Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Famous Me - Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

Join us as we study Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

Read Online:


Create a Coin Usually a coin has a face on one side and a symbol or other image on the other side. What symbol would you place on a coin to honor Harriet Tubman? What value would you assign to the coin? 

Map the Underground Railroad Using a map, follow the route of the Underground Railroad. If possible, drive to areas that may have been followed. Our family was surprised to learn that it traveled right through our community.

Chart the Stars The Underground Railroad taught slaves to follow the North Star. Take a stroll outside on a clear night and find the Little Dipper and North Star. Talk about how people have used the stars as a navigational guide.

Hidden Journey Write a song or poem giving clues to guide children on a journey through a park, yard or even the house. Place markers along the trail as was done in the Underground Railroad. If possible, send them on the journey at dusk. Depending on the location, adult guides may be necessary. Have someone greet the children at the end of the journey with snacks. Discuss how they felt as they traveled.

Further Information:

History of the song Follow the Drinking Gourd
Follow the Drinking Gourd video

Add to Timeline:

Harriet Tubman's birth - around 1822
Harriet Tubman's death - March 10, 1913
Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery - 1849
Start of the Civil War - April 12, 1861
Emancipation Proclamation - January 1, 1863
Ratification of the 13th Amendment - December 6, 1865
End of the Civil War - May 9, 1865

Use this Famous Me worksheet for a quick place to keep notes about each person studied.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Midwest Parent Educators Conference

This weekend I have the honor of representing Tapestry of Grace at the Midwest Parent Educators Conference.  If you happen to be there, please stop by and say hello!  If you can't make it, check out the Tapestry of Grace page here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tapestry of Grace Review

What it is: A classical curriculum for studying History, Bible, and the humanities. 

How we use it: This year (our 1st with TOG), we are using the hybrid (print and digital edition) version of Year 1 including the Lapbooks, Pop Quiz and Map Aids.  Our children are ages 12, 8 and 6 (times 2).  They fall into the Dialectic, Upper Grammar and Lower Grammar levels.  We recently adopted one of our  6-year-olds. He speaks very little English and mostly listens to our conversations and read-alouds at this point.

Why we chose it:  I wanted a curriculum that we could do together rather than having each child studying something different for each subject.  With this in mind, I wanted something that challenged all of our kids, especially the older ones and incorporated our religious beliefs throughout the lessons.  While at a homeschool conference, we ran across the TOG booth and my husband was immediately drawn to this curriculum that offered him the opportunity to be involved in our daily lessons and met all of my desires.

What I think about it:  It took me longer than I expected to fully own this curriculum.  I wasn’t overwhelmed at first because I didn’t realize all that was available to me.  I simply copied the student pages, printed the maps, assigned the reading and discussed the materials with my kids throughout the week.   After a few weeks, I began to dig and find the plethora of resources available on the loom and through the Tapestry of Grace Yahoo groups.  This wealth of information did overwhelm me and it took me another few weeks to remember the first rule of teaching: you don’t have to do it all and, actually, you and your children will go crazy if you try. 

Now that we are near the end of the third unit, I am thoroughly enjoying teaching with Tapestry of Grace.  Our entire family is learning a great deal of history and putting pieces together to connect the random knowledge we have learned until now.  I would also say that more learning is taking place with this curriculum that presents material chronologically and woven across the disciplines.  I have learned a few tidbits along the way (probably enough worthy of another post).  Every Friday, I set aside some time to place holds on library books for our studies 2 weeks out.  This gives our library enough time to get the books from other branches if needed and I can go in the following Friday to pick up the books.  I also use Netflix and supplement with movies (very good for our English learner).

I have also used this curriculum to develop other skills.  My oldest daughter likes to act and my middle daughter has speech problems.  They work through the Pageant of Philosophy (with help) and perform it for the younger two.  To improve our culinary skills, we often prepare a meal appropriate for that week’s lessons.  In addition, my oldest daughter teaches one of the art activities each week to her siblings. 

