Many years ago when I was just starting homeschooling with my oldest in kindergarten, I learned about Tapestry of Grace from a friend. She had been using it for years and advised me to wait to use this amazing curriculum until I was teaching older grades–like junior high.
Why? It’s because Tapestry is so full of so many incredible things that it can be hard to find your way through at first. Many people describe Tapestry of Grace as a buffet. There is a lot on the table, and you just pick and choose what’s best for your family. But, if you’re brand new to Tapestry, you might not know what’s best to pick.
To help solve this problem Tapestry of Grace now has Planning Aids! I would now encourage everyone to start out with Tapestry of Grace at the very beginning of their homeschooling. (If your oldest kids are in K or 1st grade, then I recommend starting with Tapestry Primer.)
Let me tell you all about Planning Aids.
You purchase Planning Aids separately after purchasing the Year Plan of your choice. There are 2 sets for each Year Plan–one for Lower Grammar (around grades 1-3) and one for Upper Grammar (around grades 4-6). The aids are simply 6 pages a week that tell you what to read and do for your kids.
The first page gives guideline about books and tips for the week. The second page is the 5-day plan. The third page is the 4-day plan. The fourth and fifth pages are the 2-week plan. And the last page is blank for those you need to make adjustments and fill in a personalized plan.
What I love:
- There are 3 different versions of the plans so it can more easily match how your homeschool works– 5-day week, 4-day week (for those who are doing something different one day a week like a co-op or field trip), or spread it to 2 weeks if you want to dig in and go slower with the material.
- They list the books needed each week and tell you exactly which pages to read each day.
- They list grammar, language arts/spelling, writing, and handwriting lessons (some from outside curricula) and tell you which pages or lessons to do.
- They list the supplies needed for crafts or projects.
- There are suggestions for alternate crafts or projects to do.
- They list what pages you need to print.
- They give suggestions for Lower Grammar to do from the Activity Pages of Tapestry Primer if you own that.
- The price is only $12.50 each year!
- It’s only available in Digital format and you will receive the updates each year without having to re-purchase them.
Included in the Planning Aids is a Introduction Guide which is 3 pages long. It gives you specific tips on how to use the Planning Aids to work best with your family. They even suggest that you might not need to use them for long. Some moms will like the weekly specific plans and will continue to use them for all Year Plans throughout their kids’ Grammar years. Other moms will only need to use them for a month or so before they figure out the rhythm and know how to make the decisions they want on what to pick for their kids to learn each week. One thing that’s helpful in the Lower Grammar Planning Aids is that it gives you tips on how to know when your child is ready for Upper Grammar level of work.
UPDATE: I had a conversation with an experienced homeschool mom this past weekend after I posted this review. She has a large family and is expecting a new baby in the fall. She is looking for a curriculum that will make it easier to streamline what she is teaching her kids and asked me about Tapestry of Grace. As I started thinking through how to recommend it to her, I realized what a blessing Planning Aids will be for someone in her position as well! She can focus this first year in Tapestry on learning how to teach it to her junior high and high school students–teaching them to find and follow the lesson plans for literature and history each week and then leading the socratic discussions for them once a week. Planning Aids will be a life-saver for her in working with her younger children since she won’t have to plan out what to teach them!
Let me tell you how I used it:
Next week is Week 34 for us in Tapestry Year Plan 1. The curriculum plan is 47 pages long (because, remember, it includes everything such as teacher’s notes, worksheets, dialectic history assignments, high school literature questions, church history, and philosophy, just to name a few).
The Planning Aids for Lower Grammar for Week 34 is only 6 pages long (as I described above). The first page tells me at a glance what the joint read-aloud book is, what the language arts assignments are, all the book choices for the week, and the ingredients and supplies I need for doing the activities/crafts. It also gives me a Preparation check-list: What page to read for the week introduction, gather the books I want from what what listed above, choose writing assignments and print sheets if necessary, print the literature worksheet for the week, and tells me there are no maps to print this week.
Then, since we go to our Tapestry co-op each week, I picked the 4-day week plan to know the assignments to do while for the days we are home.
I love how helpful Tapestry of Grace Planning Aids are. I truly believe they will help Tapestry be more accessible for moms to get started with the curriculum. Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll be happy to answer them!
Also, there is a Tapestry of Grace Facebook Party next Monday (5/13). Head over and ask any questions you might have. See if the Tapestry of Grace curriculum is a good fit for you or not.
(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Tapestry Planning Aids and monetary in order to write this completely honest review.)