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Well-Trained Mind Grade 10 Homeschool Plans

Updated on July 28, 2015

High School Plan-Grade Ten Homeschooling Boys

Our family has used The Well-Trained Mind plans from Susan Wise-Bauer's bestselling homeschool book for the past six years. We are currently homeschooling our high school age boys with a mix of classical and Charlotte Mason's styles.

Grade Ten includes plans to study the Medieval and Renaissance periods of history and we have chosen to use Tapestry of Grace's Year Two plans as our spine for history, literature, and geography plans. We include quite a bit of philosophy as well because it seems to tie in with our other topics of study and the people we add to our timeline.

We use a combination of techniques in our high school courses including notebooking, oral and written narration, a study of poetry and Shakespeare, vocabulary, and high school studio arts.

All of our resources are listed below and we welcome you to pick and choose from all the ideas presented.

Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms

Medieval and Renaissance History

Tapestry of Grace Year 2

This year was packed with so much good stuff! Too much good stuff and it was hard to keep up. Because we try to stick more closely to the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling, I decided to make a few changes in the very full Tapestry of Grace plans to make it fit our family better. This meant following some great advice from the TOG people themselves to "trim" their plans down a bit. I outlined below just how we did this in two steps.

1. Eliminate books.

Tapestry of Grace actually has made the first step easy for year two as far as literature goes. In the Loom, there is a document that is offered to explain the literature program titled "Using Tapestry's Rhetoric Level Literature". I printed this document out and after reading through it, I used pages 33-35 (Appendix D) to go about trimming our literature. We cut all the green and blue literature from the plan and this gave us the breathing space to lengthen the time spent reading the remaining literature without compromising the coverage of the time period.

For our history reading, I am tried to stick closely to the core suggestions without adding in the selections in the in-depth box. I occasionally found a book that I think is exceptional from the in-depth suggestions and we will add it into our study. We found that the core readings are a sufficient source for completing the accountability questions in the rhetoric stage. I occasionally needed to share some points from the teacher's notes but for the most part, the boys found the core reading to be adequate.

2. Split the books between assigned formal reading and free reading.

After trimming away the excess literature, I went back through the plans and looked at the alternate suggestions for literature to find any books we have not already covered in our homeschooling. These are books in addition to the core literature plan. I made a reading list for each boy with books that they are to read outside of school time in the evenings, over the weekends, or during any weeks off for breaks like winter break. They will not be required to complete any literature assignments for these books except the occasional oral narration to their dad or to me as they go along.

I have written at length about Tapestry of Grace Year Two on my blog and you can read one of those entries here, Taming the Desire to Do Everything

We also use History Scribe and History Scholar notebook pages alongside our Tapestry of Grace studies. You can purchase them at a discount from

Marine Science Center
Marine Science Center

Exploring Creation with Marine Biology

Apologia Science - Charlotte Mason Style

We used the Apologia Marine Biology book along with lots of Charlotte Mason style nature study to supplement. We took field trips, kept a nature journal, and the boys wrote lots of mini reports and full blown research reports. I have a complete breakdown of all our materials and plans here on Squidoo Marine Biology for Homeschoolers.

For our family, the Apologia science texts have been a great fit, suiting our style and method of homeschooling. They may not be the most scholarly of texts, but my boys have been given lots to think about as they work through this series of science books. I have found them to be very friendly to a Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling. The texts are meaty enough on their own, but I wanted to add some life and spirit to the information with additional meaningful supplements.

Using them as a spine, I enhance our science courses with activities that make our learning more alive. Although all my children are interested in science, it is not their area of specialization so I think that using this series of texts, along with the lab work, has been academic enough. If they decide to pursue science after high school, I am confident that these texts have put down a good foundation.

It has always been important in our family to develop a great love for learning and creating a love for science is part of that goal. Charlotte Mason said that a love of learning is nurtured and fed by good ideas and a relationship with the material being presented. I have tried to apply this concept to our study of science using the Apologia texts.

Grade 10 History Books - Tapestry of Grace and The Well-Trained Mind

These books are all worth the investment and I found most of my copies used and then resold them when we were finished. I highly recommend all of these books as part of your study of the Medieval and Renaissance history time period.

Please note that Tapestry of Grace schedules lots more books for history but these are the ones I would consider the "spine" books in our plans. You will need to look at the book list when you receive it and decide what will work for your family.

Why Do I Use Tapestry of Grace?

Buffet of choices: Also, the TOG plans include activities, vocabulary, geography assignments, art and music appreciation suggestions, timeline information, and suggestions for unit celebration activities. I am sure you could use the book list and make your own plans but that would take a lot more energy than I am willing to put into it. Besides, I could never recreate the experience of the weekly discussions without the Teacher's Notes.

High School Classic Books on Shelf
High School Classic Books on Shelf

Literature and English

Tapestry of Grace with some additions.

I talked a little bit above in the history section about how we found Tapestry of Grace Year 2 to be a little overwhelming in volume. I gave two ways we trimmed the books down to allow for a more Charlotte Mason style homeschool experience. It was a wonderful year of literature, full of classics and Shakespeare. I highly recommend the Tapestry of Grace plans for families trying to give a "great books" experience in high school. The plans, the teacher's notes and resources, the student guide, and the extra literary information on The Loom all make teaching this year enriching and worthwhile.

Slow reading of books has become the foundation for our literature study. We read several books at a time and alternate days. We get the same amount of pages read over the long run but each book is sliced into bite size pieces.

