Tag Archives: Organize

How to Organize Your Tapestry Books

Here is how I organize all my homeschooling books that I use with Tapestry of GraceOne of my favorite things about Tapestry is the whole-book education that delights my children. There are so many wonderful books to read!

But, this also means that I need to organize all the books so I know where to find them. I am sure you can sympathize with how frustrating it is to finally get everyone gathered for history reading only to realize that you can’t find the book. The system I use has helped with that immensely.

We have an odd little room in our basement that divides the guest room from the back office space. It would be an awkward arrangement for most uses, but it fits bookshelves perfectly! I store all the books that are not in the unit we are currently using on those bookshelves. To keep track of which books go where, I label the books and divide them up by year and unit.

To label the books I ordered Avery 0.75 circle labels in red, yellow, green and blue. Then, looking at the books on a shelf, I can easily see which year and level they are.Avery stickers

Unfortunately, the labels don’t stick to the spines of books well, so I put clear packing tape over top of them and now they look nice and professional.Stickers on books

I also made myself a handy cheat sheet so that I wouldn’t forget what the colors meant. The following is the color chart that I use, which I stuck on the wall next to the bookshelves.Sticker chart

Top sticker is year:

Year 1: Red

Year 2: Yellow

Year 3: Green

Year 4: Blue

Bottom sticker is level

Lower Grammar: Red

Upper Grammar: Yellow

Dialectic: Green

Rhetoric: Blue

Then I divide the books up by unit and use binders with the unit number to create a simple break.File dividers

Since I use Tapestry Digital Edition, I print up the Reading assignment chart for each week. Then I highlight each book I have on the chart and make any notes I might need. This helps when I update my DE, so I can get the current books for the new levels my children are on, but I can still remember which books I have for previous levels.


I love all the books I have to use with Tapestry, and it fills me with such joy when I see one of my kids pull a book off the Tapestry shelves, just because it looks interesting to them. But I am so glad for a simple organization system since, inevitably, they forget where the books go when they are done!

Managing Those Living Books

librarianFor many of us, it’s the little things that add up to big decisions. The struggle to keep on top of so many different kinds of details while homeschooling can defeat us! Whether you’re teaching academics to host of kids or just one or two, managing all their resources — from sharpened pencils to history resource books — can be challenging, especially when using book-rich programs like Tapestry. (And with those book lists, there’s also the question of expense.)

If these are some of the reasons you have either hesitated to buy Tapestry or have grown weary when using it (a challenge for many of us in this season of the year when spring has sprung but we are far from done) here’s some great advice from a new Tapestry user! Laura recently posted this great idea on one of our great Yahoo support email loops, and it is reprinted with her kind permission:


This is my first year of doing Tapestry of Grace (love it), but I will say that I hesitated because it did seem overwhelming. I’m homeschooling five kids this year, and I really did need something that wouldn’t be too time-intensive or taxing on me, but the strengths of Tapestry kept drawing me. I just wanted to share what has made Tapestry doable for me, with the hopes that perhaps it can help others as well.

I knew that we could never afford all the books, and I also didn’t want to be consumed with library check-outs, inter-library-loan findings, etc. So, last summer I approached my public school children’s librarian with my laptop and showed her my Tapestry of Grace curricula. She was impressed! I knew that our library assisted public school teachers with gathering curricula for their classes, and I asked her to consider whether she would likewise help me, a homeschool mom.

After checking with her bosses and a little more convincing, the library agreed to “service me” for a small fee. That means that I gave her all my reading lists for the year (unit at a time) for all my kids, and she hunts them down and has each week’s books ready for me each Wednesday at the library for pick-up!

What a huge blessing that has been to me! It really isn’t a lot of work for her, because she sits at her database one day a week (usually three weeks prior to my pick-up date for that lesson), places holds on all my books, and the library takes care of the rest. They do it for the teachers (plus, educators here get longer check-out periods – 6 weeks!), and it has worked out well for both of us.

I have no idea if I’m in an unusual situation and just have a remarkable library system, but I’d venture to guess that a good relationship with a friendly librarian might be worth seeking out if you’re looking for someone to help you. I don’t have the privilege of owning some terrific books, but we have saved a ton of money, which for us right now has been a high priority. (And for some of the really great ones, we just bought in the end.) I still have to do the scheduling each week, but having the books at my fingertips each week has been a tremendous help in the process!! Perhaps your librarian could do the same for you?



Weekly Planning with Tapestry

This summer, I had the opportunity to spend time at conferences and explain Tapestry to some great moms. What I discovered was that while many people understood the “big picture” of Tapestry, they didn’t get how to actually sit down and use it in a hands-on way.

That’s why I made an informal video to share with you all how I have walked through a week of planning Tapestry for my family. This seemed to help so many of you that I remade it and mounted links to it elsewhere on the Tapestry website. The embedded copy that used to be here doesn’t play any more, so please try going to: http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/plan to watch the updated one!