Marcia Somerville, wife of Scott Somerville, is a homeschooling mother of six and the author of the Tapestry of Grace curriculum.
Marcia graduated in 1976 from Kent School, a highly acclaimed classics-based prep school; she received her degree in history from Dartmouth College in 1979. A homeschooling mom since her first child began kindergarten, Marcia found herself ready to quit after 10 years. She couldn’t imagine a way to educate all of her children in every subject.
After a season of tears and prayer, though, and drawing on her own rigorous high school experience and her Ivy League degree in history, she developed a method that integrated the humanities and social sciences into a four-year survey of world history. At first, she used her idea only with her own children. However, after graduating her two oldest sons, she offered to lead neighboring homeschooling families through the same four-year cycle. In serving them, she developed a new curriculum that came to be called Tapestry of Grace.
Today, thousands of families in America and overseas benefit from Marcia’s labor of love. Tapestry of Grace has won many awards, and has brought both joy and quality education to many homes. In Korea, Tapestry has become the model for a new curriculum that the leaders of a 20,000 member church are spearheading. In addition to writing homeschool materials, Marcia enjoys speaking on a variety of topics that encourage and enlighten fellow homeschoolers. Her vision is to mentor homeschool moms in raising up a generation of Christian youth equipped with a deep, apologetics-oriented understanding of the Great Conversation and the ability to contribute to it.
Scott Somerville went to Harvard Law School with five children in 1989 and graduated with honors (and a sixth child) in 1992. Scott was a homeschool activist before he was a lawyer – as the first president of Christian Home Educators of New Hampshire, Scott battled the New Hampshire rules revision subcommittee to a standstill in their effort to triple the regulations on homeschoolers. That brush with the law was enough to induce him to quit his day job as a programmer, put the house on the market, and move the whole family down to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Scott went straight from liberal Harvard to the Home School Legal Defense Association and spent the next fourteen years fighting for homeschoolers’ freedoms.
In October, Scott left HSLDA (with their blessing and full support) to join Lampstand Press in a full-time capacity and encourage fathers as the heads of their homeschools. He is the creator of the successful Pop Quiz audio CDs and a highly acclaimed nationwide speaker.
Scott has written and spoken extensively on subjects ranging from parental rights to the privacy of the home, but his central concern has always been for the homeschool family – especially the homeschool dad. Scott combines his personal experience of over more than 20 years of homeschooling with his professional expertise. After assisting thousands of individual homeschoolers across America, he knows as much about the peril and promise of homeschooling as any man in America.
Home-educated through high school by Scott and Marcia Somerville, authors of Tapestry of Grace, Michael went on to academic success, graduating at the top of his class from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business before going on to complete his Master’s in Science in Systems Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Michael’s professional career in systems engineering and project management encompassed seven years working for defense contractor Lockheed Martin, as well as several years as an independent contractor and as a project manager for a small business. Michael’s home education prepared him well, equipping him with the tools to understand people, communicate effectively, write clearly, build effective teams, and creatively solve problems in the real world.
As an actively homeschooling father of three daughters, Michael and his wife Jessica are second-generation users of Tapestry of Grace and worked together to develop Tapestry Primer, which adapts the principles and practices of Tapestry for families that are just starting their homeschooling journeys. Together, they love raising their daughters to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Home-educated through high school by Scott and Marcia Somerville, Christina earned a BA in Literature from Patrick Henry College in 2007.
Upon graduation, Christina returned to Lampstand as an author, writing a Great Books Literature program for high school students, the beginning of a Literature program for junior high students, and two textbooks. During this time, Christina also edited Marcia’s Love the Journey, contributed to Writing Aids and Evaluations, taught for Tapestry University and Lampstand Learning Center (now Lucerna Academy), and helped to design the Advisor program as the first Advisor Liaison.
In 2016, having completed a “first career” as a curriculum designer, Christina left Lampstand Press to embark on a “second career” as a teacher. The next four years broadened her knowledge of education beyond homeschooling as she taught secular international, public school, SAT prep school, AP, and private school students, while also continuing to teach at various times for Christian homeschool co-ops, Christian private students, and The Potter’s School.
As 2019 ended, Michael Somerville decided to move on from his role as Lampstand’s President, so Christina transitioned part-time to a “third career” as the owner of Lampstand Press. (She also continues to teach because she can’t help herself.)
As the eldest of Scott and Marcia’s children, Nate Somerville was privileged to participate in the creation and development of Tapestry of Grace from its earliest stages. Together with Marcia and his brother Mike, Nate boldly ventured forward into the high school years, blazing the trail that would later become Tapestry. After graduating high school and earning the highest SAT score of all the Somerville children, Nate participated in a two-year scholarship program at Montgomery County Community College. He completed an Associate’s degree, a summer at Cambridge University (England), and a European Grand Tour. Upon his return, Nate transferred to Hillsdale College, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History in 2003. He went on to become an occasional history teacher, a warehouse manager, and eventually a UPS driver. (He liked driving, and said everybody was always happy to see him because he delivered packages.)
