Mike: As we looked at Tapestry of Grace, we loved the story-driven approach, but found it a bit overwhelming to extract pieces that we could use with three children who were all six years old or under. Our oldest, N—, was a six-year-old first-grader. With a four-year-old who desperately wanted to do everything she saw big sister doing, and an even-younger toddler in diapers, AND with the basic task of learning how to run the daily schedule of a homeschool, we felt that we needed a transition program. If Tapestry of Grace is an educational superhighway for the journey of lifelong learning, we found ourselves wanting a way to ramp up to highway speeds. Then, as we started writing Primer, we discovered that there were some opportunities and advantages in teaching through the whole story of man at an accelerated pace for the first year of homeschool. Honestly, we found that gaps and holes in our own education (Tapestry wasn’t being developed until I had almost finished high school, so I didn’t get to do it then) were being filled in as we went along. We think we’ve gained a better foundation for the future, when we begin Tapestry of Grace for real.
Jessica: I wanted a program that covered a wide sweep of history, to give N— a feel for how the history of the world progresses. I wanted to use whole books rather than a textbook, and I wanted it to be fun and full stories rather than just dates and facts. Neither Mike nor I ever felt pressured to use Tapestry just because our family wrote it: every option was on the table. Yet, when I finished my research in available curricula, Tapestry of Grace came closest to what I wanted. There was still a problem, however: I saw that even Tapestry would be a bit complicated to use with only a first grader (with my 4 year old and 2 year old tagging along). So I asked my husband if we could pull the best lower grammar level elements from Tapestry of Grace so I could use it with even younger children than those for whom it was originally written. I am actually using the resulting Primer program this year, but it is so good and has so much content that I am going to repeat it again next year as well.