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Unit Study Review-The Virginia Home Educator-Spring 1998

Reviewed by Bev Mueffelmann

Christian Cottage Schools by Teri Spray and Terry Martin

Early in my home-school experience, I discerned that unit studies were the best fit for my teaching style and my childrens' learning styles. So, I embarked on the never-ending quest fo the "perfect" unit study curriculum. I attempted other programs, but found that i was not made of the stuff to gather my supplies and plan my units in the summer so that our year flowed like clock-work. Being a concrete sequential thinker, I also struggled, wondering whether I was really "covering it all".

Imagine my relief and excitement when the Lord brought to my doorstep the Christian Cottage Schools unit-study curriculum! Each volume (of which there are four) contains one-month units planned to include enough science, history, Bible, creative writing, literature and fine arts activities for more than one year. Lessons are prepared in a day-at-a-glance, easy-to-use format and use Christian textbooks as resources, although lessons can be used with any related resource material you may already own. Hands-on activities are relatively short, simple, and utilize household materials. Lessons are also multi-leveled for grades 1-12! My children an I have been thriving with this curriculum!

Teri Spray, along with co-author Terry Martin, developed the Christian Cottage School curriculum after many years of developing unit studies for gifted and talented students in the California public-school system. During this time, Teri was able to "field test" her units with over 600 students, grades K-8. Eventually, the Lord called her to minister to children through the cottage school model, (a one-room school in a home or church involving parents as volunteers under a head-teacher). Increasing numbers of parents became inspired by Teri's approach and asked to become satellite schools of her cottage school. Hence, the Christian Cottage School curriculum was born!

Each unit covers a defined period in history and interweaves related science studies into the curriculum, unifying the subject matter and keeping the teacher accountable to actually "doing" science! Volume 1, entitled, "In The Beginning God!", covers from the Creation through the Renaissance. Volume 2, "For God So Loved the World", studies the lands, nations, cultures, and wildlife of the Eastern hemisphere, while Volumes 3 and 4, "God Bless America" and "Blessed to Be a Blessing", cover American history and related science units. In their entirety, the units are designed to cover all significant history and science material with no gaps in learning. Ideally, the curriculum could be covered thrice through in a child's school years, becoming more in-depth the second and third time around.

Other helpful features of the curriculum are pointers on: how to balance unit study activities with science and history textbooks at each grade level, how to integrate textbooks with unit studies, how to schedule unit studies into your school week, curriculum ideas for reading, writing and arithmetic, and recommended textbooks. In addition, lesson plans, main points to study, vocabulary, resources, and scriptures are included for each unit.

Most amazing of all is the price-each volume is only $75! A Sample Kit with the table of contents, topics covered in each unit for each volume plus an entire unit on Oceanography is available for free on their website. To order the curriculum, write Christian Cottage Schools at 3560 W. Dawson Rd., Sedalia, CO 80135, call them at (303) 688-6626, or order online at

Explorers - 4th hands on unit study in God Bless America

Every level (1st-12th) is on the same page together as you study the earth, its major landforms, and the explorers who discovered the Americas. Studies include: making a strofoam globe, including continents, learning latitude, longitude, basic cartography and working with a compass; you will make a cloud in a jar, a log and line quadrant, a model of a Viking ship, and a wind sock. You will also write travel fiction, study the exlorers of the 16th through 18th centuries, have afternoon tea, and play an original board game called "To Be the First." This 20-lesson unit is rich with activities to teach Bible, history and science combined. You only need to add grammar, phonics and math because you will have four levels of literature suggestions and weekly creative writing activites as well. Each Christian Cottage Unit Study includes "Main Points to Study" and vocabulary lists with a glossary for review and mastery. Introductory materials for the entire volume - God Bless America are included in the first part of the ebook for no extra charge. When you get to the title page, this is where the unit starts, we wanted to make sure that you had all of the introductory information first.

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File Last Updated:
April 06, 2006
This title was added to our catalog on April 06, 2006.