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.
The beauty of Tapestry is you are given all the resources you need. You can tweak it. But for Mamas that don’t relish this type of freedom, you may need to lean into the lesson plans fully. But I urge you, when you feel overwhelmed, place it all in His capable hands. This is a daily reminder for me as well.
This curriculum serves you and your needs, matching the season of your life. There is so much to choose from! You don’t have to check it all off. Yet, that is also one of the beautiful benefits of Tapestry. You can tailor it by topic for your family, changing it to your children’s needs, matching the books you already have on your shelf. Dig deep or skim the surface. Rich learning either way.
A friend remarked to me, “But you are a seasoned scheduler. You know how to relax and handle several children.” Maybe sometimes. But really it’s because of continuing education. It’s because I have grown as a homeschool mom. This reformed box-checker has realized that providing an environment of learning is huge. Tapestry provides those woven threads in our home. Pulling us together to learn, offering learning on each child’s level.
Sometimes homeschooling is more about the teacher learning than the children. We all know our own children best. Here’s a sample timeline of what has worked and currently works for us.
- When we started with Tapestry – One Upper Grammar student, one Lower Grammar and preschoolers. We stuck to read alouds. We focused on one Tapestry subject a day (Monday – history reading, Tuesday – geography, Wednesday – Writing, Thursday – Literature/Church History, Friday – Arts and Activities)
- As the children grew, we suddenly had Upper Grammar students transitioning into Dialectic. But guess what I noticed? Tapestry of Grace builds independent learning. So, with a little guidance and Tapestry notebooks all set up, these older students were able to accomplish a great deal on their own.
- Dialectic students and I started having Tapestry meetings at the start of the week, just to go over assignments, expectations and to talk about what we were learning. Then, those Friday arts and activities times gave us a chance to talk over the books we were reading, the timeline of history we were studying. The writing assignments we had talked about and decided upon on our Writing Wednesdays were due on Fridays as well.
- As the youngest students grew from preschool into Lower and Upper Grammar, they were used to learning together through read alouds and our activity times together. Having all those Tapestry books in the house, it didn’t feel like school. The children were used to books being within reach and enjoyed them.
- Guess what? I’m still learning. My two eldest children are just 20 months apart. My eldest will officially be a high schooler in a few short months. But already these older two children have been enjoying Rhetoric level studies and books. Because I know how they learn best. I’ve learned their learning styles.
- And I’m continuing my education. For encouragement, I turn to those who have gone before me on this high school journey. If you, too, are heading into the high school years with Tapestry, I suggest you draw from the experience of Barb-Harmony Art Mom. She has shared and continues to share her Charlotte Mason high school with Tapestry of Grace. I am also blessed with real-life friends in my homeschool group. A few have shared specific posts about high school at Habits for a Happy Home. I am also collecting resources on my Pinterest homeschooling high school board. I have to keep learning.
- Yet, I’m prepared. Tapestry of Grace has high school learning planned out for me. It’s there. I just have to step alongside to be sure our state requirements are being met and map out the extras.
A portion of my Tapestry of Grace review I’ll share here…Tapestry addresses all our different learning styles:
- Hands on projects: I have one child that particularly flourishes when she gets to do a book report on a display board. Woven throughout Tapestry assignments are art and activity projects for individual students as well as for the whole family. The lapbook supplements are wonderful for those that enjoy hands on learning as well.
- Auditory learners – can listen to audio books for literature and history studies. Many of these we borrow from the library.
- Independent learning – My eldest likes to load up her books and tuck herself off in a corner. There are plenty of opportunities for those that work best on their own – which is the aim for the transition from dialectic (roughly middle school) to rhetoric (high school).
High school with Tapestry and a range of children in every level. That’s what’s next for me as a teacher. I wish I could say to you, here is how you do it. But I can only give examples of what works for us. How we’ve used Tapestry of Grace as a tool for learning in our home. Tapestry of Grace gives you all the resources you need. You need only make this tool work best for you and your family.
We should make plans, counting on God to direct us. Proverbs 16:9
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