Our Favorite Books Gift List!

Every year, when Christmas comes around we seem to be looking for the perfect gift to delight our children, nieces, nephews or grandchildren.Here are some favorite books that make wonderful Christmas gifts

We have selected some of our favorites that are used in our Tapestry curriculum. But, these books are not only a part of Tapestry’s curriculum, they are also classics that you will treasure reading aloud to your children and grandchildren.

Picture Books to Enjoy:

The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury has some of the wonderful modern classics that are a delight to read. Wonderful books to give for ChristmasI love having them all in one volume and have given this as a gift to my nieces and nephews!

Ingri and Edgar Parin D’aulaire have written and illustrated some wonderful classics that delight all ages. They combine beautiful illustrations with historical stories that bring history to life in their many books.Wonderful books to give for Christmas These books are used over many of our four year Tapestry cycle and we delight in them every time we come across another one!

James Herriot

We all love James Herriot and his delightful stories about animals. This treasury has gorgeous illustrations and includes so many of his wonderful stories to share with your children. Wonderful books to give for Christmas

Aesop’s Fables:

I love taking the time to simply look at the amazing illustrations in this book. I would get this book only for the artwork, but fables are also delightfully retold!Wonderful books to give for Christmas

David Macaulay

David Macaulay has created some beautiful works of art in his amazing pencil drawings of beautiful buildings.Wonderful books to give for Christmas These books will delight those who love to draw and your child who wants to see how these buildings of history were built.

Kingfisher Atlas:

If there was ever an atlas that you would want to pore over and read each tiny detail, this would be the atlas. It is beautifully illustrated with maps that go from ancient civilizations to modern day countries.

Wonderful books to give for Christmas

It is meant for younger students, so it does not have as many details as your average atlas, but it tells a story through geography that makes it seem alive.

Craft Books:

These historical figures are so much fun to make. They are like more elaborate paper dolls, which will delight both boys and girls!Wonderful books to give for Christmas There are many choices from all time periods of history!

Books for older children:

Homer Price

This book is full of all the delightful adventures of Homer Price. It is lighthearted and funny, bringing many laughs to the child reading it! Wonderful books to give for Christmas

Amazing Leonardo DaVinci Inventions You can Build Yourself: Do you have a crafty young teen who loves to make things? This book provides wonderful ways to try to recreate DaVinci’s inventions!Wonderful books to give for Christmas

Aladdin and Other Tales from the Arabian Nights: This book brings to life the delightful stories from the Arabian Nights and introduces your children to the non-Disney version of Aladdin!Wonderful books to give for Christmas

Some other wonderful classics to choose from:

For more book ideas, check out Bookshelf Central. If you want to see how we fit all these books into a historical timeline, check out our whole book curriculum, Tapestry of Grace.

Here are some wonderful book gift ideas for the children in your life!

Highlighting Supplements: Pop Quiz

Pop quiz is a wonderful set of Cd’s that gives an overview of history being learned each week with Tapestry of Grace.

Pop quiz is a wonderful audio overview of the history we study using Tapestry of Grace

These Cd’s are designed for Dads (or whichever parent is not homeschooling) to be able to listen to them in the car on their way to work so that they can take part of history discussions around the dinner table.

Along with the Cd’s comes a set of cards with questions for each learning level. These questions allow Dad to ask questions of all the students  and engage with them at their level. It also allows him to dig deeper into discussion with his older students.Pop quiz is a wonderful Cd that enables Dad to listen along to the history the rest of the family is learning.

Another thing we have learned from our families is that many moms are also using Pop Quiz. For some, it is just easier to listen to the Cd in preparation for the week, rather than reading the Teacher’s Notes. For others, they enjoy listening to it in the car when they are driving the kids around to different activities. Pop Quiz is an easy way to get an overview of the history the family is learning that week! Pop quiz is a wonderful Cd that enables Dad to listen along to the history the rest of the family is learning.

We love that homeschooling can be a whole family experience! We know that Dad wants to be able to be in on the fun of family discussion time. This tool enables him to enjoy how much his children are learning from being at home. It is also a benefit to moms who want to be able to listen to the weekly overview rather than read the material.

