How do you choose the books for Tapestry of Grace was a question I answered often as a Tapestry booth hostess at homeschool conventions. A Tapestry of Grace Year Plan offers an extensive list of resources for your family. It is a buffet of wonderful offerings. In our years with Tapestry, we have never read every single book. Tapestry authors offer more than you need to ensure you and your family have the best to choose from.
Question: How Do You Choose The Books for Tapestry of Grace?
Answer: Basically, Tapestry of Grace has done the work for you! However, in this post, I will share examples of how I tailor the Tapestry book list to our needs. I will also walk you through the simple steps of planning – pointing you to Tapestry of Grace plans, the Tapestry website and the wonderful supplier, Bookshelf Central.
How Do You Choose Books for Each Unit? Before each unit begins, I spend a good deal of time planning. I look at the list on the Tapestry site (more detail on using Bookshelf Central, below) as well as the week-by-week reading assignments in my Tapestry curriculum plans. I scan the column indicating the number of weeks we will use a book. The books I notice we will use for an entire year, I likely purchase. I might even purchase a book we will use for an entire unit. I shared more details in Helpful Habit: Preparing for a New School Year.
Cost Justified: Purchasing ‘spine’ books we will use for an entire year or a full unit makes sense. Not only will we use it during this study but the books will be enjoyed again when we repeat the four year cycle of history. Therefore, my younger children will benefit. The investment upfront makes sense. Plus, Bookshelf Central offers a book buy back program.
Use the Library: Isn’t that a given for homeschoolers? The remainder of books for our unit/year, I reserve at the library. About once a month, I review what we might need and spend some time reserving. Then we usually recheck books their limited three times.
I’ve shared lately how much I love to display our current reading on our family room mantel. But I haven’t specifically talked about how much we love those books or which studies they are for. Mostly, the books that we keep in plain sight are for our Tapestry of Grace studies.
See this selection from our Year 4 studies last year? Because of the ages and stages of our children, we often have books ranging from Lower Grammar all the way to Rhetoric level.
There is always something good to read – books to appeal to the age range from four to 17.
Selection of Year 2, Unit 2 history, literature, arts and activities. Each Tapestry unit is rich with living books.
Books for Tapestry of Grace Alternate resource list
Tapestry plans provide you with an alternate list of books in case you are unable to find the first selection at your library. I often already have the books listed on the alternate resource page in each week’s reading. For years 3 and 4, Story of the World was listed as an alternate resource. Already had that on my shelf!
Eldest reading Invitation to the Classics and The Church in History for Year 2, Unit 2.
Bookshelf Central is the spot to load your online cart with books
- select the books you need for all learning levels the entire year or
- fill your cart with just the books you will need for your grammar students for unit one
- create a tailored selection just for your family
- just purchase your ‘spine’ books for the unit or year
- simply view the list of all the resources for the year you are studying – just to get your bearings
Visit Bookshelf Central here.
Buying Guide and Your Online Guide – Grace
The online cartoon character, Grace, leads you through the Buying Guide step by step. Everything you need for your full year – or just a unit at a time – for all your children. Select just grammar books for one unit. Maybe you’d like to see the list of dialectic books for the year. You can browse, clear your cart, go back a step, do whatever you like. Friendly cartoon, Grace, is there to help you through the process.
Can you tell we love Tapestry of Grace books? So much so, in addition to the mantel, we’ve designated one of our new IKEA Expedit shelves for notebooks, Writing Aids, Church History, lapbook storage, Map Aids and more. Just so our Tapestry books are easier to reach and enjoy. Stop back by on Friday when I share our Tapestry of Grace bookshelf in the continuing homeschool makeover series.
- Why do we love this curriculum and the accompanying books? Read my Tapestry of Grace review at The Curriculum Choice.
- All our Tapestry resources in one page
- The Hodgepodge Tapestry tab
- Our Long Haul Homeschool Curriculum Choices
Do you have questions about Tapestry of Grace?
