When a lot of people start homeschooling, they realize how much an eclectic homeschool program would suit them. They’d like something gentle, something with a Christian worldview, and something that encourages a love of reading. And that is what the Tapestry of Grace curriculum gives homeschool families. In this Tapestry of Grace review, I’ll be asking all the questions you might want to ask about this program.
So settle in with a hot mug of coffee and learn about this cool, eclectic curriculum which might just be an answer to your prayers.
You might also like to know that I’m NOT an affiliate for ToG and haven’t been reimbursed for writing this article. I’m just writing this review for the benefit of my readers 🙂 .
However, in order to maintain accuracy, I emailed the creators of this program to help me answer some of my questions. I really hope you find them interesting and helpful 🙂
What is unique about the Tapestry of Grace curriculum?
Tapestry of Grace is an award-winning eclectic curriculum of twenty years standing in the homeschooling industry. It blends a variety of educational approaches into one integrated program that is both rich and also scaleable (flexible) for an entire family or group.
Traditionally it has been a humanities program (this is the classical education part), incorporating eight subjects which are discussed below.
Why would a parent be inclined to use this curriculum?
Traditionally, Tapestry has particularly appealed to parents who want to study humanities with their students in a balanced, nuanced, eclectic, integrated way, at optionally varying levels of depth, and from a Christian perspective.
Why did Tapestry of Grace begin?
Tapestry of Grace was written by Marcia Somerville in an attempt to reproduce her own robust classical education at Kent School and Dartmouth College for her six children. But, she wrote it in a way that would allow her to both keep her sanity and communicate a Christian worldview.
How many years has the program been running?
Tapestry of Grace has now been running for 20 years and started around the year 2000.
Is the curriculum aimed more towards any particular learning style?
Tapestry tries to cater for many learning styles.
They definitely focus on visual, kinisthetic and aural styles.
They maybe also have a small focus on social and logical learning styles.
The creators of the course said the Tapestry of Grace curriculum can be used in a group setting (social) or by individuals (i.e. a homeschool).
The program certainly contains plenty of verbalization (discussion, writing, etc.) and teaches logical patterns of reasoning/argumentation/writing.
Do they offer hard or online copies of the curriculum?
Tapestry offers both had and online curriculum for parents.
What homeschool methods does the Tapestry of Grace curriculum most closely follow?
Because it is an eclectic curriculum, they follow a number of methods. In particular, the:
- Charlotte Mason – a gentle method that encourages outdoor nature study, testing with narration, the use of interesting living books instead of dry textbooks and so on. You can find out more about the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method.
- Eclectic – an approach that just means they use several other homeschooling methods and don’t strictly adhere to one method. People use this method when they like some parets of an approach, but aren’t that keen on other parts. An eclectic method tries to blend all the best parts of each method. You can read more about the eclectic homeschooling method here.
- Unit Studies – a curriculum that uses this method will get children to study things in blocks of time (say a few weeks). It also tends to be very hands-on, so children don’t get as bored as they do their work. Find out more about the Unit Studies homeschooling method.
- Lapbooking – This is when children make mini-books about things they have learned in their lessons. This is hands-on and children have to cut and paste pictures and put captions beneith them or make small books to show they’ve learned their lesson well. It’s a good way of reinforcing a concept and testing children’s understanding.
- Classical – a method that uses the humanities in the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) to teach primary and secondary aged children.
So, as you can see, the Tapestry of Grace curriculum is a real medley of methods.
Do they offer all general subjects? If not, which do you offer?
Currently, Tapestry offers history, literature, philosophy, government, geography, worldview and church history, writing, and fine arts or activities
Do they offer all grades?
Yes, Tapestry offers programs for all childen (Kindergarten through to age 12).
Does Tapestry of Grace have tutors students can access?
No. But, a number of co-ops, both in-person and online, use Tapestry in the U.S. and abroad.
At least one online school, Lucerna Academy, also uses Tapestry as its core humanities program. Many of these groups are willing to welcome new students.
As such, you would get help with this curriculum from the above sources.
Does the curriculum work well for teaching multiple ages?
Yes. It’s quite flexible across all ages.
Is the curriculum flexible? In what way?
When I asked this question to the Tapestry staff, they gave me the following reply:
It would take a dissertation to answer this properly: the curriculum can be customized in many ways.
When asked if it was hard to catchup if children miss a day, the staff at Tapestry replied, ‘Not especially, no.’
Is it self paced?
You can do the program at whatever pace you prefer, provided you are satisfied with the results.
The curriculum is laid out with 36 weeks as in a typical school year, but many people take off a few weeks or stretch it out or school year-round—again, so many variables.
Does the Tapestry of Grace curriculum come with multiple schedules?
Yes. Tapestry has an optional product that offers five-day, four-day, and two-week planners for Grades 1-6 for all subjects.
Otherwise, the curriculum is laid out as X assignment per week, and each family chooses when to schedule the assignment(s) in their weeks.
How long would it take to complete the work in this course?
That depends on the age/reading level of the student and the number of Tapestry subjects being completed.
Students completing core subjects (History, Literature, Geography, Worldviews/Church History, Writing) in the younger grades might complete their work in an hour or less.
Middle-school and Jr. High students may spend anywhere from two to four hours.
High school students might spend three to five hours.
Is the Tapestry of Grace program specifically for special needs?
Not specifically, but Tapestry has historically been useful to students with special needs because of its scalability and eclectic approach.
It has also been recommended by a group for gifted students.
Do parents need to purchase any extras, supplements, or additional books?
Yes. They need to purchase additional books. But, because these are popular books, you may be able to find them in your local library.
Also, your preferences decide what reading extras you’ll need for the course.
In terms of extras and supplements, a parent’s (or child’s) choice of subjects, their budget, and interests will again decide how much extra is needed.
Is any part of the product reusable (for families who have multiple children?
If purchased in digital format, the curriculum is completely reusable for all children in that nuclear family over the entire course of their school lives.
If purchased in print format, same, but obviously printed pages are more easily consumed/destroyed.
How much planning (prep work like cutting, preparing or copying) is required before parents begin?
Parents usually choose to print out at least some materials each week, but it’s up to them which or how many.
Is the program accredited?
No. It is not accredited.
What support do you offer?
Tapestry have Presentation specialists. These are people who know the curriculum well and are extremely helpful for homeschool parents.
If parents are lost, they can also head to Facebook groups which are quite good at answering questions on the program.
There are also many blog articles parents can read on the topic as well as teacher training videos. The latter are products.
They also have phone support and tech support.
Because Tapestry of Grace has been around for twenty years, they have significant support material available.
How much does the Tapestry of Grace curriculum cost?
Basic Kindergarten package:
$45-85 depending on whether you purchase digital or print.
Basic Year 12 package:
This depends on what is chosen.
Where do you ship your product?
Everything is online, so you can get it anywhere in the world.
What is your website URL?
What is the link to your curriculum shopping page?
Does your organization have any Christian affiliation
Yes. They are Protestant. When I asked this question to the creators of Tapestry, they answered with the following:
Yes. Tapestry was written with a desire to offer a fair and balanced presentation of Roman Catholicism, and it is used by some Roman Catholic homeschoolers.
Is there anything else I should know about Tapestry?
Lampstand Press, which produces Tapestry of Grace, is now developing new suites of products in new subjects.
The Tapestry of Grace curriculum seems to be a great Christian curriculum for families who want to incoproprate the humanities into their homeschool. They aim to take as many good parts of each homeschool method as they can and then make a curriculum of it. I love that they use lapbooking and Unit Studies in the program, aiming to make things a little more hands-on and interesting for students. You can check out the program more on the links above.