Tag Archives: homeschooling

Pin It! Maps Review

Have you ever discovered a product that answers a need SO perfectly, you just can’t help raving about it? I have wanted to enrich our geography a little more, and I am thrilled to have discovered Pin It! Maps. These maps have added so much fun to our geography, and they are both beautiful and fun to use! My kids and I love combining our Tapestry geography with Pin It! Maps!Using pins to label beautiful maps makes geography so much fun! Read all about Pin It! Maps!

I enjoy geography, and I delight in teaching it to my kids through our Tapestry studies. It enriches their history, and gives them a wonderful understanding of the world. But over the past school year, I have wanted something to enrich Map Aids. My kids benefit from the focus that Map Aids gives during their history studies. But as I have gotten more comfortable as a teacher, I started to look for something that would broaden their understanding of geography without distracting from the focus of our Tapestry geography.

I kept my eyes on different geography supplements over the school year, in case something stood out. Then I heard about Pin It! Maps. Pin It! Maps are large, glossy maps with flag pins that allows your child to label countries, capitals, landforms, or putting country flags on the respective countries. Each category of flags are color coded so you can easily focus on one topic or another.We love using these pin maps to make geography fun!

I received a review copy when we were beginning to study Ancient Greece and Rome in our Tapestry studies. I pulled out the Pin It! Map that focused on Europe, and separated the flags that I wanted my girls to know. Then I tried to have them pin the map weekly, so not only would they know the places they were studying in that particular week, but also they would have a feel for the Mediterranean area. For example, while we were studying Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius for one week, and used Map Aids to focus on those places, the kids had also been spending the whole unit labeling a map of the Mediterranean. My kids now have a better understanding of what happened in Pompeii because they have consistently seen the geography of Greece and Rome.My girls love doing Pin It! maps!

This has been the perfect fit with our Tapestry studies. It allows me to keep our geography studies focused on what we are studying in history, but it also enlarges the scope of the map. It will give them a good understanding of world geography as we move through our Tapestry studies, because although history continues to move on, geography mostly stays the same!

Pin It! Maps has a number of wonderful maps to choose from, but one of my favorites is their Early America’s maps. They are their historical maps, and would have been so much fun to use when we studied the American Civil War last year! I am glad we will cycle through that time period again and I can put those maps to good use.

The Tactile nature of using Pin It! Maps delights all three of my children. It gave them something unique to do, that was unlike any of our other subjects. As a teacher, I liked that I could simply add or remove pins if I wanted to make it more challenging or easier for each of my students. Using these maps could be used for all grades of school, and even I like labeling those maps with the fun pin flags!These Pin it! Maps are so beautiful and fun to use!

I cannot stop raving about the quality of Pin It! Maps. They are so beautiful I want to fill them in!  You will be able to use it for all your homeschool career, and then share it with your grandchildren! The maps are beautiful, large and glossy. They feel thick in your hand. This is not something you can create at home using your printer and laminator. I was honestly surprised how inexpensive they are given the quality of the product! All my homeschooling friends and family will tell you that I pull out the maps when they come over because I have to tell them how amazing these maps are!

I find geography fascinating and I want to pass that love along to my children. I want my children to not just look at a past time in history and judge it according to their worldview. I want them to understand what factors influenced people’s decisions. Geography often plays a much bigger part than we give it credit. Pin It! Maps gives you those tools to understand geography, while having fun learning it!

Disclaimer: I received a free review copy for my use. All comments and thoughts are my own.

Summer Teacher Training

Every year at Tapestry we offer some wonderful summer classes just for homeschool parents. This is a time to encourage you, give you training that you might need to teach some of the harder classes you may be adding this year, and to give you fresh tools and encouragement for the next school year.

These online classes will help you learn alongside other Tapestry parents, while you share tips and advice. Through taking these classes you will get practical help to become a better classical teacher!Would you like some help to be an even better homeschool teacher? Check out our summer online classes!

Some of the classes we are offering this summer:

Read the class descriptions and sign up for one or more classes here!

Be Encouraged: This too Shall Pass

Some seasons are so challenging. God will bring us through these seasons and strengthen us in them.

