A Testimony about Tapestry of Grace

Our Japanese Tea Party

We started Tapestry of Grace in 2007 for our history, literature and geography. It has been amazing! This comprehensive classical curriculum allows all of my boys to study the same topics, each at their own level.

It has been great to have them reading and learning about the same things, so that when we do field trips or hands on projects we can all really enjoy it. For example, when we studied Japan we had a Japanese tea party, made origami and saw the Mikado. Those experiences meant more because everyone had spent the week learning about Japan.

World War 2 radio operator and medic

I am so grateful God led us to this amazing program. We finished up our first year of TOG with a study of World War 2, and Tapestry knocked my socks off. I praise God for the thoughtful, thorough, godly supplement pages and teacher’s notes, which helped us wade through the deep, deep waters of the Holocaust. I cannot adequately express what a blessing it was to have scripture right at my fingertips as my oldest son and I discussed questions like “How could a man like Hitler rise to power? Was he more evil than other men, or does the same potential for evil reside in all our hearts? How could a good God allow the Holocaust?” and other questions like these.

I do not know what our study of WW2 would have been like if we hadn’t found TOG when we did, but I do know that it would not have been the spiritually rich time of discipleship that it was. I also think I would have skipped the Holocaust aspect with my K and 2nd grade children completely….yet TOG found a beautiful way to expose them to just the right amount of information, with book recommendations right at their level. We had some great conversations which confirmed to me that it was right not to avoid this painful topic altogether.

Tapestry of Grace has been much more than just a history curriculum to our family. It has bridged the gap between school and real life, between head knowledge and heart knowledge. It has enabled me to do more than teach history and literature, but instead to use those subjects as a key part of the discipleship process in our children. I started homeschooling in order to have times like this with my children, yet along the way, that aspect went missing from the core subjects we were studying. The Worldview component of TOG has made all the difference.

The book recommendations have been excellent, as well. It is important to me to only read the best books with the kids, and TOG’s booklist is stellar. Add geography, timeline and creative writing components to all this, and it is one incredibly comprehensive curriculum.

Many people avoid Tapestry of Grace because it seems overwhelming at first glance. And it can be. When I was starting out with TOG I kept in mind that I was holding a curriculum meant to cover 12 years of school, from Kindergarten through High School. Although I will eventually use everything in my giant TOG binders, it won’t be all in one school year.

Also, TOG is set up to be used like a smorgasbord. I would never go to a buffet and eat every single item that is set out before me! TOG is the same way. Parents are given option after option of what to do with their children, so no two families will use TOG alike. But no one is expected to do everything…I’m not sure how anyone could!

There are certain elements of the curriculum that we never use, such as vocabulary lists. Other things, like the worksheets, we incorporate sparingly. One week we might do a hands on project, and another week we focus our energy on extra reading. Every week includes history reading, geography, literature, creative writing and timeline work. Yet even within these categories there are a variety of activities, so that no two weeks with TOG are alike for us. We enjoy this variety in our homeschool.

If you are one who feels overwhelmed looking at 4 huge binders, I’d encourage you to try the TOG digital edition. The same amount of information is there, but it doesn’t feel as overwhelming when you see it on a computer screen. You click the things you need and forget about the rest. And you can print as many pages as you care to!

Last year we studied the Ancients, and I found a new reason to love Tapestry. The curriculum places such a heavy emphasis on the Bible that even my youngest children read through a significant portion of the Scriptures that year for history.

One last thing….when I first bought TOG I had sticker shock. It seemed incredibly expensive, compared to what else I had been using. By my second year with the program, I felt differently. I realized the true value of what I was buying.

Go to the Tapestry of Grace website to learn more about the program, or to try three weeks for free! TOG has a lot of online support available. There are several TOG yahoo groups, as well as many links available for every topic in the Tapestry of Grace curriculum.

Comments

  1. I am so excited to pass this link along to a friend who just began using TOG. She just loves it. She was floored when I told her we occasionally get around to History. I bet you understand that! Blessings in this venture.

  2. What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience with TOG. We are getting ready to start TOG in about a month and a half and this post and your post on planning TOG have been most helpful 🙂

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