Cottage Press Review & Giveaway!

posted in: pedagogical | 73

It’s time to be browsing curriculum materials for next year, and I am excited to share a few resources with you that you may not have heard about before.

cottage-press

Kathy Weitz, owner of Cottage Press and keeper of The Reading Mother blog, produces some fabulous language arts resources. And she’s offering a book of your choice from her shop to one Simply Convivial winner! Don’t miss those details at the end of this post.

Yes, there are numerous writing programs out there, and this one is similar to First Language Lessons while also teaching children how to write by beginning them with copywork and rewriting fables, like several other programs.

The reason several programs use this approach? It works. It’s classical. It’s beautiful and simple.

But Cottage Press materials stand out from the other options for several reasons.

As I browsed Cottage Press’ language arts program, here is what I noticed about Fable & Song:

  • It’s a complete language arts program: spelling, grammar, copywork, composition, vocabulary, poetry – you don’t need anything else for language arts.
  • It’s built for short lessons with no busy work.
  • It teaches grammar through sentence diagramming!

  • It incorporates dictation and copywork, as well as pattern recognition and rules practice, into the spelling lessons.
  • It has enough space in the boxes and between the lines for a normal boy’s handwriting.
  • It’s laid out beautifully; I loved the font and the look and the author’s tone.

  • It even teaches the student how to self-edit effectively for clarity and style.
  • I loved how poetry was incorporated into the lessons not only for appreciation, but also for imitation and for study. It teaches you how to scan poetry, yet without being over-analytical and killing the beauty of the poem.
  • All these elements are woven together seamlessly and effortlessly into a cohesive whole.

So if you’re looking for writing curriculum for your kids this year, something simple, complete, with short and beautiful lessons, I recommend Fable & Song for elementary students or Bards & Poets for older students.

But Kathy has more than language arts programs. She also has the solution to my Book of Centuries woes. After a homemade BOC failure two years ago, I was reassured by The Living Page that 11 or 12 was a good age to begin keeping a Book of Centuries, so I spent last year wondering how we’d go about it for 7th grade.

Cottage Press’s Book of Centuries is absolutely perfect! I am so excited, and I have my own copy to begin keeping as well as one for Hans to start next year.

The cover is soft paperback, high quality paper, the spacing is adequate inside, there’s room to draw as well as lines to write. She elegantly avoids precise dating for Creation and the Flood by saying “In the beginning” at the top of the first page, and continuing on in literary fashion for a few pages thereafter:

I am a young earth creationist, but I think it’s silly to try to put a precise number on those first things. I love Kathy’s solution. I’m pleased that it begins with Creation, yet doesn’t force specificity we don’t have.

Moreover, time elegantly slows down as you travel the centuries through the book. It is not a straight 100 years per spread. There is a two-page spread for every 100 years until 1500, when a spread becomes 50 years; then, from 1800-1900, a spread is 20 years, and from 1900 until 2030 a spread is 10 years.

So if, as a purely theoretical example, you have a child who just loves World War II, then there will be space for all the major battles to be placed, and it will not be only a blip on the page as you careen through history.

I love that it goes all the way to 2030. For my children’s childhood, then, it can be not only a history resource, but also a current events keeping place – and they can see that all they are living through is simply in the stream that began at Creation.

I am so excited to begin working with this book, and it can easily become a continual keeping resource as I educate my five. If you’ve been puzzling over how to do a Book of Centuries, I highly recommend this resource as the perfect solution.

73 Responses

  1. Dominique Jackson
    |

    Fable and Song looks like it will fit my son perfectly!! I was just trying to put together something like this myself for the summer, but oh the joy in being able to just open and go!

  2. dawn
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    That looks like the perfect book of centuries, and the Language program looks lovely too.

    Thanks for sharing, I’d love to win :)

  3. Melanie
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    They both look great. If I hasn’t already started and put lots of time into our Book of the Centuries I’d snag that one. The language arts looks like fun…we love grammar.

    • Melanie
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      Funny that I wrote hasn’t instead of haven’t and followed with my comment about loving grammar. LOL

      • Melanie
        |

        And it’s still wrong…hadn’t…I need another cup of coffee.

  4. nancy
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    How splendid! Thank you for the opportunity to win:) Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. Michelle Hobbs
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    These look like wonderful products! Looking forward to checking out the Cottage Press store.

  6. Joan Foley
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    The book of Centuries looks fantastic. I am very curious about the Bards & Poets. It looks like such a complete program.

  7. Jennifer
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    Thanks for introducing me to Cottage Press – looking forward to heading to their website!

  8. Trisha
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    So happy to see a timeline that honors the Lord with B.C. and A.D.

  9. Christy Ellwanger
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    Cottage Press has nailed a great language arts series. I also love the extra room in the Book of Centuries. Thanks for the opportunity to win. I’d love it !

  10. Tiffany S.
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    I’ve never commented before, but this giveaway was too good to pass up! I think fable & song would be great for my rising fourth grader – I’ve never found anything I was comfortable using, so we’ve stuck with our CM ways. ?. This looks like a great next step. (And I love your blog – thanks for all your hard work!)

  11. Sumer
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    They both look great and very helpful. (I have had some Book of Century woes myself!) Thanks for the chance to win one of them.

  12. Jessica Perteet
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    The Book of Centuries looks great! I would love to have that ready for when my son gets older!

  13. Elise
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    I love finding out about new curricula. I’m especially intrigued by Bards & Poets! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Kristin
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    Yippee!!! A solution to the Book of Centuries! Thank you so much for sharing this. I was not aware of this press at all!

    Thanks also for the opportunity to win!