One Family’s Story: using a curriculum as flexible as your homeschool

Read how one family homeschools while doing competitive sports!I first “met” the Caffey family on Instagram, where Jacquelin posts pictures of their homeschool day, as well as all the competitive gymnastic meets they attend. I was intrigued by how they homeschooled using a whole book curriculum like Tapestry of Grace, while keeping up with all their competitive sports. So I asked Jacquelin if she would mind sharing with me how they shape their homeschool to fit their family. I love how their story shows how they make homeschooling work for them!

Tell me about your family. How old are your kids?

Hi! We are a NAVY family of eight currently residing in the Hampton Roads area of VA. My husband and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage in July and we have six kids, 5 daughters and a little boy, 19, 16, 14, 10, 7, and 2. We are an active sports family who loves watching and cheering for our favorite football teams the SF 49ers and Denver Broncos. Our children are also actively involved in sports as child athletes. Currently we have two competitive gymnasts competing at levels 3 and 9 (Junior Olympic levels go to Level 10), a daughter who plays Varsity softball and runs track, and a daughter who is a Pop Warner cheerleader. Our son is busy trying to keep up with his sisters but he loves to run and play baseball and ride his bike.Meet a family who blends a wonderful academic curriculum with competitive sports!

Why did you start homeschooling?

We started homeschooling eight years ago when we made the move to Virginia. After seeing the price of private schools in the area and the state of the local public schools we knew that it was time to bring our three oldest girls home. My oldest was just going into 7th grade and we didn’t want to throw her to the wolves so to speak by putting her into the local public school. She is our first homeschool graduate and currently attends Liberty University.

How long have you been using Tapestry of Grace?

I have been using Tapestry of Grace with my younger three daughters for the past year and a half. I tried valiantly to switch the whole family years ago when my oldest was entering 9th grade but we all got immediately overwhelmed because I was trying to do too much. As we homeschooled, the other history program we used was too literature rich for my current 8th grader so we slowly made the transition back to Tapestry with great success now.

Why did you choose Tapestry?

I really needed to be on one history time period instead of 4 different time periods. My sanity couldn’t take it anymore and I was getting burned out. Tapestry was a God send for me at the time because I was really down on myself because history was not being done. Now, I know how to better pick and choose what works for each child plus we still get the quality literature I was looking for in a history program.

My favorite subject is the History Core followed by the Arts/Activities. My children learn and retain so much more when we have fun activities to complete. Plus I like to get crafty with them.

The literature selections are also fantastic! I enjoy the buffet now that I know how to make it work for our family. I especially like that I can glance ahead and make the program work for us during our busy travel months for gymnastics. My older daughter competes Level 9 gymnastics. She trains 28 hours a week, 5 days a week. We are able to plan her readings around that schedule. As long as I do my part ahead of time, we can still do history on the go as we travel.

I love how they have made homeschooling work for their families and goals. They have found a way to both encourage their children’s gifts while ensuring that they are getting a great academic education. If you want to know more about how Tapestry can work for your family, check out a sample here.

Encouragement for the Homeschooling Mom

Winter can be a tough season of homeschooling. The excitement of new books, and a new year of curriculum wanes. The holidays are over, and sick days start to happen, adding to the feeling of never being in a good schooling rhythm. As the homeschooling mom, you may be so aware of how you are failing at your earlier plans and ideals.This book provides so much encouragement for the homeschooling mom

Now is a wonderful time to seek homeschool encouragement from seasoned homeschoolers. There is so much help out there to regain perspective and encouragement from other moms who have gone before you. Sitting down with another homeschooling mom, or even talking to one online can help ease the discouragement and give you fresh encouragement to keep on this homeschooling journey.

During times of discouragement, I also like to seek out good books that will remind me of why I started homeschooling in the first place and what my goals were in the first place.These are some of my favorite books that help me with homeschooling.

There are so many wonderful books on homeschooling. One of my favorites is Love the Journey. This is the perfect book to bring your view back from the day to day inadequacies and disappointments you feel. It will remind you of what is most important and how to steadily achieve the goals that matter in life and to your family in particular.This book provides so much encouragement for the homeschooling mom

Love the Journey will give you fresh excitement for the rest of the year, as well as tools to evaluate your own homeschool. It will help you decide if you have really gone off track from your plans, or if you are achieving the goals you want to be a part of your homeschool, you just can’t see that in the busyness of life.

I have taken to collecting some of my favorite quotes from Love the Journey, and putting them up on the blog. I hope you find fresh encouragement to finish your school year well!

This book provides so much encouragement for the homeschooling mom

This book provides so much encouragement for the homeschooling mom