Showing posts with label Unit Studies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unit Studies. Show all posts

Friday, February 11, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Curiosity Files-Quicksand

E-Book: The Curiosity Files™- Quicksand - Click Image to Close

It is of common knowledge that when one earns their Professorship, they immediately become a member of an exclusive society (referred to the Super Smarty-pants Club by the rest of us), and when one is a part of such things-it is inevitable that one will cross paths with the more notable individuals, such as the famous Professor Henry Watson (better known as Indiana Jones).  So it is of no surprise then that our precious Professor Ana Lyze has indeed rubbed elbows with Professor Watson-and I am sure she enjoyed every minute of it. After all, such a charming and handsome man draws even the most serious and/or studious lady's attention-regardless if on purpose or not.

And I am quite positive that ensuing unit study on Quicksand was birthed out of her endless discussions with Indiana-especially when he came to the story of how he, and his companions, were saved from the grips of the  "lie-in-wait" death trap of sludge. All swooning aside, I am sure Professor Ana Lyze was able to regain her composure, at least long enough to be spurred on to create a new, and exciting week (or two) long study unit, for your adventure seeking children.
Swaying not from the norm here-this unit provides the same line of activities as the previous ones I have reviewed  [link is to the Pufferfish]. From e-Links to direct websites regarding fascinating facts concerning the subject, Bible verse copywork (KJV) and Bible instruction, math activities, music and games, Fact File mini-booklets, science/craft projects (like making one's own quicksand), a list of relevant books to use to enhance the study,  spelling/vocabulary/writing lessons, and map work.  Basically, enough stuff to keep your children enthralled, all the while they are learning!

The Curiosity Files: Quick Sand is yet another wonderful themed unit study, you are sure to enjoy.  Certainly this is priced right, easy to execute, and a great way to add some "bubbly" to one's regular studies.

Additional thoughts:

My son truly enjoys the activities found in the Curiosity Files [we have gone through a few now].  We were able to read through the main lesson in the guide, and as noted below-create and play with our own quicksand.  Due to the fact we are just wrapping up our Blue Diamond unit, we didn't dabble too long in the mire of this one.  As spring approaches, we will get back to it to see if we can locate some local spots where quicksand if found, and further explore the world of this intriguing goo. For us, we find that by using these, we are able to stave off boredom often found from only doing  the "regular stuff" in our studies.   

image from
Being that our boy is totally into the Indiana Jones series, and that he has seen this movie (depicted above) several times-he knew right off the bat what scene, the Curiosity Files was referring to!  So to capture the essence of the lesson-he grabbed his I.J. doll and set to work testing the new found knowledge of quick sand.

 The fun of the "quicksand" of course, is immersing oneself [almost] fully into it. 
And since Professor Ana Lyze is related to Miss Frizz,
 I do believe we have lived up to her (or is it their?) motto: 
"Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

Professor Walton may never be the same after this swashbuckling experience!
The marble was used to test how difficult it would be to remove something from the goop.

not all of it is Bible based, but there is enough of it in here to earn this

This requires some gathering and collecting of books/supplies,
 but not so daunting that it gets a "run" icon
The older children will require much less assistance for most of the activities

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Curiosity Files-Quick Sand info page
$6.95 eBook download
General age range: 8-13 yrs-but one can surly modify to adjust for younger/older students

Be sure to visit the TOS Review Crew homepage to find out what my TOS mates had to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products.

**The Old Schoolhouse provided me with a free download version of the Curiosity Files: Quick Sand, to use with my children and so that I could write this review. Please note that I am an independent contractor for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine, that said-I have provided my honest opinion of this product regardless of that fact, and did not receive any financial compensation for it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Curiosity Files eBook: Blue Diamond

E-Book: The Curiosity Files™- Blue Diamond - Click Image to Close

Well Professor Ana Lyze has struck again-and it is all glittery and blue in color.  Perhaps she employed the Seven Drarfs [due to their uncanny, and lest we forget-singing the whole day long-knack for digging up gems of importance] to help expedite this interesting unit study.  After all, even a girl who is hard wired for all things off beat and slightly weird [such as Ana], most undoubtedly has a secret need for the sparkles, and shine found in a diamond.