-originally published March 2012
Barb-Harmony Art Mom says
Really nicely written and organized post on this topic. It can be overwhelming to see all the choices in TOG but once you figure out how to choose to fit your family it is a great tool. We are in our last year….can you even think that far ahead? 🙂
Thank you Barb. I agree – it just takes some practice to learn what is best for your family. Last year…wow. I can maybe think of last years with my eldest but I’m going to be starting a high schooler on one end and my Pre-K little guy on the other end. A wide range of blessings 🙂
Terri Monteverdi says
Thanks so much for all your posts on TOG. I’m blessed with 6 kiddos ranging from 13 months – 14 yrs. I’m seriously considering TOG and reading your posts has given me some incredibly helpful insight! Seems like a lot of planning to get started but easier as time passes – I love the exposure to literature that TOG offers – thanks for helping me to understand that it is completely doable with my fabulous half-dozen!
Would you mind telling me how you put together your Tapestry notebooks? What do you have in them? And also, how much of the printed information do you read to your grammar students or do you rely only on the suggested books for them?
Jackie – annually – over the summer – I spend some time printing the pages we will need for each child. I print the student activity pages from the DE Tapestry. Now, over the last year, I’ve started using the more general notebooking pages from http://notebookingpages.com/ But, basically, I spend about a week. I scroll through the DE and print for 15 minutes in the morning. Then in the afternoon I spend 15 minutes three-hole punching for the three-ring binders for each child. I have sections in their notebooks for map work, completed work. All those things that are suggested on the Loom.
The printed information…are you talking about the teacher notes? I do not read much of that at all to my grammar students. Rather, we spend time on the read alouds and literature and other complimentary activities suggested. Yes, the suggested book list. Great questions Jackie! I may updated over the summer with how I prepare for a new Tapestry year. Hope this helps!
I have another question…lol!!
You said that yall used the SOTW books you already has spines for several years even though they were listed as an alternate resource. I would like to do the same because we have really enjoyed SOTW Ancients this year, but my girls are in 4th and 6th grades. Do you think that they are just getting too old for SOTW? I am very torn about this because I know that TOG offers so much to supplement, but at the same time I don’t want to hold them back or spoon feed them. Just not sure what I should do. Any advice you can give me would be helpful!!
Thanks so much!!
I am planning on using TOG year 4 for our next school year beginning in July. I purchased two units of year 2 a few years ago but did not feel like it was a good fit at that time. I think next year will be better one I have one LG, UG and Pre K student. My question is how far in advance do you think I should purchase my materials. Now that I have the time I am going through the units I purchased from Year 2. I see the big picture but at the time for some reason it didn’t make sense. Thanks for tapestry website and bloggers like you it makes better sense. I am now ready to begin purchasing materials. On the other hand I wonder if I should wait until its closer to the next school year. If I purchase so far in advance will I remember how I set everything up? (Does that make sense?)
Tiffany – I think you will remember how you set everything up – if you are in the planning mode – go for it!
Love your blog!! Great information and helpful advice!! I wanted to ask about books! I am a devout Catholic and am very interested in TOG. I was curious if anyone has ever asked you about supplementing specific books that have a Catholic World View or if you feel it would be possible with the lesson plans to use a different book than suggested? I just love your break down and all the info you have provided other homeschooling mom!!!
Thanks so much
Rhianon – Thanks so much for your kind words! Though I do not have any experience with supplementing with Catholic resources, the beauty of homeschooling is that it is just that – homeschooling! So, ultimately we can supplement and teach in the way that is very best for our own families. With Tapestry of Grace it is so very rich in resources – long lists of possible books! I am sure you can substitute and tweak it so it is best for you. Hope that helps – blessings, Tricia
Kinslea D. says
I, as a homeschooling mom, used to do TOG with my kids. We bought a ton of the books. Now, we are reselling them for low prices on eBay for those of you who are looking to do this curriculum within a budget. Almost all the books have only been read once or twice, so most all of them are in brand new condition! We also offer shipping discounts on multiple items. Check out my eBay store if you are searching for particular books: http://stores.ebay.com/1689cof.