Tapestry of Grace and Flexibility

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!

4 thoughts on “Tapestry of Grace and Flexibility

    1. I’m the same way about not wanting to be tied down or given rigid requirements to follow. So it’s been nice to have the resources in Tapestry to adapt, and then I add in our math, science, Latin, handwriting, and grammar/spelling on the side (and those have changed several times as different needs become obvious). That’s another way TOG is flexible, which I forgot to mention. 🙂

  1. Thank you for this review! This was a really helpful post.

    I do like that TOG is a whole-family learning model, and have heard good things about it from a couple of other friends.

    I have a local friend who is planning to use this with her son next year. (He’s currently in public school kindergarten.) I’m not sure if we’ll jump in to a curriculum next year or wait it out a little longer. Regardless, this has definitely increased by interest in Tapestry of Grace.
    Keren recently posted..January in Review: Reading and Goals

    1. Keren, I too am seriously considering TOG for next year. If you decide to start with it, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. It seems like the wide variety they offer will allow for plenty of experimentation.

      But I just wanted to mention since you said you might wait a little longer, I have loved having these two years with Em (well, and now C) to observe her in the activities and lessons (and lots of reading) that we have done. I feel like I have a much better sense of what types of learners they both are (and I am!) than if I had been trying to start with a pre-fab curriculum.

      I’m sure there are better ways of determining such things than trying to cobble together lessons, but for me, it’s been very enjoyable and beneficial. (I’m still trying to convince Em that “school” isn’t just filling out papers at the table, so maybe having an official curriculum will help her relax!)

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