We use three sources for our literature study. I start off with the Tapestry of Grace book list, eliminating books we have read already or we don't think will be a good fit for our family. I consult the Ambleside Online yearwe are working in and pull books from their lists as well to substitute for the books we eliminated from TOG. Then I browse our home library for books that I would like to include for the year. This year we pulled in additional Shakespeare and additional poetry. I sort the books by terms and then add them into Homeschool Tracker. It really is not a difficult process at all and it gives us a customized literature list just for our family.

These books are read and shared together each week at our Friday meetings. The boys keep Commonplace Books for most of their literature but sometimes I pull an idea from TOG and we go a little more in depth. I make sure to cover literary terms with the boys each Friday at our meetings. We did use TOG's story analysis document from The Loom to learn how to do a little more formal study of a few books. We also enjoyed using the Loom's Author Index to learn more about each author before reading the books.

Catapult Project

Catapult Project
Catapult Project
Unit Celebration Tapestry of Grace
Unit Celebration Tapestry of Grace

How Do I Prepare the Tapestry of Grace Units?

Here is a breakdown of how I make the plans work for our family.

Here is my process (which can be done far in advance):

1. Read the Teaching Objectives for history and geography.

2. Read the General Information for All Grades (blue) page.

3. Pick books that will fulfill the week's (or the stream of the unit's) objectives.

4. Turn to the Teacher's Notes and skim through for the highlights in history and geography. (Highlight things I think we will focus on at our meetings.)

5. Turn to the Student's Activities page (blue) and read through the Accountability and Thinking Questions. Pick some main ideas to introduce on Monday and then follow up with on Friday.

6. Copy off any pages needed for the boys.


1. Communicate the week's theme, the weekly objective, and then read with them the General Information page.

2. Turn to the Teacher's Notes and share any background info that they may need to know to get going.

3. Stack up the week's books on the table and make sure they know what pages are expected for the week. (I use Homeschool Tracker to print out the week's checklist.)

4. Make sure they have any maps or Student Pages they need for the assignments.


1. The boys share their narrations (oral and written) from their work if they have not done so as they went along.

2. I have the Teacher's Notes and any assigned questions in front of me as they narrate and I generally keep track of any points they share that fulfill the objectives we are including for the week.

3. I try to not lead the conversation but rather build on what they share. I will also try to connect the current week to the previous week if possible by a few leading questions or statements.

4. Wrap up our conversation with asking them if they have any more thoughts. I try share my thinking or experiences if I have any at this time too.

Oil Pastel Four Season Vivaldi Project

Oil Pastel Four Season Vivaldi Project
Oil Pastel Four Season Vivaldi Project
Window Stained Glass Project
Window Stained Glass Project

Art and Music Plans

Modified Tapestry of Grace Plans

I wrote these for our high school age sons but you can easily adapt them to younger children as well. Hope they help your family1

Art Appreciation by Units

Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Unit 1

Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Unit 2

Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Unit 3

Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Unit 4

The Story of Painting - General Reference Book for Renaissance Art

Sister Wendy's Story of Painting (Enhanced and Expanded Edition)
Sister Wendy's Story of Painting (Enhanced and Expanded Edition)
You will use this all four years for high school art appreciation. You may be interested in reading this post on how to deal with nudity in art books Art Books-How to Deal With Nudity

Coat of Arms Notebook Page from History Scholar

Coat of Arms Notebook Page from History Scholar
Coat of Arms Notebook Page from History Scholar

The Easy Spanish

Charlotte Mason Style Spanish

The textbook is arranged in lessons with corresponding sections on the CD. The textbook is so well organized that my teenagers could work independently and work at their own level of activities. The lessons are written on multiple levels so this plan could be used in a family with children in different grade levels. Their website suggests that with younger children you work through the lessons at a slower pace and take 2-3 years to complete this level. Older students (teens) she suggests 1-2 years depending on how much time each week you take for Spanish.

Please click over and read my full and complete review on The Curriculum Choice.

Writing - IEW Medieval Writing Plans

With Additional Assignments

We used the Institute for Writing Excellence's supplemental writing book with the Medieval themed assignments. This was a good transition from using the IEW plans to eventually coming up with our own writing assignments that relate to our school courses.

Here is how we used this book:

Day One:

Read the assignment and ask any questions before they got started.

Write the key word outline and the rough draft.

Use the rough draft checklist provided.

Day Two:

Write the final draft.

Use the Final Draft checklist.

Email the final product to mom for editing.

I scored the writing according to the rubrics provided in the plans. If they passed, that was the end of the assignment. If they did not pass because of additional editing needed, I sent the piece back to them with suggestions and they would rewrite and then submit a final writing piece.

Medieval History Writing Plans from IEW

You can read more about this book over on their website Medieval History Based Writing.

Here is a SAMPLE.

Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons Plus Vocabulary and Grammar
Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons Plus Vocabulary and Grammar
If you have worked through the IEW writing program Teaching Writing Structure and Style, you can easily pick this plan up and use the upper level lessons with your high schooler to step from the video plans to your own writing plans. We learned a lot from using the program and I highly recommend it.


I have a complete Lego Robotics page here on Squidoo with all the specifics of our plans, Lego Robotics for High School.

Generally here is our plan:

They are assigned a portion in the NXT book to read and then to follow the instructions to build a specific model. After they build the model they get on the computer and write the programming using the step by step instructions in the book. There is still quite a bit of room for creativity within the instructions so it is interesting to see how each son completes the task in his own way. After they have programmed the robot, they give a demonstration of what the robot does and we take a photograph. Sometimes they get it right on the first try but sometimes they have to go back to the computer and figure out what they did wrong.


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