If you want to hear a few weeks of Pop Quiz, go to the week samples and pick a sample week. Here I chose week 1 for you. On the right hand sidebar you can pick a sample to listen to!


Fabulous Educational Gifts for Your Homeschool

Here are so wonderful educational gifts for your homeschool: Ideas from Tapestry of Grace

Every parent is looking for Christmas gift ideas that are both fun for their children as well as provide fun ways to learn apart from their school day. Here are some wonderful educational gifts for your homeschool!

…And no parent likes having junk toys that have lost their interest two days later! Here are some of our favorites educational gifts that will bring joy to your home.

The Big Story Game

This is a fabulous kid’s card game that is geared toward Grammar level students. It helps them review famous characters in history, and the cards are so bright and colorful they will enjoy just looking through them! It is also meant to go along with our early elementary curriculum, Primer.The Big Story Game is a wonderful card game that reviews history in a fun, colorful way!

You can read about different ways to use this game in this post!

Lapbook Kits

If your child loves a good hands on activity, lapbooks are a perfect fit! They are colorful and fun to make. Lapbooks add so much fun to your schooling. We love using them to write about and review history!

Kids love creating their own lift the flap books, and these fit into the fun of what they are learning! They will show these off with great pride to anyone who wants to hear about what they are learning in history.Lapbooks add so much fun to your schooling. We love using them to write about and review history!

Read our review here! At only $15 per unit they are a great deal!

Pop Quiz

This is fabulous extra addition to your schooling. These Pop Quiz CD’s allow Dad to listen along to what the kids are learning.  We love adding these wonderful CD's to our history review!

Or many homeschooling parents keep the CD’s in the car for those days that they need to review history but have a lot of errands to run!

Mini Figures & Accessories

We love making historical mini figures. They help bring history to life and allow kids to recreate the stories they are hearing. We love creating historical minifigures for our Tapestry of Grace history!

Although we can’t sell every piece we make for our own collection, we have been posting a picture of one mini figure a week, so you can see what we create. Any age of brick lover will delight in these pieces!We love creating historical minifigures to go with our Tapestry of Grace history!

Read this blog post to learn where we get all our fun accessories.

Love the Journey

Finally, here is a gift for you or any homeschooling mom in your life. Love the Journey provides wonderful encouragement and help for your homeschool. It gives helpful principles to follow and questions to ask yourself, without telling you how you should homeschool or what curriculum you should use.Love the Journey is a wonderful book full of encouragement for the homeschool parent.As you enter the post-holiday days of winter, this book provides encouragement and gives you fresh vision for what God has called you to.  You can read some of the quotes we have pulled from the pages of this excellent book here!

How to Define your Values to Determine your Homeschooling Goals

If you are new to homeschooling, you have already found that you have to contend with a myriad of choices and voices. As with any new endeavor, you must learn a new vocabulary, involving such words as “modalities” and “fine motor skills” and “unit study approach.” It’s a steep learning curve about a really important topic–your child’s education–and it can be bewildering and stressful!

What you value should be what decides your homeschooling goals.Many different vendors of curricula, leading authors, and well-meaning friends (or relations) may tell you that their program is “the best” or “the only” or “the essential” ingredient to successful teaching and/or parenting. These mentors all sincerely believe what they say, or they wouldn’t be teaching others to do as they do!

But the truth is that there are many different, valid methods that will help you to achieve the general goal of successful homeschooling. So, if you are a newbie, how can you know what to choose?  If you have a newbie in your network, how might you help them to know where to start and what to choose?

It helps to start with the end in mind. The years of homeschooling are well envisioned as a journey, with different phases, many adventures, and an ultimate destination. This journey requires dedication, perseverance, and faith.

Because many of us did not grow up homeschooling or seeing it done, we are like the early explorers or merchants who launched out by sea and land to seek a vaguely conceived prize with only the most rudimentary navigational aids. For centuries, adventurers steered by the stars.

Have you found your “guiding star” for the homeschool journey?

