Tapestry of Grace: Overview, Cost, and What It Offers

Overview

1.  Tapestry is based on a classical education.

What is a classical education?

It’s very simple, actually.

  • It is language-intensive—not image focused. It demands that students use and understand words, not video images.
  • It is history-intensive, providing students with a comprehensive view of human endeavor from the beginning until now.
  • It trains the mind to analyze and draw conclusions.
  • It demands self-discipline.
  • It produces literate, curious, intelligent students who have a wide range of interests and the ability to follow up on them.

The Well Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer & Jessie Wise

 

2.  Tapestry uses a unit study approach.

What is a unit study?

A unit study is a collective approach around a core idea. For example, take a time period in history. In a unit study, you would study different subjects around that time in history. Read literature from that time. Study art, artists, composers from that time. Learn about  geography, martyrs, scientists, philosophers, explorers, and other great people, and of course history. History is the main road where everything else branches from.

This is what Tapestry of Grace does. It begins with Creation–the foundations of the world and moves to present day. As with classical education, it breaks history down into 4 major parts. They are divided by Years: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4.

Year 1: From Creation to the Fall of Rome

Year 2: From the Medieval World to the Modern

Year 3: The Nineteenth Century from Napoleon to Teddy Roosevelt

Year 4: From 1900 to Present Day

3.  Tapestry teaches in 3 stages

As in classical education, Tapestry is set up at 3 levels of learning.

  • The Grammar stage (K-6th grade)
    This stage is broken into two parts: Lower Grammar {beginner readers} and Upper Grammar {fluent readers}
  • The Dialectic stage (6th-9th grade)
  • The Rhetoric stage (9th-12th grade)

All of these levels are included in every Year plan. You do not have to buy them separately. They are not sold separately. It’s wrapped up into one package.

So, if you have multiple children, they are learning the same things, but at different levels. You don’t have to shift through different curricula for different ages. It’s all right there, laid out for you.

4.  Tapestry cycles through history 3 times, moving to a higher level each time

If you begin your child in Tapestry at “Grade 1″, or Lower Grammar with Year 1, you move through each Year at your child’s pace. Once your child finishes Year 4, you begin Year 1 again, except this time your child is now in a higher level, such us Upper Grammar or Dialectic. Your child will learn the same basic history, but on a deeper level. Your child will learn new information and process much differently from the 4 years previous.

For example, in Year 1, week 1 Lower Grammar students would learn the basic facts about Egyptians, the Nile River, and Old Testament stories. In this stage students focus on memorizing facts and Bible verses, reading comprehension, building their vocabulary and writing skills, etc. Dialectic students read books in more depth on these same subjects but move from facts to connecting more complex ideas. These students focus more on the logical side of thinking and begin to ask questions about what they are reading. They write papers on a higher level, moving from basic grammar skills to writing more and focusing on the content of their writing.

Year 3 with some of the living books included for Upper Grammar

The Cost of Tapestry

Tapestry of Grace has several components that make up it’s design. And it sells in several ways.

The first component is the lesson plans or Year plans. They come packaged by unit, with 4 units in each Year Plan. There are three ways you can purchase Tapestry which you can purchase by unit or by Year. My examples are for Year 1.

  1. Digital Edition Only – Year: $170, Unit: $45
  2. Print Edition Only – Year: $239.45, Unit: $58.30
  3. Digital & Print Edition – Year: $259.45, Unit: $65.80

The second component is the living books that are listed within Tapestry’s lesson plans. It is important to understand that you do not have to buy every book listed here. You can easily utilize your library or shop used, if you desire. Typically, I begin with buying books that we will be using for 5+ weeks. I then use my library for the rest.  I encourage you to read the article below for some ideas on how you can bring these living books into your home without breaking the bank.

You can look through the list of resources (or living books) by Year and Stage here. It will tell you all you need to know about when and how long to use each book.

