What is Tapestry Primer?
TAPESTRY Primer provides a wonderful introduction to the TAPESTRY approach to learning through guided, historically-sequenced unit studies. Over the course of the year, Primer covers the highlights of history at a K-2 level for students who are learning to read.
Since students are learning to read, Primer provides parents with a selection of great read-aloud books and enjoyable hands-on projects that introduce history for little ones (and help parents fill in the blanks, as well!) Envisioned as both encouragement for the new teacher and delight for the young student, Primer provides a terrific introduction to TAPESTRY.
Overall, we have found that TAPESTRY Primer offers a simple, conversational, hands-on approach to help you teach history, stories (literature), and geography to children who are still learning to read. Primer introduces younger parents and children to the joys of story-driven learning, integrated humanities studies, and full family education while taking you through the sweep of human history in (your choice of) either one or two school years.
How does it work?
TAPESTRY Primer helps you introduce the high points of Western history to your child using a unit-study approach. Primer provides twelve three-week mini-units, each with three topics (one per week). These mini-units give you focus and help you and your student move through the school year in small, achievable steps. The Primer mini-units are:
- Mini-Unit 1—Eden to Egypt: We’ll study how God created and chose His people.
- Mini-Unit 2—Tabernacle and Temple: We’ll see a Holy God live among a sinful people.
- Mini-Unit 3—Daniel’s Revelation: We’ll learn God’s plan for the rise and fall of empires.
- Mini-Unit 4—Christ and the Church: We’ll see how God brought Jesus at the right time.
- Mini-Unit 5—The Broken Road: We’ll seek God for meaning as we fall into feudalism.
- Mini-Unit 6—Light Dawns: We’ll watch what happens when God’s Word is found.
- Mini-Unit 7—A New World: We’ll search for treasure, adventure, and freedom.
- Mini-Unit 8—One Nation: We’ll struggle for unity as one nation, under God.
- Mini-Unit 9—Growing Pains: We’ll follow the westward growth of the young nation.
- Mini-Unit 10—A House Divided: We’ll see how differences result in Civil War.
- Mini-Unit 11—Engines of Empires: We’ll learn how technology changed the world.
- Mini-Unit 12—A Smaller World: We’ll learn how closely we have become connected.
What comes with Primer?
A lot! To keep it organized, Primer includes the following resources for teachers and students.
The Handbook provides the core assignments and content of the Primer program.
It includes weekly assignments and recommended resources for all 12 mini-units, covering history, literature, geography, hands-on-learning, and memory work.
Each mini-unit begins with a detailed list of the “ingredients” for the upcoming three-week period. This helps you simplify your planning and resource-gathering, putting it all on one page.
For each weekly topic, the Handbook present your to-do-list in a simple, two-page spread. On the left side of the page, we provide the learning objectives for the week. On the right side of the page, we provide the detailed, page-by-page assignments from the recommended books. All you have to do is decide which days of the week to do the assignments!
Because we give you both the objectives and the assignments, you can easily see what we are trying to teach for each subject. At this age, substitutions of books are just fine! If you find (or have) a book that addresses the same learning objectives, you go right ahead an use it!
Let’s face it. Most of us don’t know our history as well as we would like to. That’s why we provide you with the Guidebook!
The Guidebook tutors you in the story of history, helping you — as the teacher — see the highlights of the story so that you can point them out to your student as they learn about each new mini-unit and topic.
Written at an adult level, the Guidebook walks you through the “why” behind the “what” of the story, helping you remember and explain the story to your student. Don’t remember exactly what happened during the Fall of Rome? Don’t worry. The Guidebook is there for you.
For each mini-unit, the Guidebook includes a one page summary chart, showing the major themes of the mini-unit through the lenses of seven “characters”. They are:
- Authority – usually highlighting God’s activity in the time period we study
- People – calling out the main actors on the stage of history
- Good – the aspirations and ambitions of the time
- Evil – the effects of sin and depravity in the world (again, written to adults)
- The Word – the impact of God’s Word throughout history
- God’s Creation – showing where the stage (geography) influenced the actors
- Man’s Creation – showing the role that technology and invention played in events
Many teachers have told us how much they appreciate the easy, straightforward approach that we take to the presentation of the Guidebook material, and how much they enjoy reading it as part of their weekly planning process.
Activity Books (x 12)
The set of 12 Activity Books give little hands something to do while the teacher reads aloud.
These are optional assignments that give students age-appropriate coloring, matching, cut-and-paste, mazes, and review worksheets.
Students have one activity book per mini-unit.
In the digital Primer package, Activity Book pages can be printed on demand for use by your family.
Activity Books provide a nice alternative to some of the messier, more hands-on crafts that we suggest. We believe that children learn best when they can touch and interact with what they are learning, and the Activity Books provide a good way to build basic K-2 skills that are integrated with the stories the students are hearing.
Love the Journey
For most new homeschooling moms, teaching represents a brand-new career. We want you to have a wonderful, rewarding initial experience.
In the Primer program, Love the Journey gives the teacher ongoing encouragement and on-the-job training in the art of homeschool teaching.
Written by homeschooling veteran Marcia Somerville at the request of her newly-homeschooling children, this wonderful book has blessed homeschoolers of all ages.
Love the Journey is divided into five sections:
- Your Homeschool is YOUR Homeschool! (developing your vision and goals)
- Mountaintop Views (important big-picture ideas)
- When You Sit at Home (tips for homeschool management)
- As You Walk Along the Way (tips for teaching)
- When You Lie Down and When You Rise Up (our attitudes as parents)
Whole Books, Whole Family
TAPESTRY Primer, like TAPESTRY of GRACE, loves to use whole, living books to introduce history to our children! As such, we recommend quite a few books and we hope that most of them are available through your local library system.
These beautiful and informative books will enrich your studies and delight you and your children.
For those interested in building a family library, the Primer books typically retail for under $400 and are foundational for future studies with TAPESTRY of GRACE.
In particular, there are several Primer books that are used as “spine” books throughout the program (especially the Kingfisher Atlas of World History).
These books (and others) are available from BOOKSHELF CENTRAL or your bookseller of choice.
Interested in learning more? You can try three weeks of TAPESTRY Primer (a whole mini-unit!) in your home for free.