This study dips your budding gemologists into a vat of "geology-knowledge", better known as the time honored, pressure causing method of creating something spectacular. The intent is to glean or "pick" at the interesting facts surrounding the beauty and rarity of a blue diamond specifically, but does touch on the formation of gem stones in general.  Loaded with direct web links, activity pages [such as crosswords, word finds, Curiosity Snippets (lapbook mini-booklets) and more], math challenges, Bible verses [copywork and general reference] and hands on activities [experiments, map work,baking projects, etc.]-your student will discover what it takes to make a rock a gem.  Or just how absurdly rich some folks can be (or dense in my opinion) for allowing their pooch to parade around with one of the rarest blue diamonds known to man, attached to it's collar (yes, true story there folks). It is all there waiting to be unearthed.

After pounding through a rock and gem kit he received for Christmas, my son is now ready to further explore what exactly those rocks are, and how they came to be.   And since we were able to actually see the very blue Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian, it won't be hard to imagine these precious stones at all.  With a variety of activities, my son will learn, and have fun while doing it.  That gets a big "HI-HO" from me!  We're both looking forward to starting the new year with this easy to use, unit study from Ana Lyze's Curiosity Files.

Curiosity File: Blue Diamond info page
$6.95 eBook download
ages 8-13 (can be tweaked to fit ages below 8 and above 13 tho)
KJV is used for the copywork but one could adjust for their own version fairly easily
This could be a 1-2 week study, depending on how often you cover the material.  There is a suggested reading listed, as well as baking/craft projects noted-so you will need to have those resources beforehand in order to properly teach the unit.

*The eBook does not include a blue diamond (so sorry), nor singing dwarfs.  But the Smithsonian Institute does have a project kit called the Rock and Gem Dig, which is another excellent tie in for this unit study.

**The Old Schoolhouse provided me with a free download version of the Curiosity Files: Blue Diamond, to use with my children and so that I could write this review. Please note that I am an independent contractor for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine, that said-I have provided my honest opinion of this product regardless of that fact, and have not received any diamonds or financial compensation for it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Curiosity Files Ebook: The Puffer Fish review

I do believe I have come across Ms. Frizz's zany, and somewhat lesser known (but not for long) cousin-Professor Ana Lyze...who apparently grew up [and earned her degree in all things curious] with the same ideals, and extreme need to explore the unique and somewhat obscure scientific situations, found throughout the Lord's great creation.  She doesn't wear clothing that correlates with her subject matter (thankfully), but that doesn't stop her from her pursuit for the "need to know" about her topic!  

Jam packed with oodles and oodles of info-these are far from "cheesy" or "lame-O".  In fact, I found these [look for 2 more reviews coming soon] to be the BEST ebook unit studies I have had the pleasure of exposing my peepers to! 

The Puffer Fish Ebook is spattered with links to various on-line sites to learn more, quizzes, Bible connections, math, language arts activities, copywork [KJ, but you could easily adapt one to your favorite version. Both print and cursive options available], science lessons, natural history information with extra projects/research [think nature study/journaling here], adorable art/crafts ideas, a ditty focusing on geography, a dash of music mania, and a nice book list to round out the study.  Best yet, they have included "Curiosity Snippets" [lapbook mini-books] to jump start your notebooking needs.  Did I mention the beautifully colored pages and graphics? Well, that is included too. 

Neat facts just abound in this study!  I didn't know a Puffer can tell whether something (or someone) is coming or going past them, and all at the same time! Or that they get all puffed up in a rather curious manner, but not from the way I assumed it was.  These little factoids were quite surprising to learn [but I am not going to share that info-don't want to spoil it for you] and subsequently,  have made it so I will never ponder or look upon a Puffer in quite the same way after learning so much about them!

Best yes, the Curiosity Files: The Puffer Fish touches on several areas, so I know that when we delve into this as a part of ocean study this winter, my son will have many of his core subjects covered. We can literally take a break from our regular routine and just enjoy this Bible-based, analyze it [or should I say, Ana Lyze?], and go forth, exploration of a very curious creature.  Now that is quite puffalicious!

image from

Surf on over to the Old Schoolhouse Store 
to learn more about this great unit study.