In late 2019, a way opened for Nate to leave his beloved UPS truck and rejoin Lampstand Press part-time as a contributing author. When not working as a technical writer or a private tutor, Nate uses his remarkable gift for humorous writing, his vocal talents, and his love of history to bear on the Warp and Weft projects. Working from home offers new challenges and opportunities, but the rewards of more time spent actively fathering vs. driving a truck make every sacrifice worthwhile. Telling his son stories about the adventures and shenanigans of turkey-chickens, dragons, and Pokemon on long car rides sharpens Nate’s already quirky sense of humor and allows him to test his material on a captive audience. After all, space pizza doesn’t just pop into existence from the void.
Ned (Dr. Edward Somerville when we are feeling formal) grew up on the Christian mission field in Mexico. He also grew up with Tapestry of Grace. Ned received his undergraduate degree from Grove City College, taught physics to children at a local school in Pennsylvania, then went on to graduate school at a university in Barcelona, Spain, where he has been living and working for the last several years.
Ned took his doctorate in the History of Science in March of 2021, and was immediately invited to join the Lampstand Press staff. He is a serious amateur musician, a devotee of integrated learning and natural philosophy, and an amazingly gifted curriculum designer.
Ned currently works on a major development project for Lampstand Press: a history-based Math and Science program. Few have ever attempted this unusual approach, but the general hope at Lampstand Press is that these new threads will add a great deal of color, texture, and nuance to the Tapestry of Grace program.
Mark is a professor of IT at two different higher learning institutions (one a college, and the other a respected career center). He has worked with clients like Walmart and James Madison University, but also provides IT support for the nursing home down the street. Mark plays bass guitar at his church, and (our favorite fun fact) can teach robotics. He not only offers us a variety of experience and up-to-the-minute professional skills, but also an endless supply of good cheer. Mark refuses to give up on any tech problem we hand him, no matter how complex. Although a small company like ours would usually be unable to afford his services, he regards us as something of a passion project and also simply cares about helping others, so he makes himself affordable for us. With Mark’s help, we believe we can significantly improve our technical systems while also building a new website.
You are now able to buy Spool Subjects because Michael helped us to reformat and edit them. Michael did Tapestry throughout high school, but we first met him in a Bible As Literature class that Christina taught for The Potter’s School during his senior year of high school. We were so impressed with his attitude and work that we offered him an internship the following year. Together, we designed and taught a year of Dialectic Literature (Year 4) for a large online co-op. Now a college student, Michael has become our Managing Editor. Rarely have we known anybody with a better eye for detail, and we are grateful to have him!
Jarred & Marjorie
Jarred is a wonderful brother-in-law and a fantastically hard worker. Marcia and Scott’s daughter, Marjorie, is now a beloved middle-school math teacher, as well as a talented artist. She is also notable as the first Tapestry student ever to play Astyanax in Trojan Women, and you can see a picture of her as an eight-year-old if you look carefully in Tauna Meyer’s video review of Tapestry. They are working hard for you and enjoying (almost) every minute of it.
We have set up contracts with a few talented Tapestry parent-teachers, hoping to bring you new or improved writing exercises across all ages in 2021! We asked Lesa to begin work on a grammar exercises program for Lower Grammar and Upper Grammar students that would help our children learn history while practicing grammar. She blew us away! Her sentences combine people, vocabulary, and facts from the week in such a way that students can practice all three while learning grammar and also preparing for their weekly History quiz in Evaluations. It’s a whole new level of learning integration, and we’re dizzy with the possibilities!
Emma was raised on Tapestry. She is now a new wife and a new expecting mother who has put her international graduate school plans on hold due to COVID. Emma has offered to help us develop history-based handwriting worksheets, which is another marvelous addition to our new Stitches studies in English Grammar.
God has provided us with Heather, a skilled administrator, writer, editor, and WordPress wizard who is helping us to track down the dozens of details necessary for our website transition. Heather, a mother of four, worked in various administrative roles over the years, before beginning to homeschool her two youngest children.
Sarah has been using Tapestry for fifteen years in her own large family. She has been a Tapestry Advisor for five years, but now she is part of our staff. Sarah deserves a medal for jumping into customer service work during a year of both transitions and new products. She has impressed us with her desire to serve you well even in the face of long hours, technical problems, and a steep learning curve. We hope you will encourage and thank her for her efforts on your behalf!
Long-time Tapestry user and co-op leader Becca has joined our team to help manage the Great Transition! She brings us a wide range of technical skills, an unfailingly patient attitude, and a love for Tapestry that cannot not be bought, but can be received with deep thanks.
Izzy is thirteen years old—our youngest-ever intern. She became Christina’s student when she joined an online Year 4 Dialectic Literature class. Somewhere between Call of the Wild and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, we found out that Izzy is a talented illustrator. She will be responsible for illustrating our new Lower Grammar books, and will also work on our Technistory project.