What my kids think about it:  They enjoy the history and appreciate that they learn from literature and a variety of sources rather than a textbook.  They also enjoy the ability to do their assignments together. Although they didn’t mention this when asked, I often overhear the older kids yelling such things as “Hey did you know….” or “Wow, this is cool!” as they read their assignments.  That speaks volumes. 

What my husband thinks about it:  He thoroughly enjoys listening to the Pop Quiz and sharing the teaching with me.  However, he listens to the CDs in the car and often has to go back to listen again so he can write down Scripture references.  He would like a resource that offers notes to coordinate with the Pop Quiz information.  Also, there are weeks when I take the lessons in one direction the Pop Quiz takes him in a completely different direction.  He would like for me to know, in general, what he will be hearing on the Pop Quiz so the kids can be better prepared for their discussions with him.

The bottom line:  We will definitely be continuing with Tapestry of Grace next year (and the next few years after that).  This is a curriculum that meets the needs of our family and everyone enjoys it.  In my dream world, they would add science and character supplements (hint, hint).

Just last week, the two older kids finished their 4-week writing project: writing and performing a play. They poured their hearts into this play, complete with costumes, light effects, props and their two younger siblings acting.
Check it out for yourself at

Time4Learning Upcoming Review

I've been invited to try Time4Learning's online education program for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience! Find out how to write your own curriculum review.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flowers for a Family

For those of you who heard the rumors, they are true. Somewhat. Yes, we are expecting a boy. No, I am not pregnant. We are adopting a not-so-little (6-year-old) boy from Taiwan. I plan to tell the story at over the next few months because we are only a month into this process and it has already been an amazing journey. This post is not to tell the story, but to ask for your prayers and love. This little boy needs a home and family and we would love to welcome him into ours. To raise funds to cover the many costs associated with his adoption, my daughters and I are making paper flowers like the one below. We can make these 3" beauties into lapel pins or hair clips and the colors are limitless. If you can bless us by praying, ordering flowers, or sending this along to your friends, we would be so grateful!  You can place your order at Thanks so much!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gearing Up for Year 1 of Tapestry of Grace

In the midst of summer travel and fun, I am gearing up for our family's first year of Tapestry of Grace.  The upcoming school year will be completely different from previous years, and not just because of Tapestry of Grace (that's another conversation).  In some ways I'm sure I have gone beyond necessity, but I am an organizer who has gone too long without organizing.  This has been my list of things to accomplish this summer:
Set up record keeping system: I found Homeschool Tracker to keep track of grades, attendance, and other school related information.  It's simple to use and free.  That's a great combination!  
Sort books: I went through all of our school books and divided them into three categories: use this year, use in the future and sell/give away.  While doing this, I also listed all of the books for this year in Homeschool Tracker.
Order books: After reviewing our library, I ordered books that we needed for our upcoming year.  In addition to the Tapestry of Grace curriculum, I ordered math and supplemental language arts materials.
Learn Tapestry of Grace (my favorite step!): I spent a couple of days perusing my new materials and becoming familiar with how the system works.  I wrote out lesson plans and made folders for each week and put the necessary materials in each week for each child.
Assemble supplies: My girls and I made a list of everything they wanted/needed in terms of supplies.  We sorted through what we already had and then went shopping for everything else.  Each child assembled her binders and put the supplies away in her drawer.
Order books (part 2): Today I ordered all of the literature we will use for the first few weeks of TOG.  I had three browsers open - my local library, my almost local library and Amazon.  I searched the libraries first, then ordered the book at Amazon if neither library had it.
Wait: Now that I have everything together, I will enjoy a week off before we start.  We are all eager to begin!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Home Educating Families Giveaway

Here is your chance to win a bundle of products valued at over $70 to get your homeschool year started right! Hurry - contest ends June 30th!
Package includes:
1. "A Journey Home" from Franklin Springs Media
2. "Beside Still Waters" by Tricia Goyer
3. Well Planned Day Planner, 2011-2012
4. 1 year subscription to Home Educating Family Magazine