMy Profile

        • 4


          Deborah – the weekly meeting and the planners have truly been a wonderful answer for us. It’s practical and purposeful and helps us focus in, discuss and really think about the week ahead. Tapestry fits our age range and all the learning styles so very well. It’s rich. Yes, it surely can be overwhelming but if you focus in on the ‘columns’ of the plans that fit your family, you can surely find your groove.

  1. 5


    Thanks again for another encouraging post about TOG. We have not used our trial weeks yet, but I am planning to this month. I don’t believe we have done history very well in our homeschool, so I am excited to make this switch!
    Kristin recently posted..thief of joyMy Profile

    • 6


      I am so excited for you and your family Kristin! Can’t wait to hear about your TOG journey (and it’s a little hard to get to trial weeks right now with all the wonderful year end celebrations and recitals…)

  2. 7


    I’m busy planning out unit 4 of year 2, excited to wrap up our first year of Tapestry. I love it but my major struggle has been rhetoric literature! I enjoy reading but do not have the time to follow along with the schedule at all, so I feel like my daughter (15) is on her own and that I’m failing with all the analysis, etc. We seldom get to literature in our discussion time, either. How do you cover lit. effectively with your rhetoric students, and is yr. 2 just especially hard in that area?

    • 8


      Tapestry is so very rich – it is more than you will ever use! We have NEVER finished absolutely everything. We use various methods to follow up with literature – the writing assignments, notebooking and simply discussing things together. I know that the more you use Tapestry the more comfortable you will feel with ‘being finished’ with certain assignments. There are also the evaluations you could use.

  3. 9

    Patti W says

    I just found you through the facebook for TOG and i am so excited! Boy, I wish I’d known of you when i first considred TOG years ago. Thank you so much for all the helpful bits. I-m thinking you must be near Atlanta, based on the field trip ideas i saw in a different post, as am I. Do you, or have you ever, take part in a co-op? Wth a child in LG,, D, and R, I wonder if that would be helpful or too much time from our week.

    • 10


      Patti – what a sweet comment. I love to share about TOG! And yes, we are around the Atlanta metro area – born and raised :) I am part of a fabulous homeschool group. But I have not taken part in a co-op. So, I do not have personal advice in that area. Though I have heard that it can be a wonderful blessing. I am sure it depends on each family and their particular needs. With the levels you have – and based on my experience – it would be taxing on me and our homeschool schedule. We honestly get so much more done when we are at home. But that is the way WE work and learn best. Hope that helps! Blessings :)

  4. 11


    Tricia, you have blessed me a thousand times over. I’ve never spent over an hour (maybe it’s been two?) pouring over anyone’s blog posts like I have yours. I’m feeling called to TOG (thanks, Barb, for your Last Post on TOG that got me looking) and you have answered almost all my questions and allayed my concerns. Blessings upon your wonderful family as the school year comes to another close.
    Leslie aka Mother Robin recently posted..Bird’s-eye View of the Week: From Ballet to Bugs to AustraliaMy Profile

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      Oh that Barb – what a mentor she is! I love all her posts on TOG and have poured over them myself. Leslie, I am so happy to hear that my words have helped. Thank you for taking the time to comment and let me know. Blessings to you and yours as well – with many thanks – fellow TOGer :)

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        One question before I pull out the credit card: Which format worked best for you? Keeping in mind that I only homeschool one and she’s going into 7th grade. IOW, we would not be re-using the curriculum for up-and-comers, so the ability to resell has appeal. But internet linking through the DE also has merit. If you used the DE, what did you like and dislike?

        • 14


          Hi Leslie – I have used both formats. I dearly love printed as I am that kind of gal and it is what I started out with. That said, I am also very practical. So, I have gone with the DE for the other years. The reason being I can scan and print what we need for all our ages. Zero in on the necessary. Click where I need to go. So, it’s speedy. For you, I hear the resell value question – though you do have time to cycle back through one more time. I guess the resale value would be a big factor for you. But my best advice would be to take a look at how you and your child work best already – print? or digital? What is going to be EASY for you?

  5. 15

    Shannon says

    I found you via Google search for Organizing with TOG, and I am SOOOOO glad I did! Thank you for taking the time to share what you have learned. I am new to TOG and to Homeschooling this year. I have the Print and DE edition of Year 1 and I am in the planning phase now. (Hoping to start the first week in Aug.) I only have one LG son this year (the other two boys are not old enough to start yet), and my biggest challenge has been how to start with the organization. I have read on the TOG site as well as watched webinars and purchased “Out of the Shrink Wrap”, and I am still not clear on Mom’s working binder, binders for the kids (or kid in my case), and a file box. For one LG, do you need binders and file boxes? If you already have a post on this, sorry I missed it, can you just send me in that direction? Thanks!

    • 16


      Thanks Shannon – excited for you to start TOG! What a wonderful journey you are beginning homeschooling. Here’s what I suggest: Step right on out there and use Tapestry. See how it works for you. I do think a mom’s working binder is a help. But really the biggest help is actually using the curriculum – getting a feel for it, trying it on. Go from there and trust your instincts, mixing with the advice of seasoned moms and suggestions from Tapestry users. Once you use the curriculum for 2 weeks to a month you will gain confidence and know just what you need to do!

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