$6.95 Ebook download-you will need to print the pages.
Target age range is 8-13 but can be adjusted to fit younger and older students nicely

***The Old Schoolhouse company provided me with a free Curiosity File: Puffer Fish Ebook, to use and enjoy with my family.  I am an independent contractor for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine, but did not receive any financial compensation for my honest review of this item.  It is that puffalicious and excellent, I couldn't help but be puffed up about this great study-for real folks!

Friday, October 15, 2010

TOS Crew Review: William Tyndale: God's Smuggler Ebook from Soli Deo Gloria Resources

Sounds mysterious and almost criminal doesn't it?  "God Smuggler"-well it actually was all that and more. Plus, the penalty for translating and/or smuggling the English version of the Bible into the hands of the "commoners" was death at the stake (with fire, not a potato [sorry just trying to lighten the grim facts here]-so obviously this was a very high price to pay to help spread the Gospel).

So who was this smuggler, and what was the big deal?  Wasn't the Bible always available for the average folk to purchase and read for themselves? Why would anyone care if there was an English version anyway?  Where and when did this all take place?  What is the significance of researching and learning about this event from the past?  Is it still "illegal or life threatening" to own a Bible today?

I can guarantee you this-your children (and perhaps you yourself) will know the answers to those questions and have a greater understanding of the exact details surrounding this God-led step in history, and all in just one week, or there about-as you can stretch it out for as long as need be. 

[image from]

The name William Tyndale should be somewhat familiar to most Christians, and perhaps non-Christians too.  After all, most probably heard of Tyndale House Publishers right? But why should you even consider studying him with you children?  You should, because it changed history and for the better-because of it, the "commoners" all around the world have access to a Bible they can read for themselves. So how can you study him and not take a year to do it?  

Soli Deo Gloria offers a week long, unit study focusing on this great man.  Right off the bat, you are given some good options for ways to introduce William Tyndale to your children (lists of books and DVDs to watch), then it walks you through each day with a variety of ideas,  to go further into depth and learn more. There is no pretense that you must do all the listed suggestions, but rather a more relaxed approach where you are offered enough ideas to keep everyone busy, and focused on Mr. Tyndale for your lesson time. Links to additional sites and activities are duly noted, offering some really good tie-in, hands on projects [like creating a timeline, art ideas, sites with games and quizzes, and even vocabulary work] to cement the information into your young scholars' memories.

This review came along just as we were about to leave for a trip to Hawaii, so I had to whittle the study down to do what we could during the amount of time we had.  I decided to start with one of the suggested books for my son, and so during the plane ride and during down time at the hotel-we read and discussed the story.  Then upon returning, we watched one of the movies and will end our study with another.  We have done some of the coloring sheets (the boy does great if I give him something to "do" whilst I read, so the links to those extras really helped) and the teen did a fun translation activity too.  We have actually looked up some paintings of King Henry VIII to help get a mental picture of the dude that William prayed for, and we will do a few more projects to round out the mini-unit study of Mr. Tyndale.  I plan on pulling it out down further down the road, when my son covers Medieval history, as a refresher.  Both the kids found this to be an interesting side-project (because right now we are in American history); and did enjoy learning about one of the many people who opened the door to get God's Word into the hands of the regular folk.  

If you are looking for something that is easy to do, this is a great option-especially if you are new to the whole concept of the unit study as a way to teach.  Best yet, you can sample William Tyndale: God's Smuggler to see for yourself, if it will suit your family's learning style. 

I have the "run gal" up there due to the fact that you will need to collect some things in order to do this study-but after that-it is an easy project

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Ages: lower elementary to high school
$8.00 Ebook download

Don't forget to see what my TOS mates had to say about this and many other fine homeschool products!  Visit our TOS Crew Review Homepage for more information.

