Category Archives: Ideas and Tips for Tapestry

Ideas and helps for using Tapestry

20 Gifts for Book Lovers

Are you looking for some gifts for the book lovers in your life, or maybe some gift ideas to give to your friends and family. We have collected some of our favorite book related gifts that are unique and beautiful!Here are some great gift ideas for yourself or the book lovers in your life!

Are you looking for some great home decor? These options are all pretty and help express how much you love books, while at the same time looking beautiful, not tacky. Here are some great gift ideas for yourself or the book lovers in your life!

  1. These wooden bookends are so pretty!
  2. Another great option are these pretty metal bookends.
  3. I love this desk organizer!
  4. Fun coasters add so much to your end tables!
  5. I love how this wall clock is both pretty to look at and shows your love of books!
  6. Check out this fun couch pillow
  7. This C.S. Lewis Quote is perfect.

Here are some fun clothing and accessories that show off your deep seated love of good literature. Here are some great gift ideas for yourself or the book lovers in your life!

        1. This book necklace comes with a pretty initial pendant.
        2. I love this ampersand necklace
        3. This is a wonderful collection of classic book illustrations on pretty t-shirts.
        4. This book nerd t-shirt is adorable!
        5. This satchel is a true book bag and is beautiful!

Here you have some fun mugs to drink your favorite hot drink while curled up with your favorite book. I also can’t get enough of those book dishes!

Here are some great gift ideas for yourself or the book lovers in your life!

      1. This mug shows off some beautiful classic book covers.
      2. This mug shows off the beautiful illustrations of Penguin Classics.
      3. This mug goes from a plain black mug to a mug full of books as it gets filled with a hot drink!
      4. These book plates are beautiful and would dress up any table setting!

Here are some wonderful ways to label your books and keep track of what you are reading! Here are some great gift ideas for yourself or the book lovers in your life!

      1. This personalized stamp is both pretty and functional! It will be easy to know who your books belong to.
      2. Being able to label your books is a great benefit, especially when you want to lend the books to a friend. Your biggest challenge with this gift is that the children will take it to play library.
      3. Washi tape is so fun to use to decorate a journal or make a greeting card. This washi tape is so pretty.
      4. Keep track of all the books you are reading with this official reading journal.

With all these wonderful gift ideas to choose from, you should have no problem finishing up your shopping list!

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!

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!

Supplement Highlight: Lapbooks

Lapbooks add so much fun to your schooling. We love using them to write about and review history!Lapbooks are a wonderful supplemental project for many different types of students. It benefits the young writer who gets overwhelmed at writing on a large piece of paper. Smaller lift-the-flap booklets feel more manageable! It benefits the hands-on learner who wants to craft while she writes about what she is learning in history, and it benefits the student who is getting bored with regular writing or discussion and just wants to mix up his school a little bit.Lapbooks add so much fun to your schooling. We love using them to write about and review history!

I have just started adding lapbooks into our school day, and I wish I had started a lot sooner! They have added delight to our school day, and the kits take me almost no time to set up!

Tapestry lapbooks are broken down into units. Each topic has a lift-the-flap type of booklet (or accordion style, or mini booklet…the variety keeps it from getting old). The booklets come with a variety of colors organized in a pretty color scheme.  Lapbooks add so much fun to your schooling. We love using them to write about and review history!

You can either choose a digital version, where you can print each page yourself, which is great for a lot of kids, or you can buy the kits where everything is pre-printed for you. I personally prefer the kits because they save me so much time.

The only thing you have to add to the kit is scissors, and lots of glue sticks as children do not skimp on the glue!

Each unit comes with a set of instructions that are easy to follow. We glued the card stock together according to the instructions and then began cutting out the pages. Lapbooks add so much fun to your schooling. We love using them to write about and review history!

We chose to only do the first few weeks, and have saved the other booklets to add as we come up to those weeks.

As we enter the holiday season, and then move into the cold of winter, lapbooks are a wonderful way to add some excitement back into your school!

You can buy the lapbook kits here. At $15 a unit, this deal is worth every penny!

Sign up for the Newsletter!


We have some fabulous information in this month’s newsletter. Sign up here to stay up to date on all the discounts, coupon codes and information we send out each month! Unfortunately, when you sign up we aren’t able to send you November’s newsletter right away, so we have posted the contest information for your benefit here! At the bottom of this post, there is also a free shipping code!

From the Newsletter:

We are excited to announce to you a contest that will last through the month of November. This year, we are offering prizes for the best pictures of you and/or your co-op with your completed hands-on activities. We want to see how you are enjoying Tapestry of Grace in your homes and groups. The winners’ pictures may be featured in our upcoming 2017 catalog, promotional materials, website, and/or conference materials.

Below are the details for entering the contest, along with what you can win!

