One of the things that we love the most about Tapestry of Grace is the way that it enables the whole family — from the youngest through Mom and Dad — to learn together. Everyone is able to study the same topic at their own level of understanding. This enables everyone in the family to share in the fun of learning together. The weekly topic becomes something that the whole family can share.
How do we do this?
As a unit-study program, we integrate subjects as we study a topic. Let’s take the topic of Ancient Egypt, as an example. Imagine a family of four children, ages 15, 12, 9, and 6. Over the course of a week, the whole family will be studying Ancient Egypt, and that study will teach the subjects of history, literature, geography, arts, and Bible, at a minimum. Here’s how it would work:
When we say whole family, we mean it! Our Pop Quiz supplement provides short, 15-minute audio summaries that Dad can listen to during his commute. Pop Quiz also includes cue-cards that Dad can use to start dinner-table conversations. Of course, this only works if Mom hasn’t taken the audio summaries to listen to while she runs errands with the kids! We’ve also found that Dad should check with Mom before asking the questions — just to make sure they covered the information during the school day.
We want to give homeschooling moms as much help as we can! From our Teacher’s Notes and Discussion Scripts to our Planning Aids, we do everything we can to help Mom succeed in leading her children through an academically rich, biblically-centered humanities education. Our curriculum helps you by providing summaries of what your students will learn in detail. Also, because everyone is studying Ancient Egypt, you only have to focus on one topic for the week! Mom begins the week by introducing the topic for everyone. During the week, she will have time to work with the younger students. In the middle of the week, she will usually set aside an afternoon to discuss what the older students are reading. Toward the end of the week, she will help review and revise the writing assignments for the week.
Rhett (15-year old)
Instead of seething at being named after a character from Gone With The Wind, Rhett is challenged by substantial reading assignments in high-school level books that introduce him to the glories and culture of Ancient Egypt, learning about this ancient civilization and their accomplishments. He will study the impact of the Nile River and how it provided stability and transportation for the Egyptians. Reading ancient Egyptian poetry will give him a window into the daily life of the people he studies. As a rhetoric student, he is challenged to grapple with the Egyptians’ beliefs about the afterlife, and to consider his own worldview and priorities while reading about the showdown between the God of the Israelites and the gods of Egypt. If he wants, he can try his hand at doing scale drawings in the Egyptian style, or mummifying a younger sibling. TAPESTRY includes assignments to help him read, think, and write about Ancient Egypt. During a mid-week discussion with Mom, Rhett will discuss what he has been learning and what he things about it.
As a dialectic student, she also has lots to read in order to prepare for her weekly discussion with Mom. Her studies will emphasize making connections between the Nile River and its impact on the Egyptian civilization. She will learn in more detail about what a civilization is and see how the number of people in a culture, their form of government, their common beliefs, their shared lifestyle, their achievements, and other factors define and unite them. Dia will trace the progression of the dynasties, noting key moments in Egyptian and Biblical history. She will read historical fiction set in the time period in order to help her travel to that time. Dia will get to see how the places and lands of Ancient Egypt formed the backdrop for Bible stories that she has heard for years. TAPESTRY is full of hands-on project ideas to help her bring her studies to life.
As a grammar student who can read well, Graham loves soaking up facts and making a mess. TAPESTRY lets him do both! Upper grammar reading assignments in age-appropriate, full-color books illustrate the world of Ancient Egypt for him. He may be reading the same literature books as Dia (if he can get them away from her). Mom may choose to read them aloud to the whole family, instead. Coloring and labeling maps will help him see where the places he reads about are in the real world. Hands-on projects abound, and are limited only by imagination and Mom’s willingness to clean up messes. From making salt-maps to mummifying a chicken, TAPESTRY families seem to love getting their arms around their studies!
As a grammar student who is still learning to read, little Lois isn’t left out of the family fun. Mom spends one-on-one time with her, and her lower grammar history read-aloud often serves as the “fun part” of a school day that is focused on learning to read, write, and do her math. She can jump right into the hands-on projects that the rest of her family is doing, listen to the read-aloud books that Mom reads, and tell Dad that hippopotamus live in the Nile, as well as ibis and that you can find papyrus there, too. She may even inform him that tomb robbers almost always stole the Pharaoh’s gold from his pyramid.
A Weekly Rhythm
Each week, we emphasize a pattern of reading at the beginning of the week, thinking and discussing in the middle of the week, and writing at the end of the week. Read. Think. Write.
Once the week is finished, Mom can look ahead to the topic for the next week and prepare for another week. Day by day and week by week, TAPESTRY walks with you through the school year, helping you start well and finish strong!