***Soli Deo Gloria Resources provided me with a free William Tyndale: God's Smuggler Ebook to use and enjoy with my family,  so that I could write this review.  No financial compensation was received for my honest opinion of this product.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TOS Crew Review: The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner-Travel the World-June 2010 Module eBook

Traveling is something our family is quite familiar with-but a whirl wind tour of the world? Now that is something totally different. After all, jet setting across the great expanse of the globe, is not only financially impractical, it is well-almost too overwhelming to even consider (at this point in our lives, that is). But the all important skill of finding geographical areas of interest, still abound-one should know where in the world places are-or at the very least, how to find them on a map.  That has always been one of my "must have by graduation" requirements for my brood.  And because geography is one of my favorite subjects, I don't mind delving into the rich opportunities to discover it.  When the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner, June Module 2010 eBook arrived on my computer doorstep [don't let that double date fool ya, each year from July to June the monthly additional modules are available under the current school year-a 12 pack in all-and this happens to be the last of the bunch for the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner], I was quite eager to see what was encapsulated in this fine gem of a product. 

I soon found a great deal of mini-lessons that I could use to jazz up our studies.  It contains information regarding the basics-like "What is Geography?" to the 7 continents and general tidbits about them, to worksheets and word searches to cement the concepts.  It is also sprinkled with coloring pages for the younger child in my home, to copywork [and I love that Charlotte Mason concept] to ideas to expand the study for the  upper level student of mine. I was finding this to be a neat module for us! There are plenty of hyper-links noted, directing us to  sites which will further our research on the topics, as well.  Best of all-there are some lapbook components just itching to be printed and assembled.  Now, if you know anything about me-you know I love to use lapbooking as a way to truly "mind-meld" the material into the kids' heads.  This was a super treat for me-and even though it is not a complete lapbook, it provides enough mini-booklets to start, with links to find the rest of the goodies to complete the study.  I didn't get a chance to try out the recipes in the module yet, but they sure sound delicious, and so we will try to incorporate them into our schooling this fall.  I was quite pleased to see that it starts out with, and continues to denote several Scripture quotes [including some of the copywork sheets] throughout the study, which truly puts this into perspective.  Meaning it hits perfectly upon one of our main goals for our family's education-as we always like to tie in what the Lord has to say about this amazing world He created.

Obviously, this is not meant to be a complete, full head-on study of the subject, but it did provide us with some great starting points.  I can easily incorporate these into our major study of geography, without taking us so far off the beaten path, to the point of losing our main focus on each area.  I look at it as though it is a side-order to the big meal, which makes it that much more enjoyable.  Would I have purchased it outright, if I had not been asked to review it? Yes, if I was new to homeschooling, or if my students have had very little or no prior lessons covering this subject.  If I was not so geography-orientated in nature, or if I needed a basic product to get the study started, I most definitely would have bought it.  Now, since I have walked 2 students through to graduation, am closing in on another [in the next 2 years], and have but one younger student remaining-my shelves are loaded with materials. So most likely, due to where I am in this homeschool adventure, I would not have actively sought it out. But I cannot stress this enough-that is not because I didn't like the material and ideas that the June 2010 Module provides-it is due to the fact I am only purchasing what few things I am missing [and that is not a whole lot-thankfully!], to finish this endeavor.

I strongly recommend that you visit the site to investigate this yourself, to see if it best meets your needs. And don't forget to look over the other 11 Modules in the series-maybe geography isn't your thing, but one of the other subjects very well may be.


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2009 Schoolhouse Planner eBook: Travel the World
$7.95 eBook download, 56 pages.
Ages:  K (some material, better for early elementary and up)-high school
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homepage

Don't forget to check out what my fellow mates had to say about this and many other great homeschool products over on our TOS Review Crew Homepage.

