After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Tapestry of Grace?

A little over two years ago, my friend Jen invited me to a Tapestry Tea- a gathering at her home during which she was shared about the Tapestry of Grace curriculum.  I was the only person there who was not already homeschooling.  I was not considering homeschooling at the time but since I had always been interested in hearing about how homeschooling worked, I was invited.  I became enamored with the philosophy and design of Tapestry of Grace that night.  This map sealed the deal- I LOVED the visual of time laid out like a road map showing world history as interrelated with art, music, church history, literature, etc.  

Here are some quotes from the TOG website describing the program:
"Tapestry of Grace is a homeschool curriculum: a plan of study that helps parents provide a Christian, classical education using a guided unit study approach, with the history of the world as the core organizational theme. From Grades K–12, all students cycle through world history every four years, with all ages studying the same slice of history each week, each at their own learning level."
"Tapestry covers the humanities: history, church history, literature, geography, fine arts, government, philosophy...  Week to week, Tapestry integrates all subjects: people, events, and movements are studied in the time period in which they were most influential. Lessons are presented from all modalities: visual, auditory, and tactile."
"Tapestry of Grace exists to help parents discern the threads and patterns in the Tapestry of time woven by God in ages past. Through the study and discussion of chronological history, we teach our children the facts, thoughts, and experiences of humankind in the order that they unfolded."  
"All subjects are interrelated (since they all come from the hand of God), but they need not all be studied at the same level at all times. God’s story is simultaneously simple and complex." 
I loved the idea of the whole family (including me!) learning about the same time period at once, each on his or her own level.  I loved how all the subjects Tapestry covered were arranged chronologically so that the student was not learning facts in isolation but instead seeing history unfold throughout the world and across subject areas.  So, when learning about Colonial America, for example, the student would learn about worldwide colonization in that time period as well as church history, art, music, government, geography, literature, etc.  Studying history in this way just made sense to me.  

When we decided to make the leap and embark on our great homeschool experiment, Tapestry of Grace was the top contender for our history program.  I did speak to several other homeschooling moms and researched a few other history curricula (i.e., My Father's World, Story of the World, Mystery of History) but I kept coming back to Tapestry of Grace.  My hope is that it will make what some children (my dear TS1 very much included) consider a boring subject come alive.   And the books- oh the beautiful, captivating books used in the program- are icing on the cake.  No more boring Social Studies textbooks- we have a bookcase full of living books from which we will learn!  The fact that several friends are using the curriculum made the decision even easier as I would have veteran homeschoolers available with ideas, support and help if I need it.  We can also do fun things together like field trips and unit celebrations to enrich the program.  The Art class in Co-op comes out of the TOG program as well.  It also seemed to be a good fit with our homeschool mission statement.  

Since several friends just completed Year 1 of TOG this past school year, I decided to jump into Year 2 with them for the reasons I mentioned above.   (To give the kids a taste of Ancient History, we are going through Story of the World: Volume One this summer.)  Come September, we will be immersed in the Middle Ages and will study world history through the Reformation using Year Two, Units 1 & 2 of TOG.  (Year Two of TOG is actually four units in total but we have elected to split this year into two years of study.)

If you are a homeschooler, please share your thoughts and tips on history curriculum.  I'm still learning so I'd love to glean from your experience.  If you are not a homeschooler, what do you think?  Does this way of studying history appeal to you?

No comments:

Post a Comment