Resources

*Homeschooling In Hard Times: Money and Books, Part 1

The third component includes any supplements you would like to add. They are not required. They can include:

For the teacher

I personally highly recommend the Writing Aids component (one time purchase) and the Map Aids (bought once for each Year Plan). If you have young children, the Lap Books are fun, but you could always make your own as well.

This is my case for the investment in Tapestry

You will purchase each Year plan only once. That’s 4 years of purchasing a curriculum for all the children in your home. You may choose to buy as many or as little of the living books or resources as you desire. But in the long run, you will easily get more bang for your buck as you do not need to purchase new texts for each new grade level for every year you homeschool your children.

In addition, the rich, in-depth, and hearty FUN you and your children will get from Tapestry of Grace is easily worth the price tag.  Again, in the long run, you will save on having to re-buy these every single year. Each Year Plan is a one time purchase and covers all the children in your homeshool.

What Tapestry Offers

A common question asked is:

What does Tapestry include?

It includes:

  • History
  • Writing & Composition
  • Geography
  • Literature
  • Church History
  • Fine Arts
    In Dialectic & Rhetoric
  • Philosophy
  • Government

It does not include:

  • Phonics
  • Math
  • Science
  • Grammar
  • Handwriting

This wraps up this part of the Tapestry series…but…

Questions. Do you have ANY questions?

  • http://myhomeinthesmokies.blogspot.com/ Joy Ellis

    This is just what I needed to see. I have been contemplating using TOG with my oldest daughter. I have also looked at Veritas Press and Konos. However, I keep coming back to this knowing I would also be able to use it year after year with my younger kids. Thanks so much for this info!

  • http://twitter.com/hodgepodgemom Tricia Hodges

    Wonderfully thorough review! I love the photo of all the books spread far and wide! I am right with you on the purchase of books that are the ‘spine’ for the unit and getting the rest at the library. Yes, a one time investment for all the children in your home.

  • http://twitter.com/becomingjoyful Patti

    We are going to use Tapestry next year so that I can involve all of my children in one curriculum (they are 14, 9 and 5). I am a little confused by the Loom CD. Is it the lesson plans? How does it differ from the book? We are going to buy the print edition of the book. Thanks!

    • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

      The Loom CD carries extra components to aid you with the curriculum. It does not include the curriculum itself. It’s considered the “framework”. I’ll talk more about it in the next “installment” of Tapestry. :)

       
      Joy In Him,
      Christin

      ________________________________

  • Monica

    THANK YOU soooo much for this detailed description of Tapestry of Grace. It is priceless information to hear it from someone that has used it. I was greatly intimidated by this curriculum even after checking out their website but you have made me a fan. :-)

    • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

      Monica,
      You are so welcome! I am so glad I didn’t confuse you more. That was my greatest concern with writing this. Thank you SO much for your feedback. I appreciate it greatly!!

       
      Joy In Him,
      Christin
      Blog: Joyful Mothering
      Homeschool Blog: Joyful Homeschool
      Twitter: @christinwrites

      ________________________________

  • Michelle

    I have a junior who needs to take another history class. Do you have to buy the whole curriculum or can you just buy one component: history?

  • Melissa

    Hello! Great review. I am currently looking at curricula for my 4 school-aged children. I live in Alaska and we get an allotment for homeschooling. The money we receive is a specific amount for each child homeschooling and it covers curriculum and activities. However, the materials bought cannot be “faith-based”. I’m assuming the lesson plans have “religioius” subject matter in them, so those probably wouldn’t be covered. Whatever curriculum program I chose, I have to go through each component and personally pay for anything “faith-based”, so I’m trying to figure out if TOG would be doable.

    Another concern is jumping into the history part with such varied ages and learning levels. I’m not so sure my oldest would want to study the same history as his youngest sibling, since he’s already studies Ancient times, or example. But, I want to start with year 1 with them all. And, I do like the idea of everyone studying the same history together. Hmmm…. Thank you for your help!!