***The Old Schoolhouse Magazine provided me with a free download of the the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner: June 2010: Travel the World eBook, so that I could use this study with my family.  I did not receive financial compensation in exchange for my honest opinion of this product.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Tapestry of Grace- Year 1, Unit 1


There are many methods to be found in the homeschool realm; and often many of us will hop the fence to dip our toes into the pool of ideas, most often used in the neighboring styles. I admit to this shameless activity throughout the years I have been teaching my own. Some I have truly found beneficial to our lessons, so we have kept them-while others were quickly pitched due to them just not meshing with us. We have decided that we learn best using the Charlotte Mason philosophy for teaching and learning, so we tend to pick curriculum and materials that naturally lend themselves to it. A counterpart to the CM method, is the Classical Education approach. Usually they can co-exist nicely together, up to a point. So, when I heard we'd be receiving a Tapestry of Grace product to review, I was quite intrigued. I had heard about this TOG thing for some time, in different circles of homeschoolers, and always wondered what it was all about. I had heard it was unit study (which it is) designed to teach the subjects covered in it, to several children (or just one) who are on different learning/skills levels. That sounded very interesting, but I wondered how I would like unit studies thing, due to being painfully (I have tried a few and wasn't exactly impressed) aware of the downside of them (a lot of collecting of things, organizing and such for mom to do ahead of time)- so I tend to steer clear of them. So I knew this review would be a true test to our prejudice against such things.

Tapestry of Grace was designed by a homeschooling mother with several children who was looking for something that would streamline her teaching and time. Not finding anything, she came up with her own unit study program (I love it when folks do that) and the rest they say-is history. Out of the choices, we decided to pick the unit concentrating on Creation, Egypt, Moses and the Hebrew nation (Year 1, Unit 1). I actually zeroed in on that era because I had several of the suggested books for the study already on my shelf. Now normally, a body would choose their section (or you can purchase the whole year with all 4 units in it), spend time during the "off season" (I highly recommend doing this as this is a huge study that you need to have a good grasp on) reading through all the information packed in the pages, and have the said books bought (at least the core ones) or pre-searched at the library; so that when it came time to unleashing the study on the students-one had a good grasp of it. Under the circumstances though, I had to jump in head first and get moving on it. That led to much confusion on my part, because it was rather overwhelming at times. TOG has admitted that many first-time users encounter a mighty TOG FOG which should dissipate within the first four weeks of use. I couldn't afford that amount of time-so I really pushed myself to get it figured out sooner. After I broke through that wall, I had a pretty good idea of where they were going with the study.

Each Unit is broken down into 9 weeks, subdivided into the four areas of Classical Education: Lower Grammar, Upper Grammar, Dialect, and Rhetoric. The theory with the C.E. method is that you cycle the learning every four years. Therefore, your first grader will come back to that time period again, a few years down the road. This continues until they have graduated from high school. Certainly it is an interesting idea, but I have yet to really grab a hold of this part of the C.E. thinking. I prefer to mix things up a bit; and being that I love history-I like to see more of a potpourri mixture. I find that some areas are not necessarily covered as thoroughly as I prefer, and others are covered a bit more heavily (Roman and Greek) than I want to spend time on. So that causes some friction with me and the program, being that it is styled after the C.E. approach.

I actually have 2 students still in my care, who are at different levels. Due to not wanting to switch my Dialect-aged daughter mid-year on her history studies (and because we have covered this era with her just 10 months ago) I decided to forgo having her partake. Instead, I focused on my youngest child who worked through the lower grammar studies. I have made a point of going through the upper level material, to be able to understand what they are striving to teach the older grades-in addition to focusing on the younger levels.

The Salt Dough Map of Egypt my son and I made

The Tapestry of Grace unit study is laid out in a fairly logical timeline, divided into the four groups-so that you can see which level has what to do. Using good literature, reading books (this is very Charlotte Masonish), worksheets, Q & A time, activities (such as art projects, map work, reports, plays and more), Bible reading (always top priority) and discussion, the students are enveloped by all their activities to learn the subject in an in depth manner. This can be a fantastic way to infuse the knowledge if you have many children and want to keep everyone on the same page, if you will. You still have different levels for the reading material, so that will cause a bit of a switch up; but by having the older students do their work mostly on their own-you free yourself up to work with the littles. For the average homeschooling family (as well as for us) buying every book listed simply isn't economically feasible, so using the local library and its inter loan program is a must. Fortunately, we have a great system here, so I found almost every book listed for the Lower Grammar (and most of the others too) level. Each week had a variety of books to go through, and for the most part, I found them to be sufficient in covering the subjects. I actually added a few (some from the suggested additional books list) others to tie in, and so we had a pretty good introduction to the subject. For the older children, the reading list suggests books which go into more detail, and I thought the suggestions were quite sufficient.