Parents start homeschooling for a wide variety of reasons. Before I go on, remember that all of these reasons for beginning the journey are valid, sensible, and motivational. God has all kinds of ways (some full of humor) of drawing us to paths that He’s marked out for us.

  • Some start the journey as a reaction to life circumstances (from “my child’s Kindergarten teacher was intolerable” to “we are a military family and move a lot”).
  • Some moms start homeschooling because they support someone else’s vision (like “my husband grew up homeschooling and really wants me to, so I am going to give it a try”).
  • Some parents are eager to start, but only see homeschooling as a “get ahead” measure: they plan to homeschool only until their child is reading well, and then put them into a school. For them, it’s a “head start” measure.
  • And then there are the ideologues: parents who homeschool for principled reasons, most typically related to education, religion, and/or family building.

My biggest concern for many couples who are attracted to homeschooling for the more practical (vs. principled) reasons, is that they have not yet crystallized their vision: they may lack a clear sense of why they are homeschooling.  Sometimes, they have no clear vision of what success would even look like. When they are confronted with early schooling choices, they may have no star to steer by.

Given the long-distance nature of the journey and rigors along the way, it’s hard to sustain momentum. You may wonder if it’s even going to be worth it–whatever “it” is!

Moms in their first years of the journey need motivation, need context for making decisions, need trustworthy guides, and need resources by which they can choose the first guiding star that they can steer by. To borrow from a career book title by David Campbell, If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else.

I believe that in most areas of life, couples need to take time to ponder their goals, not just the means that they will adopt to get to their goals. My husband and I have spent hours and hours over the years talking around and through what we want to achieve in our parenting.  We have found we do best when we start with the principles, and then figure out our practices.  Our principles (our values) serve as our guiding star, no matter where the practical affairs of the journey take us.

So, for homeschooling, let me ask you: “What is your guiding star?” Where are you headed? How long do you think it will take to get there? What would success look like? When will you have arrived?

Before those questions overwhelm you, take a deep breath.  Remember, your stars will change with the seasons! Like the constellations of the night sky, different seasons will bring different goals.

Those goals that you crystallize for your grammar-school years may not serve you well in the teen years. As God grows you and your capacity to love and serve, you may find that your guiding stars are quite different at the start, in three years, and in ten years.

That’s OK! Homeschooling is a journey, and the great delight of picking a star to head for is that now you can make choices and gain some headway, instead of being anxious, or knowing that you’re wandering around in circles! You don’t have to know each bend and turn  in the road ahead. God’s guidance is usually more like headlights on a car, illuminating only the path immediately ahead of us, than a map that lays out the whole journey at a glance. That’s where faith and trust get built. But we do need to start. And, to start, we need to pick a direction that we think is good to head. Only then can we begin to say “yes” to some choices and “no” to others!

Supplement Highlight: Big Story Game

The Big Story Game is a wonderful card game that reviews history in a fun, colorful way!

The Big Story Game is a wonderful card game that reviews history in a fun, colorful way!We developed the Big Story Game for the Primer student to add some additional fun to their history studies. But it is a wonderful card game that any child might delight in!

The Big Story Game is a set of cards that covers famous people from history that the kids learn about in Tapestry Primer or over the four years of Tapestry. These cards provide a fun, memorable way to review history and bring the whole family together in their studies.The Big Story Game is a wonderful card game that reviews history in a fun, colorful way!

There are instructions for four different ways to play games with the cards to help solidify the things they are learning. In one game, the student can line all their cards up in chronological order. This helps solidify in your child’s mind the order of historical people. Another option is to play a game where the players have to pair the cards with the other cards that are in the same era. There are some fun options that can be as easy or as hard as your kids need.The Big Story Game is a wonderful card game that reviews history in a fun, colorful way!

The illustrations on these cards are beautiful and my kids enjoy just looking through them and even my youngest loves holding up a card and asking me who someone is. I love how this kind of game promotes learning even out of school time!The Big Story Game is a wonderful card game that reviews history in a fun, colorful way!

If you are looking for a game for your children for Christmas, this is a fun one.Buy it here!