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Mike and Jessica Somerville wrote this program as a gentle introduction to (and preparation for) the full Tapestry curriculum. It is written to be interactive and easy-paced. Primer offers a simple, conversational, hands-on and game-oriented approach to history. It introduces young parents and children to the joys of story-driven learning, integrated humanities studies, and full family education while taking them through a survey of the full sweep of human history.
Primer Mini-Unit titles:
  • Mini-Unit 1: Eden to Egypt
  • Mini-Unit 2: Tabernacle and Temple
  • Mini-Unit 3: Daniel's Revelation
  • Mini-Unit 4: Christ and the Church
  • Mini-Unit 5: The Broken Road
  • Mini-Unit 6: Recovery and Discovery
  • Mini-Unit 7: A New World
  • Mini-Unit 8: One Nation
  • Mini-Unit 9: Growing Pains
  • Mini-Unit 10: A House Divided
  • Mini-Unit 11: Engines of Empires
  • Mini-Unit 12: A Smaller World

The Primer has several components, most of which can be purchased separately (and some of which are not yet ready for us to show you yet). View a printable pdf with full pricing information at this link. Here are the components:

  1. Primer Handbook (starting at $19.95): The core assignments and content of the program. Weekly, parents are given detailed student assignments in history, literature, and geography, as well as suggestions for hands-on learning and memory work. (8.5 X 11; loose leaf; 3-hole punched)
  2. Primer Guidebook (starting at $29.95): This volume is the equivalent of full Tapestry's teacher's notes for the Handbook. It is meant as supplemental reading each week for teachers who are new to the story of history. Written in a simple style that hits the high points and gives teaching parents the "big picture," the Guidebook is a "must have" for this program. (softcover; bound. c. 404 pages)
  3. Love the Journey (starting at $9.00): This book was written as a companion to the Tapestry Primer, but it also stands alone. Marcia Somerville, author of Tapestry of Grace and homeschooling mother of six wrote this book to encourage teaching moms, especially those who are just starting out. (5" X 8"; softcover, bound, c. 260 pages)
  4. Primer: Activity Book (starting at $25.00): This coloring and activity book provides follow up seatwork or activities that students can do while listening to you read aloud about history or from literature books. Many illustrations echo those in the companion Big Story Game. (8.5" X 11"; high-quality paper, softcover, bound)
  5. Primer: Big Story Game: This card game is a fun way for your student to learn his memory work! It is an optional supplement that will grow with your child because there are a variety of games that you can play. The first set of cards is called "Who?" and the illustrations match many of those found in the Activity Book Set. Future decks will include "What?" (featuring artifacts like a shofar, pyramid, and ziggurats) and "When?" (featuring key dates in history that students can memorize in sequence), and "Where?" (featuring cards that indicate places for key events in history, or for memorization of things like states and capitals).
  6. Assignments from real books: We've selected beautiful and interesting books that introduce history and great stories to your kids, as well as provide detailed directions for hands-on learning. These are to be read aloud by parents, who may decide to prompt narrations or require related memory work of students as well. You may find these in your public library or purchase them from Bookshelf Central.

Tapestry Primer: Handbook

Primer's 36 week-plans are organized into 12 three-week mini-units. The program is paced so that it can easily be used for just one school year, but parents may choose to do Tapestry Primer as early as the K-5 level, and extend each week-plan to two weeks of study (thereby taking two years to cover the program). In this way, you would form a firm foundation for the sweep of history and allow the child time to become a fluent reader before beginning to use Tapestry of Grace.

Download Sample Mini-Unit 1


Tapestry Primer: Guidebook

Many new homeschoolers have never had the opportunity to solidify their grasp of the sweep of history. Thus, they feel a bit intimidated by the thought of teaching this story to young children. Others feel that they grasp the flow of history for themselves, but don't know how to begin to simplify it for their kids. In this Guidebook, parents will encounter a brisk, simple style of storytelling that we think will engage, teach, and encourage them as they look to the task of teaching history to their students.

Download Sample Mini-Unit 1

Love the Journey

Love the Journey

Love the Journey, subtitled Homeschooling: Principles to Practices was written by Marcia Somerville at the request of Tapestry Primer designers, Mike and Jessica Somerville. They asked her to collect her thoughts about things that she would most like to share if she had coffee with the mom of youngsters who were just beginning to homeschool. Each week, the Primer Handbook recommends particular chapters to be read; this sample includes those listed for Mini-Unit 5.

Download Sample Chapters

Activity Book

Tapestry Primer: Activity Book

This Activity Book has beautiful illustrations of all the memory words that Primer lists in its Handbook. Its simple line drawings match the full-color tiles of the (optional) memory game that we offer (see below), so students can color to match the tiles, or get creative with their own color choices. In addition to memory-word illustrations, we offer a variety of mazes and other pencil-and-paper activities that students can enjoy doing to learn!

Download Sample Pages

Big Story Game

Tapestry Primer: Big Story Game

We are really excited about this offering! It is a tool that students can use repeatedly for learning and review of the memory words suggested in the Tapestry Primer (and also for those using Tapestry of Grace with younger children. Full-color illustrated cards (some of which are enlarged as coloring pages in Primer Activity Books) will delight your children as they work their way through the program and are able to play more and more interesting varieties of games with these cards. For some game variants, students will need a partner, such as when they play "Concentration" or "Go Fish" game paradigms. At other times, they'll work alone to create sequences of events, or categories of artifacts that will show you how much they have retained! The game is being released with a first card deck of 117 people drawn from the Primer lists. We call this deck "Who?" We anticipate releasing other decks in the future, entitled "What?" (featuring artifacts like the shofar, pyramid, and ziggurats of history) and "When?" (featuring key dates in history that students can memorize and sequence) and "Where?" (featuring cards that indicate places for key events in history, or for memorization of such things as states and capitals or countries and capital cities).

Download Big Story Game Sample Cards

Real Books

Assignments from real books

The resource books you'll need for Tapestry Primer are available from a variety of retailers, but may we suggest that you shop at Bookshelf Central? They are fully devoted to Tapestry users and have all your needed resources in stock! Click here to visit their website and view Tapestry Primer book selections.