Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tapestry of Grace

Tapestry of Grace is one of those curriculum's that I have heard mentioned and raved about often. It is a literature-based history (and more) curriculum that cycles through a 4 year rotation with different assignments and books for children of various ages. The advantage, especially for a large family, is that all of your children can be studying the same time periods at the same time, but working at their own levels.

This program is overwhelming at first. There is just SO much there. I found it to be VERY mom-intensive, at least at first, but there are quite a few supporting resources and groups to help figure it out. I would recommend that you download and try one of the samples programs on the Tapestry of Grace website. You can try the first 3 weeks of Eygpt or Journey to the New World for free. I think in 3 weeks you will be able to get a feel of the program and if it will work for your family. Be prepared to spend some time figuring it out before you present it to your children.

My oldest child is 8, and the program didn't work very well for us at this time. He was the only one who could really do the curriculum. However, I will put this program on the back burner to reconsider down the road when I have several different ages to homeschool, I can see how beneficial it could be then. I would recommend this program for large families, especially those who homeschool using Classical methods. I would wait to start until your oldest child is 11 or 12.

I received the DE (digital edition) to review, and I would consider buying the print version as well unless you have an inexpensive printing option at home. I am a hands on person and had some trouble navigating to where I wanted to be in the DE. I also didn't like feeling chained to the computer and ended up printing out quite a bit on my own. I liked most of the recommended books and my son thought they were interesting, although some were hard to find through interlibrary loan. You can look over the recommended books for each level before buying the curriculum. Buying all of the books does increase the cost of the curriculum, but if you are using it with multiple children and repeating the cycle later with the younger ones, the cost is reduced.

The DE curriculum itself costs $45 per nine-week unit, or $170 for one year. You can buy printed versions as well for an additional printing charge. One big negative for me is that the curriculum cannot be resold. The policy stated on the website is as follows:

"When you buy Tapestry of Grace DE, you are not buying a copy of the curriculum. You are buying software which grants you the permanent right to use (and print) copies of the curriculum for your family's personal use. LockLizard is controlled by a computer-specific license that you purchase.

Thus, DE products are non-resalable and non-returnable, so it's important for you to read the EULA and play with our Samples before you buy. For no additional charge, network licenses are also available should you desire to have Tapestry DE running on several computers in your home."

I also recieved the lapbook for the Unit I reviewed and it seemed well put together and was easy to use. I see it as a way to better involve your younger children in what they are learning.

If you are LDS, I have written a separate post on Tapestry of Grace presents LDS doctrines here.

You can read reviews by other TOS Homeschool Crew members here.

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