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Is Tapestry of Grace worth the $$ and work involved?

tapestry of grace tog history

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#51 Georgiana Daniels

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:54 PM

I'm planning for fall - 7th & 5th grades. Toying around with the idea of using Tapestry of Grace for the 1st time. I've got what we'd need in my shopping cart and the cost is $582! This is with NO BOOKS in my cart. Then you're looking at the weekly planning that goes into it.


Is it worth it?

What are my other alternatives? I need to plan well for my dd's middle school history. I want to prepare her for high school studies, but I'm feeling completely overwhelmed right now.

Someone, please either talk me out of this or talk me into it. On paper, it looks insane.

Short answer: yes, Yes, YES!

If the price overwhelms, go one unit at a time. That's what we're doing. And we don't buy every single recommended book for each level. I pick and choose so there's a good range of history, lit, art, etc. Plus I didn't order pop quizzes and other add-ons initially.

There's so much to choose from that there really is something for every learner in the family. Even I have gleaned much more from studying with the kids than I did in my own history classes. Plus, you can use everything on the next go-round.

The time spend is WELL worth it. You'll reap the rewards--maybe not immediately, but as with any worthwhile endeavor, the rewards will come.

#52 Georgiana Daniels

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

I love it. We are 3/4 done with year one and I've already bought year two. I've actually already sat down and planned year two. I just spend a week upfront planning and printing and I have no planning during the year. Each weekend I read through the following week's notes. My son does both lower and upper grammar and does all the reading himself besides my reading Story of the World to him. We discuss and map together and I've already picked an activity for each week.

Sounds nearly identical to the way we work it.

#53 bethben


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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:56 AM

I think the bigger question is "Why are you teaching your kids history?" If you are just wanting them to know historical fact, then TOG may not be a good fit for you. On the other hand, if you want them to understand themselves and their relation to God by using history and the faults and successes of others, it is worth the time and money. Here's my example from year 1. My ds who is in dialectic will be studying the Romans. Around week 33 or so, he will be studying how the Romans started to persecute the Christians. He answers why they did it, which emperors persecuted Christians and which did not and what does the word martyr mean. The final question he will answer is this, "Do you struggle with the fact that God requires Christians to suffer for the faith?" He then has to search his Bible to find the grace in the midst of that and who God is despite our struggles. To me, getting a 12 year old boy to think about questions like that is worth the money and time put into a "simple" history curriculum.


#54 fourisenough


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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:25 AM

To the experienced TOG users:
Is there any value in the PopQuiz feature/product for non-TOG users? I am quite happy with our SOTW history and lit for now, but we do enjoy listening/discussing while in the car. Can Pop Quiz be used as a stand-alone to review things we've studied via another curriculum?

#55 Mynyel


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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:04 AM

I love, love, love TOG! I used is last year before I had to start working more hours. However I can't devote the time needed now. I have to work 25 hours a week and won't be able to use it like I want to.

If I didn't have to work though? I'd be on it like white on rice.

#56 Mommyfaithe


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Posted 24 March 2013 - 11:16 AM

It was a no-go for me. I used it back in the "classic" format. I just didn't have the focus and motivation to deal with all of the choices provided and pages and pages for each week to work with. After that I decided that I had to have something scripted for history and literature. We used Sonlight for four years, and of late have been using the Veritas Press programs. Either would be fine for middle school and are more reasonable if you need something more pared down to manage.

Obviously YMMV....

Yep...no go here too. I keep pulling out my Year 2.... And then remembering WHY...it is JUST.TOO.MUCH!!!! And then it is NOT enough either. What I mean is there is content up the patootie....but no depth at that break neck speed. My kids just do not work that fast. And, even when I tried to 1/2 speed through.....we always felt behind or hurried....never at rest!

Veritas Press, WTM, Ambleside Online, HO ....any history program will get you there...and
I figure if I am doing the planning anyway....I might as well do the planning...,kwim?? Also, YMMV as some families LOVE TOG.

#57 Heartsjoy


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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:02 PM

Also, I think you would have to be ok with using the library to do it. Honestly, that is probably one of the main things that has kept me from jumping in. My kids are just spread out enough that they would never hit each year at the right level to be able to reuse the books. One would do year one at lg the next at d and the third at ug. I would have to buy 3-4 sets of books for each year over the course of time. It seems baffling to me how much I would spend long term on books due to that. I like to own all of the books we use. If I was more responsible with the library it might be a better fit for me. ;)

I had this problem too. We're now in our second time through TOG having done year1,2,3,4,1, and currently wrapping up year 2 with a 13, 11,and 9 year old. The way I solved this problem, (starting with kids 3,5,7), was by buying major spine books, multi unit, and multi year books primarily UG because the reading level of the 7 year old could handle these easily. The 3 year old would be jumping in at yr 3 or 4 and miss a lot of the lower grammar in y1. This did happen, the 3 year old advanced rapidly and would not have used a lot of the LG titles. I put our dollars into read alouds, UG, and D level books. Also it is easiest to substitute library books in LG and UG for history. The LG books we did use the second time through were the literature books with excellent pictures and plot lines. These were used for multi paragraph stories using IEW( 3-5th grade). The true value of TOG plays out this year as the 13 year old and I discuss the why's, causes, reactions, and interactions of history at the dialectic level. The main benefit of TOG for me at the LG and UG level was the glance into next week notes that helped me to focus my scattered brain on the one or two concepts I hoped to introduce to my littles all the while teaching them the 3 R's.