Homeschooling Simplicity: Simplifying Tapestry

simplifying Tapestry of Grace | classically homeschooling ADHD

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. I’ve been tackling several different areas of our homeschool where I felt the pressure getting a little out of hand, one of those has been our integrated history studies through Tapestry of Grace. Because Tapestry includes plans for all twelve grades and ideas for all the learning styles, it can easily become too much if you try to do it all. It’s meant to be a buffet, where you pick and choose the ideas and projects that fit your family best. Even so, I desperately needed to make a change: simplifying Tapestry has breathed new life into our homeschool day.

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. I’m simplifying Tapestry of Grace, or at least how we use it, to fit our family and our needs right now. One of those chief needs is for short lessons.

Organizing by topic. I’ve begun to prep the unit 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.

Choosing an emphasis. 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}

Simplifying mapwork. 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 by simplifying Tapestry and how we use it. It’s been a breath of fresh grace in our homeschool.

Want an update on our Tapestry journey? Read about the benefits of using a literature-rich curriculum with ADHD/Dyslexia.

Published by Tracy
Our life is creative chaos, and our homeschool is loud and busy and distracted and challenging and lovely. My name is Tracy, and I homeschool my crew of three kids with ADHD/dyslexia, finding creative ways to use their strengths to teach their weaknesses. As a homeschooled homeschooler, I love customizing curriculum and making adjustments to incorporate fun, hands-on projects for out-of-the-box learners. Stop by to find grace for the messes and mistakes, and knowledge to pick up the pieces and make something special. Let’s grow together!

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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