Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Some thoughts about Layers of Learning

A few post ago I talked about sharing Layers of Learning, a curriculum that I would compare to Tapestry of Grace in it's layout. I was looking over Unit 1.3 (the unit we decided to review) this morning and noted some things that I really appreciated and wanted to share. I plan on starting this unit later this week or beginning next week. And will share a full review afterward. This is the intro to the Unit...


This is part of a series of units in the Layers of Learning program for a well rounded education. We cover the subjects of history, geography, science, and the arts in a systematic and logical manner. We don't cover absolutely every bit of the knowledge out there, but we hit on the most important things and give a scope and sequence.

The units are intended to be used in order as the basis of a complete curriculum (once you add in a systematic math, reading, and writing program). Alternatively, you can use the units as activity ideas to supplement another curriculum. Each unit has material to cover about two weeks of learning, but units can be stretched or shrunk to fit your interests and schedule. Ultimately there will be twenty units in each of four years.

Beginning in 1st grade you work through the units, then once you hit fifth grade work through them again, this time doing different or more difficult assignments and reading more extensively. In ninth grade you begin the sequence again. At each level you should expect increasing amounts of outside reading and writing. High schoolers in particular should be reading extensively and if possible participating in discussion groups."

If you have used Tapestries or even just tried the free first three weeks that they offer, you know that they have a booklist that they follow, loosely in some cases, in others not so much depending on worksheets that are provided. For us, it really isn't an option to buy a whole gaggle of books. Grant it, you can buy them discounted from others who have used them and are finished, but it still adds to the cost. So when we went through the first three weeks of Tapestry, we went through our local, small town, library. I think we found two...maybe just one. All the rest we had to ILL (inter-library loan) which still cost less than buying the whole bundle of books, so I was okay with that. However, in order to do this on a regular basis, I really have to be on top of my game, organized and well planned. This doesn't usually happen...I wish it did. I know it would make my life easier. To the point. When I was looking at Layers of Learning I saw that before the list of books, they have this:
Search for: ancient Europe, ancient Britons, megalithic Europe, Europe-history, Stonehenge. A hard to find subject, check encyclopedias for information.

So, if I don't find the books required for the unit, I can search my library for these titles. Nice.

I also noticed this movie on the list...

The Wonders of God's Creation: Planet Earth movie from Moody video: Often sold as part of a three volume set, tells the Christian/Creationist view of the earth.

I was glad to see this; 1. because I do take the creationist standpoint and 2. because I had been trying to figure out if there was a Biblical approach to this curriculum or not. This of course, does not mean that there is a Biblical approach, but it does weave in opportunities. It may just mean that they are presenting differing viewpoints which, in my opinion, is good also.

Layers of Learning button

I am going to try link this up with Trivium Tuesdays on Living and Learning. We'll see how that works...I am learning as I'm going along with this blog!


  1. That sounds very interesting. We just finished our ancient history and did enjoy it. (Your link to Trivium Tuesday worked.)

  2. Thank you! Small successes! ;) Was your ancient history through Layers of Learning?

  3. I've never heard of Layers of Learning, but it sounds worth looking in to! Thanks for sharing it with us at Trivium Tuesdays!

  4. Thanks for your kind words Dusti Rae. This is Karen from Layers of Learning, your newest blog subscriber. (: I hope you enjoy the units as much as we do with our kids. And I look forward to getting to know you through your posts. Have a terrific day!

    1. Thank you for subscribing! I am working toward unit 1.3! Summer is making it a little more difficult.