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6th Grade

  • Tapestry of Grace

When our kids were in grades 1, 4, and 7 we began using a curriculum called Tapestry of Grace. TOG follows the “classical method” using a 4-year rotating cycle of Ancients, Middle Ages/Reformation, Early Modern and Modern. Based on a Christian worldview, this is the BEST curriculum I have ever used. Having all three of my girls using the same curriculum means that they all cover the same topics and subjects, but each grade level has age appropriate activities and expectations. Each Year Plan can be purchased in digital format (DE) as well as in print. You purchase the lesson plans (instructions) for Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 and then use them over again as you go through each cycle. If you began this curriculum with your child in 1st grade you would go through the 4 year cycle 3 times before he graduates (going through Ancients in grades 1, 5, and 9). The reading books and reference materials will change with each grade level as you go through the curriculum, but you only have to purchase the lesson plans once. You can purchase additional pieces to go along with the curriculum for subjects like writing/grammar, map work, etc. We added our own math and science for the older students and the Tapestry lesson plans provided instructions for everything else...including hands on projects!

At first glance, it can be intimidating. I honestly looked at it for 3 years and didn’t think I could do it, but I eventually figured out that each Year Plan has everything in it for grades 1-12 and I would never “do it all” in one year.   We have now worked with Year Plans 1, 2, and 3 and I can honestly say that we are solid in our decision to use this curriculum until our last child graduates from high school. You even have access to online help including other users and the authors through the Tapestry Forum on their website. Check it out by clicking here...

Text Box: Tapestry of Grace website



After finishing 2 years of American history, we thought we needed more of a balanced look at the rest of the world.  Sticking with our classical education approach, our curriculum was a bit eclectic and we sort of picked a variety of curriculum to cover our subjects.



The Story of the World (SOTW) books work through history as a story in 4 volumes. Year 4 is “The Modern Age: from Victoria’s Empire to the end of the USSR.” We used SOTW as our weekly core reading and then supplemented with various read alouds, independent reading, and many library books on the various themes covered in the book. We actually didn’t “read” the book at all, but used the audio version on CD. Each week on 30-minute drive to a co-op we listened to a chapter or two. Then each student chose a topic from a list I created while reading the book myself, and wrote a report using 2 other sources (SOTW book, internet, library book, or other reference book from our shelves). Each report was accompanied by some sort of visual (picture, paper craft, diorama, etc.) At first I didn’t find the SOTW books to be enough information, but on the advice of a friend, added the written reports and visual presentations and the amount of information my children retained was excellent.



This is an EXCELLENT grammar program teaching grammar from the ground up. It is very thorough and while friends called it “dry” my kids had no problem with the lessons being at least interesting enough to get through without much fuss. (It worked so well that we went on to use it for a few more years)

(Note: we used Rod and Staff for various kids in grades 4-6. When we began to use Tapestry of Grace the oldest was in grade 6 and the youngest was in grade 1 - at that time all kids went to the grammar suggest by TOG. For as long as we have used TOG, we have used the grammar series by Writer's Inc. Lessons are short and even colorful in the younger grades and all have learned grammar by using it in their writing rather than studying grammar for grammar's sake).



After hearing a recommendation for this program at a homeschool support group meeting I had my daughter take the online placement test. Having used Singapore for the past few years, she breezed through the 5th grade exam online.  I contacted Teaching Textbooks and asked them what to do; they suggested giving her the 6th grade placement test. She actually did well on that, but we chose to start her off with the 6th grade version instead of jumping 2 years ahead to grade 7.  This program comes in both printed text and on CD (although we didn’t even break the shrink wrap on the printed version). My daughter went from sort of liking math to loving it. Each lesson had a short animated lecture, sample problems and then the actual working problems. As the student works through and checks each answer, he has the opportunity to get a hint and/or check each answer. When the student checks the answer, the computer walks them through EACH step of finding the answer. Nothing is left for the student to wonder or be confused about. The computer also keeps track of the student’s scores. With a quick glance at the grade book I knew exactly how my daughter was doing and what we might need to work on.  We worked it out so that she had to do odd or even problems and if the grade fell below 80 for 3 days in a row she had to do all problems for the next week. We both loved this program.


·        A word on homeschool co-ops


Not everyone who homeschools chooses to attend a co-op. For our family this was a huge blessing. We had attended a co-op in the past which was mostly for enrichment (fun classes). As my children got older I quickly realized that there was not enough time in my week to fit in all of the educational activities AND the day of fun classes. But I didn’t want to give up on the co-op idea because my kids loved interacting with other homeschoolers. So we simply changed our focus and started with a co-op which offered more core classes. Instead of our day being spent in extra classes, my children made choices that replaced things I no longer had to teach at home.


The co-op we chose met once a week and offered 5 classes each semester. The older kids (junior and senior high) could take science and math classes that were 2-semester classes, but many of the classes were only 1 semester long. So my kids got up to 10 different classes in a single year. The older kids had to take at least 2 academic subjects that replaced something at home. Because they thought science was so much more fun in a group, that was one subject each of them chose at co-op. That could be anything from bugs/animals, rocks/minerals, machines, Legos/K’nex, or even cooking.  From the cooking classes I was even able to hand off breakfast, lunch and most of the dessert making to my kids (it was homework!).


In addition to the large co-op (about 80 families), we also had a smaller co-op on a different day of the week with just 2 other families. This group came together when we wanted our children to take subjects like Latin, grammar, or hands on history projects but we didn’t really want to teach all of the subjects ourselves. 3 moms got together and each taught what she enjoyed best: I took the preschoolersJ. One mom really liked teaching history so she actually assigned the weekly reports and the kids gave verbal reports each week showing their written report and visual presentation. One mom really liked teaching grammar and Latin (not my strong points).  This was a wonderful way to pull our efforts and not have to each teach the same subjects at home separately. The kids also got more out of the group discussions.




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