Here is where this mammoth program and I leave each other to head down different, dusty, history trails. Perhaps if I had this way back when I started homeschooling, I would be a bit more partial to it, but alas-that is not so. I also have 2 children with skill levels which are at complete polar opposites of eachother-so it really isn't much help. And as I stated before, I like a switch up between the children-keeps my brain from becoming numb. I also like my teens to have some say in what they are learning in history-so it may not always be what the younger one is studying. And I have shelves (yes shelves) loaded with a couple programs and the books required for them; which have already woven themselves into my heart, are easier to use, and are written in an easy format with which to follow-without and confusion. I just didn't catch the "love" for TOG...I simply didn't. I "get" the overall goal of TOG, the basic idea behind it; and I also understand the basics of a Classical Education. Truly, it is an interesting method, and great for some; but it is simply not our "cup of tea". Additionally, I wondered if not being able to locate some of the books (for the discussions in the upper levels) would almost null and void a major part of the learning. Or if swapping out the majority of the books suggested, due to simply not finding them, would water it down, or leave the instructor spending even more time trying to make it work. I also was not that impressed with the lower levels-some weeks were pelted with a lot to read, others almost nothing. I prefer to have a steady flow of books to avoid the "roller coaster" effect in our studies. And furthermore, I was disappointed with the lack of notes, or information in regard to the Lower Grammar and some Upper Grammar reading selections. At times, we simply read the book...and that was it. I felt like it left me a little flat. To add to mix, my kids are just not into a lot of the suggested activities (dress up and plays for example), so we ran dry on ideas rather quickly.

We were given the new Digital Edition download to review-and because it is on the computer screen, not in my hand, that very well may have contributed to the lack luster response. Being that this is a whole new area for Tapestry, it is still in the "gotta to fix that" stage. I actually had no problem downloading the Lock Lizard program, or getting into it. The problem arrived when I couldn't find the download, as at the time-there was no desktop icon added when uploading it. I simply couldn't find it-I had to search it out every time. The updated version now adds the icon automatically, eliminating that frustration. Thankfully, they have set up an entire page to help explain the newest edition to their line-up to ease your concerns. TOG also realizes some customers simply prefer the printed version-so you can purchase that instead of the DE, if you like. I actually would suggest it, especially if you struggle with 'puter screen fatigue. Perhaps when my youngest ages a bit, I will dive back into this whirlpool to see if I change my mind about it-but for now, our TOG unit will simply remain as a back burner program for us.

or depending on the level of each child

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Now please do not misunderstand me here-this can be an awesome program but you have to know what you are getting into. There is a lot, and I mean a lot of teacher prep, book searching, and expense due to the suggested activities, needed literature, and additional components (which you have to buy, like the writing program, the quizzes and so forth) required to complete the program to cover all the areas (doesn't include math or science or electives) in depth. If you have a large family, then you can justify it by splitting the cost out per child, then figure in the rotation theory (so it gets used again)-in order to come up with a figure that won't make you cringe. If you have one or two children, and will not revisit it again-then perhaps you want to look for something else.

Adding to the above knowledge, consider that you really have to love teaching the Unit Study way. There is no getting around this-as it is a colossal program, which will take a lot of time to figure out, collect items and carry through with. Fortunately, TOG offers many avenues to assist the user. They have what is called the Loom, and there one can find more activities, recipes, helpful ideas, and so forth. There are several TOG Yahoo Groups expressly for sharing ideas, and helping fellow TOGers as they navigate this program. Tapestry stands by their products, and are willing to offer up help as needed. Plus, they graciously offer a 3 week trial of either Year 1 or Year 2, to sample. This is highly recommended, so that you can see just how well it will flow with your family.


