Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WHY We Are Returning to Tapestry of Grace

Last year was a most interesting year in our pursuit of History and Literature.

Leaving our well-loved Tapestry of Grace (TOG) curriculum, my children went their own ways.

My oldest to My Father's World 9th grade Ancient History
My 6th grader to Critical Thinking's’  World History Detective 
My 3/4th grader to Creek Edge Press Geography Task cards.

The year went smoothly with these mostly grab and go curricula, but something was missing.  Namely the plethora of living books, multiple activities and the collective learning of the same time period but at each individual’s level.  Mostly we missed the unity TOG provided our family.

.....So while the pre-made schedule of My Father's World was heavenly, there wasn't enough reading for my 9th grader.

.....And The World History Detective was challenging for my 6th grader and wonderful to just pull off the shelf, ready to go, it was still 'just' a workbook.

.....The Geography Task Cards were a wonderful find for my wiggly, kinesthetic learner.  But we were still learning separately.

What we ALL missed was being “on the same page” in history, sharing meaningful discussions on the time period, its' literature and creating family activities with purpose.

To understand a a little more about TOG, it’s a 4 year program spanning 36 weeks for each year.  This program enables you to teach all your children, K-12, all together.  History, literature, geography, writing, hands-on, and fine arts are broken down into 4 approximate levels with a Biblical Worldview.  These levels can overlap and need to be followed by the child’s ability:

Lower Grammar K-2
Upper Grammar 3-5
Dialectic 6-8
Rhetoric 9-12

The strengths of TOG is also its’ weakness:
(-) There’s no pre-made schedule

(+)There’s so much to choose from   
(-)Choices can be overwhelming

(+)Utilizes living books                      
(-) Hunting down/buying books can be time consuming/costly

Last year, we made the decision to leave TOG after an exhausting year of continually being behind the ball, searching for library books and then praying they’d be there when I needed them.  Couple this with a very demanding baby…and it wasn't pretty.

Though our original reasons for leaving TOG hasn't changed, I feel more confident to deal with these challenges by purposefully scheduling this curriculum ahead of time in order to get in front of the ball instead of running behind it.

In part 2 I'll share how I went about this.


  1. I love TOG - it has its challenges, but they are worth it in my opinion. Glad to see you are back to TOG!

  2. I love TOG, but am still up in the air. My biggest concern is getting all of the books necessary. That can add up to a lot of money! :)

  3. I used TOG for two years, Sonlight for 1/2 a year, then sent the kids to public school. Now we're jumping back in and leaning heavily toward TOG. I can't get away from how nice it was to use living books and have everyone on the same page. And after having the kids in ps and seeing how they do history ... well, even if I only do a fraction of what TOG offers, I'll be doing more and with more continuity than the schools!