  1. Submit a minimum of three photos with the best digital camera that you have. Send the three photos via email to our staff by November 30.
  2. Our staff will review the pictures submitted to decide which family’s entries would be a good fit for our promotional materials.
  3. If we choose your submissions, we may request a few more photographs that we can use and adapt for our needs. We will give you detailed information as to what we need in this regard

By entering the contest, please remember that you will be giving us permission to use your photos publicly. These photos will become the property of Lampstand Press. We appreciate it!

The winning family will receive the following:

  • A digital year-plan of your choice with EVERY related digital Supplement we offer (or digital access to all of the Primer products)!
  • A $25 gift certificate to Bookshelf Central
  • A softbound copy of Love the Journey

We will also select two runners-up, who will receive:

  • A digital year-plan of your choice
  • A softbound copy of Love the Journey



Critical Thinking: the Most Important Skill to Teach in High school

Thinking critically matters. We are bombarded daily with ideas that we may or may not believe, and often don’t stop to examine closely. Training our children to think, and in the process, challenging their thought processes can be difficult, but the benefits are enormous.Thinking critically matters. We are bombarded daily with ideas that we may or may not believe, and often don’t stop to examine closely. Training our children to think, and in the process, challenging their thought processes can be difficult, but the benefits are enormous.

Learning to look at the world with a critical eye helps your student to develop what they believe for themselves, and often helps them to not be swayed by the many deceptions they will face as adults. Giving our kids the tools to think carefully will also help them learn empathy for others’ decisions. Tapestry provides all the resources you need to train your child to think deeply about what they read and gives you, the teacher, the tools to that you need to have these discussions.

Most of us care deeply that our children learn not only the academics of a subject, but how to think about things and process decisions logically. I believe that a study of the humanities, done rightly, trains that processing ability, and that following a good decision-making process is just as important as reaching right conclusions, especially since most decisions we make have many right conclusions. The details of our families, our communities and our lives can differentiate what is right for individuals. One decision may be right for one person, but wrong for another. So, rightly determining what is best within a set of valid choices is very important.

How we get to the answer matters. And, the process influences later decisions.

I have seen this exemplified in the medicine vs. herbal medicine debate that has been raging for the past 10 years. (Please note that I am not trying to enter this debate, but I find that how people handle the different viewpoints is telling.) I have seen two types of thinking typified in two friends:

When one friend had children and started looking into whether she wanted to use modern or herbal medicine, she researched the articles, and evaluated the validity of the arguments both for and against modern medicine. She considered the credentials of those writing the articles, but also looked at what she valued for her family and their specific needs. Ultimately, she has chosen not to use modern medicine on a regular basis, but delves deeply into quality nutrition and working with a certified naturopathic doctor as her family’s regular doctor.

When the other friend had children, she also started researching natural medicine. Unfortunately, her research consisted of Internet searches. She tended to latch onto the most inflammatory articles without questioning the credentials of the person writing the article. She began to believe each extreme idea she saw, and her decisions were based more on emotional reactions than reasoned decisions. This has an overall negative effect on her family, for emotions are powerful drivers, and logic cannot always persuade towards rational actions when they are heavily in play.

This difference in these two friends provides an excellent example of why critical thinking matters. They both did research and came to the same decision to not use traditional modern medicine. But, sometimes the end result doesn’t matter all that much. Rather, how you consider a subject matters and when done well enables you to live life wisely.

We want to raise our children to think wisely about the world around them. They should be able to follow logical progressions in their thought processes. They’ll need to evaluate facts and arguments being thrown at them, sifting them for both truth and value to themselves in their unique circumstances. Every generation faces issues that are confusing. We want to help our children make good choices in life by teaching them to think critically about what they hear and read, and employ a biblical worldview when making decisions.

As your children grow, they may well come to different conclusions than you have about some things. But if they have been trained to think well and critically about a topic, you can trust that they will typically come to decisions that are right for them.

This is one of the biggest benefits of a high quality humanities education. As we read the Great Books, we present our children with many different viewpoints to evaluate. We allow them to wrestle with questions that humans have been asking for thousands of years. And, we help them think about them. We ask them hard questions that don’t have easy answers in order to train their minds to think. This training gives them the tools they’ll need to face their own tough questions in the future and to think carefully about what they meet in the world around them.

At younger ages, when you ask your children difficult questions, they will have no idea how to think about something. They eagerly accept what you tell them to believe. They don’t see a grey scale on any decision: it is all black and white.

But as children reach the dialectic and rhetoric levels, they start to question what they believe and why they believe something. They begin to see that sometimes there is no one right answer. Through Socratic discussions, you help them think logically about the issues at hand and to apply a biblical worldview to what they conclude. You also help them look at hard questions in light of their historical context. Those things all help train their minds to think deeply. You are developing their worldview and thinking skills simultaneously, and it’s the process that you’re developing that will help them make good decisions for the rest of their lives.

If you want help to have Socratic, logic-building discussions with your students, check out our teacher training video that teaches you how to do it.