Homeschooling Simplicity: Simplifying Tapestry

I’m trying to achieve simplicity for the rest of this year and the upcoming year, to give my kids a quality education while allowing us to live life, the life God’s given us. For me, it’s part of my goal this year: to be satisfied with Christ is simplicity, stripping away all of the extra and allowing our focus to be solely on Him and His purposes for us.

Simplifying Tapestry

I love that Tapestry will fit into the Charlotte Mason method well while still maintaining the tenants of classical education that I value. But I am changing the way we do a few things.

The first component of change is a shift to living books, books that touch our emotions, ignite our imaginations, create mental images, and convey ideas. Not all Tapestry’s book choices fit this parameter, so I intend to be much pickier about the books we choose, comparing with those on the Simply Charlotte Mason bookfinder. (Oh, and we don’t have to read every book listed in the curriculum. Yeah, that ought to simplify things.)

Also, I’ve begun to prep the unit as a whole and by topic rather than by week. That means, I request the books from the library for the whole unit, arrange the order we’ll read those books, print off the TOG pages we’ll need to go along with those books and topics, and then close the curriculum and don’t look at it again until the next unit.

This allows us the freedom to maintain short lessons (the Charlotte Mason way) and enjoy the journey. I no longer worry that “I HAVE to finish a book in a single week because we have three more books to start next week.” Instead, when we finish one set of books, we move to the next in my sequence. Sometimes it takes more time, and sometimes it takes less.

I’ve also started choosing our emphasis rather than emphasizing every event in history, as I’ve done in the past. We don’t HAVE to cover the Pilgrims, Catherine the Great, the wars in Europe, and the British conqest of India all in one week. I choose our emphasis and allow myself the freedom to pick another emphasis on the next rotation of history. {allow me to take a huge sigh of relief here}

Last but not least, I’m simplifying mapwork. Rather than a new map each week, I’m choosing one or two maps per unit, depending on what we are studying. Again, I’m allowing us the time to make a relationship and form connections with the places we are studying. Not to mention that it makes my life a whole lot easier.

Let me give you an example here. We’ve spent 3-4 weeks on the map of the 13 original colonies. The first week, I gave Oldest the teacher map and sheets of tracing paper. Each day, he traced the map on the paper. Week 2, he drew his own map while looking at the original. Week 3 and 4, he drew it without looking. The result? That boy knows his colonies! He has a relationship with them; he’s memorized them just from this activity; he perks up in each of our stories when a particular colony is mentioned; he’s never taken more than 5-10 minutes a day on mapwork. Because we stretched this out, he’s had a greater depth of understand and stayed within our “short lesson” rule.

The beauty of Tapestry of Grace, one of the reasons I loved it to begin with, is that it allows for customizing to fit your family. I’m so thankful I’m finally allowing myself to maximize that benefit! It’s been a breath of fresh grace in our homeschool.

2 thoughts on “Homeschooling Simplicity: Simplifying Tapestry

  1. Stacey Marson

    I LOVE reading about all the things you’re doing with TOG and how you’re personalizing it to fit YOU and YOUR FAMILY! You’re such an encouragement to us newbies! Thank you!!!

    • Post Author Tracy

      Stacey, I’m so glad my journey can be inspiring to others. I really appreciate your encouragement.

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