Tapestry of Grace is a classical curriculum that is amazingly comprehensive and solid. I had a chance to look at a few years ago and wrote an overview of the curriculum, but as part of the TOS crew reviews, I had a chance to revisit it.
This is unit study curriculum is perfect for those teaching to multi-level grades as it incorporates all grades and learning styles. One thing to keep in mind is due to its comprehensive nature; the beginner user should tap into the network of support to assure assimilation of how the curriculum works. It is divided into four one-year plans, and units, and I specifically took a look at Year 3 unit 2, “Of Crowns and Colonies”, which focuses on Colonial America. As with all the units, they are divided into weeks, and the stages of classical learning (lower grammar, upper grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric).
There is a lengthy introduction you will want to read before you plunge in. It explains how to use and includes a timeline of events. As it is a unit study approach it incorporates all subjects except you will need to supply a separate curriculum for Science, Math and Grammar, as well as obtain selected Literature titles from your library.
Of Crowns and Colonies covers the 17th and 18th centuries, specifically targeting early new year colonies and Eastern Europe, puritans, charters and creeds, the age of Louis XIV, the age of reason, native Americans, empires at odds, and the original 13 colonies. It offers plenty of hands on projects, and an extensive reading selection list.
I can't help but be impressed with the quality of development of Tapestry of Grace. There is so much information you are equipped with that it can almost be daunting at first glance. My personal homeschool approach is a relaxed and at times borders on unschooling, so such a structured curriculum scares me just a little! But I dived in and was eager to try some of the lessons and activities with my sons. A little more organization can't hurt me! For those who like organization and the ability to teach all your children with one curriculum, and prefer a biblical worldview approach, TOG is a great option. I actually was surprised at how much I liked having all my kids around the table working in cooperation, and all on the same page. I selected 3 books from the recommended reading list and chose an activity for each boy. We made a salt map of the original 13 colonies, shook up some homemade butter, and discussed colonial kids games. We specifically learned about the Jamestown settlement, and the life of John Smith and Pocahontas. It was fun perusing through the activities and finding something that would appeal to all the kids, and it was a nice break from everyone being off and doing their own individual workbooks and assignments. That was a huge appeal for me with TOG.
With TOG, you have the option of now buying the year plan in digital edition ($170) or hard copy ($225). The digital edition has it's advantages; it saves space, and is easy to navigate, but some people prefer a “real book” to leaf through and reference away from the computer, so for them the hard copy is more desirable. So, it really needs to be considered what works best for you.
Dads want to get involved in what the kids are learning? Then you'll want to check out “Pop quiz”. It is a supplemental CD that summarizes the weekly lessons. Listen to the CD for fifteen minutes, and then Dad will ask questions from included index cards. For example, from Year two, Unit 3, week 26 some of the questions from the grammar level are could a person go from one end of French America to the other with a canoe? If so, how would they they get there? And another question from the rhetoric level, week 27 is how would you describe Johnathon Edwards? How did he affect America? It's dad's chance to hear what the kid's are learning, and the kids get to review and answer questions. What a creative way to get dad involved! Pop quiz is available at the TOG website for $15.00.