Lastly, they are trying to phase out their print versions of the guides. I personally am in favor of printed material for such large programs, so please take this under advisement. You will need to print everything (they suggest a company where you can get it printed for approx. $30-but that is over and above the price to purchase the eVersion they are now selling) if you want to fully utilize all components and there is A LOT to print.

Please visit their site and spend time going through it-as it is the only way for you to see all that it encompasses.

Tapestry of Grace Digital Edition Homepage
DE version-$45 each unit (4 per year) for the first 3 year's worth of units-Year 4 is still in the works
For those who like the printed version they sell a kit which includes both the print and DE version-prices vary
Lampstand Press Store where you can find many of the products they use-including the Units, lapbook,maps, writing aids, quizzes and more- to enhance the studies

Please do not forget to check out the other reviews by my fellow mates, as they may have a different Yr/Unit and a different opinion...head to The TOS Crew Homepage for more details.

**Tapestry of Grace provided me with the free copy of The Year 1, Unit 1 eVersion Guide, in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.

TOS Crew Review: Tapestry of Grace Year 1, Unit 1 Lapbook and The Map of the Humanities download


As mentioned in the main post, Tapestry of Grace is designed to follow the Classical Education method, but in a Unit Study style. As a part of the basic curriculum, they offer many additional choices to complement the program. Out of the choices offered (Literature Anthology, Map Aids, Evaluations, Lapbooks, Pop Quiz, and Government), we decided to review one of our favorite activities (Lapbooking) by selecting that program.

TOG offers lapbooks for the Lower to Upper Grammar (but I suppose a lapbook-loving kid in the Dialect stage would enjoy it too) level students, to complete alongside the core program studies. Each year has 4 lapbooks available (you choose with one you are currently studying) or you can just buy the whole year. If you are not aware of what a lapbook is; basically it is a homemade book designed to take key components from a book or study, and condense the information into categories (which are placed into some type of mini-booklet, such as a matchbook fold, or flip-book) to refer to whenever the desire strikes. Because Lapbooks are naturally very hands-on projects, the necessary work it takes to build it, and research the subjects in order to fill in the various booklets-cementing the learned information into the child's memory-in a non-stressful, and fun manner.

We chose the Year 1, Unit 1 lapbook, which covers Creation to the Egyptians and on to the end of the Moses era. Most of the booklets highlight many familiar aspects of the Egyptian culture and Moses' life. I have our lapbook posted on my Scrap and Lapbooks Blog, so please visit to see what it looks like. I am impressed with the overall content, and appearance of it. I was relieved that it followed along the topics of study in which the actual mini-books were varied, and so were the various folds. The directions were easy to follow, and the booklets quick to assemble. The information you put inside of them is rather easy to figure out, but usually there was no additional pictures (for non, or reluctant writers) or material to place inside the mini-books. I ended up drawing many of the subjects (like the landforms) or found free pictures from the Internet to place inside (like for the 7 days of creation), or used stickers (Noah's Ark) but am still looking for some to use with the Flora/Fauna section. I am not really sure what is suppose to go in the tiny triangle for the Pyramids. Maybe I will find some clip are of the famous Giza 3. Overall it is a nice lapbook and worth the money-especially if you have several children who want to do it.

As an added bonus, TOG now offers these intriguing maps designed to follow the flow of the Tapestry of Grace program. They are charming and fun. One could download them for free to post as a computer desk icon, or print to make a map. They now have a company who prints them in poster sizes for your convenience. I find them to be nicely done, but frankly would not spend money to buy them. I prefer to spend our limited funds on actual atlases or maps that have a wide range of use. But that is my preference, so if you are a major TOGer-then these babies may be rather appealing to you.

for copying and making the initial lapbook (and poss. helping the littles)

for most of the required work

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Map of the Humanities Free Download

Map of the Humanities Posters prices vary $14.95-$24.95

$20 per Unit or $75 for the entire Year
comes on CD which you then print from (Printer Alert here-but not overly crazy)
or buy pre-printed lapbook kits (makes one) for $15 each

Be sure to visit the TOS Crew Homepage because my crew mates chose different levels and supplemental material to review.

**tapestry of Grace provided me with the free copy of the Year 1, Unit 1 Lapbook Guide eBook , in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.