Someone recently asked me if Tapestry of Grace was flexible. Thankfully, yes, it is!
While I was on bedrest for three weeks I couldn’t be up and running around like usual but I didn’t want the kids to go without school for a month. We were coming to the end of Tapestry of Grace Year 1 and I had planned to take some extra weeks with ancient Rome, since there is so much material available.
I wasn’t able to get up and plan a bunch of activities (obviously), but we did keep reading in our books about Rome, and the kids kept up with math, reading, and handwriting. We didn’t do any science since it’s more hands-on, and also skipped music, art, spelling (because we use magnet tiles on the refrigerator for that and I couldn’t manage it), and grammar. Obviously that’s not good for long-term, but for the three weeks I was on the couch, it worked great.
What Makes Tapestry of Grace Flexible?
Of course any curriculum can be edited for bedrest teaching, but the way that Tapestry is set up makes is flexible whether you’re on bedrest or not. Here are a few reasons why:
You don’t have to do it all.
There are a zillion options in Tapestry, depending on what level your kids are and what they like to do. You can read all the assigned readings, or pick and choose a few from each subject. If you’re like us and really really like reading, or are particularly interested in the subject, you can also read the recommended reading list. You can do a few hands-on activities each week, or none. You can build things and make art projects and messy papier mache models, or not. You can use the vocabulary words for dictionary practice or spelling or just talk about them as they come up. Basically, Tapestry offers you a buffet, and you pick what looks good and makes a complete meal for you.
You design your own schedule.
Tapestry gives you a week plan with assignments for all the subjects, but you decide when (or if) to do them. Say you know you have homeschool group on Tuesdays: you assign less work for that day. Or maybe you do all the history reading by Wednesday one week so you’ll have time at the end of the week to use what you learned to put together a book or big model or some other project. Perhaps you get most of your reading done by Thursday because your kids have math or language tests on Fridays. I love how Tapestry is broken down by week, but gives the flexibility to schedule that week however works best for your family. (I wrote more about our schoolwork checklists last fall.)
You can start, finish, double up weeks, or stretch weeks out.
Although Tapestry is laid out in week plans, with 36 weeks making up each year, you don’t have to start at a certain time or spend exactly one week on each plan. Since Tapestry is designed to be used with kids of all levels, there were some weeks when resources for grammar aged kids were sparse (while the older kids’ reading lists were heavy). In those weeks, we just doubled (or tripled) up to keep a consistent level of material. Then in weeks where we wanted to dig deeper and supplement with additional resources, like with ancient Rome, we took longer than a week per plan. If you’re educating children in multiple levels or working with a co-op group you wouldn’t have as much flexibility with the weeks, but for us, this year, it worked out well.
Tapestry of Grace was great for us this year because of the flexible, comprehensive, and in-depth way it covered subjects and helped us integrate ideas between subjects.
Is curriculum flexibility important in your homeschool? If so, how do you maintain it?
Disclosure: I am a Tapestry of Grace affiliate, because we love this program so much! If you click through one of my links, or the ad icon on the right, and then purchase a year plan from Tapestry, I get a credit to use toward future Tapestry of Grace purchases. I just wanted to let you know. :) Thanks for supporting A Spirited Mind!