Tapestry of Grace Primer for Pre-K through 1st grade is the perfect way to introduce your homeschooled little ones to world history from a Biblical worldview!
Our family has been using Tapestry of Grace for many years, but I’ll be the first to admit there is a definite learning curve when you first start TOG. There is so much to choose from and learning your way around the lessons takes some time.
If you are brand new to homeschooling and are interested in how Tapestry of Grace works, a good way to introduce your children and yourself to the beauty of integrated learning with chronological history at the core is to use Tapestry’s Primer.
Primer is also a wonderful way to give your early elementary students a rich history-based education even if you never move on to “real” Tapestry of Grace!
Before I dive into the nitty gritty of TOG Primer, I want to give you a quick rundown of who should and should not buy Primer because this is important.
You should buy Tapestry of Grace Primer if…
- You are homeschooling early elementary children.
- You want your children to know the truth of history and how God works through it.
- You like the idea of Classical and/or Charlotte Mason educational methods.
- You want to learn more about history from a biblical perspective yourself.
- You want to learn how to discuss and converse with your homeschoolers.
- You are curious about Tapestry of Grace, but feel overwhelmed by it.
You should not buy Tapestry of Grace Primer if…
- You are a veteran Tapestry of Grace homeschool mom – you already know the ropes and this will not be beneficial to you since it is a broad world history overview, not the in-depth version you are used to. (However, you should check out the Activity Books as supplemental material for your younger crowd – more on this in a bit…)
- If you prefer day by day lesson plans. – Primer does not tell you what to do each day, but rather lists the objectives and lessons for the entire week so you can choose what you are capable of fitting in each day.
- If you don’t have time or energy to add to your lessons with outside sources like images on the internet and books from the library.
- If you aren’t a Christian. TOG is decidedly Christian. There’s no way around it – everything is from a biblical worldview, aimed at raising Christians who think and act.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, let’s proceed…
How to Fit Tapestry of Grace Primer Into Your Homeschool Day
One of the biggest issues homeschool moms face is how to fit all the subjects they want to teach into a single homeschool day consistently. If you are completely lost on this topic, I highly recommend you take my class: Creating a Homeschool Schedule You Love
But, I can tell you 2 places where *I* would consider putting Primer in *my* homeschool day…
If I only had little kids, I would put it first thing in my homeschool day.
Basically, I would start out the morning lessons with the Bible reading from Primer and then move on to any corresponding activities and books. I would choose how much to do each day based on what kind of time I had. And then, move on to whatever Math and Phonics program I had chosen for my little ones. And that’s it. End of school day.
If I had a mix of big kids and little kids and I was only using Primer with my little kids, I would put it in the early afternoon.
In case you are wondering what ages Primer is for, most would say PreK – 1st Grade. However, you *can* use it up to 2nd or 3rd grade in my opinion – especially if you are trying to get a feel for how to use Tapestry of Grace before buying the full package.
But, if you have older kids who are doing their own thing and/or you have a well established Morning Time, then I would do your usual homeschool morning routine with your little kids’ Phonics and Math lessons and do Primer in the early afternoon hours.
Now, let’s dig into the content of Primer!
What is Included in Tapestry of Grace Primer?
If you go to the Primer page on Tapestry of Grace, you will see several different individual products, but I recommend you buy the Primer Package. And if you have more than 1 student, buy whatever added Activity Books you need (they come in individual units for $2.50 each).
If you go to THIS LINK, you can check out samples of everything included in the Primer Package!
There are books you will need to buy in addition to the curriculum, but feel free to supplement with any relevant books you have in your personal or public library. And don’t forget to check inter-library loan!
How to Use Tapestry of Grace Primer
When you first get your materials, you will need to read through the Introduction of the Guidebook. Then, take a look at the beginning section of the Handbook to get a feel for how lessons are laid out.
Personally, I would do 1 unit per week, giving yourself grace if it takes longer.
Before each unit, take some time to familiarize yourself with what you’ll be teaching by reading about it from a biblical worldview in the Guidebook. This mirrors how TOG has moms look over the lesson material ahead of time so she learns alongside her students. (If your kids are a bit older, I believe they would even benefit from having you read aloud from the Guidebook to them during their Primer lesson!)
Here’s a layout view of the Handbook you will use to teach the lessons in Primer. On the left are the threads and objectives for the unit. On the right are the actual lessons and assignments for the unit.
What a Typical Day Using Primer Looks Like
- Start your Primer Time with a Bible story and a corresponding Activity page.
2. Choose an activity from the Literature, Geography, and/or the Arts & Activities section. And if your child wants to explore more, LET THEM! This is something you want to be ready for because Tapestry of Grace is VERY good at sending your child off on interesting tangents and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to enrich their homeschooling experience! (Check out the section below on “Making Primer Your Own” for ideas on how to do this!)
3. At the end of the week, go over the Memory words and decide if there are any more activities or books you’d like to dig into on the topic. Plus, make plans for Weekend with Dad activities if you choose to do these.
That’s it! Easy Peasy!
By the time you are finished with Primer, your child will have swept through World History from God’s perspective and you will be ready for the next step in your homeschooling journey!
How to Make Primer Your Own
This is where Tapestry of Grace shines! It teaches you to make decisions and add in anything you want or need to make for a FANTASTIC homeschool education! It acknowledges YOU as the master of the curriculum and helps you learn how to round out your child’s experience with the material.
I have always considered TOG the BACKBONE of our homeschooling, and Primer gets you started off on that journey. (By the way, be sure to read the Love the Journey book included in the package! Such good encouragement and information for new homeschool mamas!)
Here are a few ideas for how to make Tapestry of Grace Primer your own personal educational experience:
You might also want to read my post on How I Plan for Tapestry of Grace so you can see how I add in extras. This might give you some good ideas for how to add in extras for Primer.
- Look up crafts and activities online that correspond with your lessons. Because Primer is history-based, it is easy to find even more fun activities than what are included in the lesson plan.
- Use videos and images from the internet to supplement your lessons. This has been a staple of our homeschooling for many years. If your child shows an interest in something, look up more about it! Show them photos and videos to help them tangibly understand what they are learning!
- Don’t be afraid to tweak lessons! Read 2 Bible stories in one day. Choose a different history book to read. Go on a field trip! Let your children act out their homeschool lessons! Like the full version of Tapestry of Grace, Primer can be the diving board of your homeschool experience. From here, you just have to jump in and dive deep!
If you want to learn more and get FREE SAMPLES of Primer, GO HERE >>