  15. Kathi Bitner
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    This pulls together several promising resources at once. Thank you for the review.

  16. Sharlene
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    I have been frustrated with the English program that I have been using. I like the looks of the language arts program, especially since it includes diagramming.

  17. Sarah Thomas
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    This is so beautiful! I am definitely going to look into these for next year.

  18. Sharon
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    Please enter me to win! I would love to try the BOC in the next year or two. We tried one early this school year, but, like yours, my guys are just not ready.

  19. Amy
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    All looks lovely, would love to win!! :)

  20. Rebecca
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    This is lovely, and looks like what I’ve been looking for! Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. Virginia Lee
    |

    This BoC has me very interested. BoC and Latin were the two things from AO Y4 that I could not figure out how to chose what to use. This looks lovely and simple to use, yet very comprehensive. I’d love to win one! Thank you for showing so many pics. It helps my visual learning needs. Ha!

  22. I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do for a timeline or BOC for next school year (starting over with ancients for our third time!). This option looks interesting.

    Thanks for the chance, Mystie and Cottage Press!

  23. Lisa A
    |

    Wow. I hadn’t heard of this before but everything looks beautiful! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  24. Bonnie
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    I’ve never seen these beautiful resources before! Thanks for sharing!

  25. SarahD
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    I have my eye on Bards and Poets.

  26. Leanne
    |

    These look so fabulous! I love the BOC and the Fables & Song book looks very intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway.

  27. Kristin
    |

    That looks like it might be my BOC solution too! Thanks for sharing this. I’d love to be considered for the book giveaway.

  28. Peggy
    |

    These books look amazing! I would love to win!

  29. Jennifer
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    Thank you for this review Mystie! This is so helpful. I have never heard of Cottage Press. I especially love what you said about the writing curriculum. It looks like it would be more than worth a peruse and a try!

  30. Sarah Shepperd
    |

    Thanks for introducing me to this publisher and sharing these lovely resources! I thought I’d seen nearly every program out there, but I’m glad to find out I was wrong! These Cottage Press products you’ve shared look lovely, and I’d be thrilled to get a copy of one! Thanks, Mystie ?

  31. Becky M
    |

    The Book of Centuries looks like it would be perfect for us! Thanks for sharing about Cottage Press. I had never heard of it & I’m really liking what I see. :-)

  32. Julie S.
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    This looks wonderful. Is Kathy also one of the authors of Classical Writing?

    • rick weitz
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      Yes, she was with Classical Writing for many years before she started Cottage Press.

  33. Arenda
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    Excellent reviews, Mystie! I’d also never heard of Cottage Press, but am impressed with what I see.

  34. Patty B
    |

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful resources. I had never heard of them before.

  35. MK
    |

    These look great! Fable and Song looks like an excellent language arts program. I’ll have to file that idea away, giveaway or not! ;)

  36. Shannon Iverson
    |

    This looks amazing! It is what I have struggled to find for the past five years. A comprehensive Classical Language program. I can’t wait to see more from this publisher! Thank you for your review and helping mom’s like me. Pax.

  37. Rhebeka
    |

    The Book of Centuries is PERFECT, exactly what we need. I am off t investigate the writing…Thanks for bringing this to my attention. :)

  38. Beth
    |

    I would love to win this giveaway. I’m very interested in the BOC! I’m hoping to start one for myself in the next year or so and model to my children keeping one before I require it in their schooling.

  39. Megan
    |

    I used the Classical Writing Primer, also by Kathy Weitz, as well as the CW workbooks for Aesop. The Primer looks pretty much identical, but she has taken the ideas of CW and made it much more open and go and easier to use. I left CW this past semester, but may be able to go back to it with these resources! Does she have plans to release continuing levels regularly? I think we’re already past these two books…

  40. Melissa
    |

    Thanks for your post Mystie! I hadn’t heard of Cottage Press prior. I’m intrigued by the English book.

    Blessings,
    Melissa

  41. Bethany
    |

    This curriculum looks amazing! I’ve been looking for an all in one language arts program and it looks like this one might be perfect!

  42. Julia
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    This is the first that I have heard abut Cottage Press but I am interested in her Book of Centuries and language arts books. Thanks, Mystie, for being my enabler. :)

  43. Rhebeka
    |

    I just realized that the primers I am using with my daughter are the same primers that go with the above series, though published through Lulu and with a different cover. As that is the case, I am even more excited about the follow books. We really like the primers and plan on using the complete primer series. I may have the next step in writing now that the upper levels are available or coming…excellent!! Thanks, Mystie! And kudos to Kathy for writing such a great program.

  44. Kris M.
    |

    The Book of Centuries is beautiful. I would love to use that for our homeschool.

  45. Jeni
    |

    Both products look wonderful! I’ve already started a new LA resource, but I still need a Book of Centuries or timeline. This one would be great!

  46. Clara
    |

    Love, love, love this resource for grammar and writing. What a compliment to the Classical Eduation ideology.

  47. Michelle
    |

    I still remember how scared I was in the beginning as to how I would do Language Arts. I kept asking people what they were doing exactly to include all that was needed. This looks amazing.

  48. Ashley
    |

    I bought the BOC last year, so we could work on it as a family. It has been very enertaining for me to see the kids’ choices of important historical dates. My husband is an artist and he does the little pictures for Us. They grammar book looks lovely!

  49. NanaP
    |

    Thanks for reviewing these. I love the idea from Book of Centuries of adding current events, showing how that is part of the flow of history. And I like the way sentence diagramming is integrated into the Fable & Song program.

  50. Diana N
    |

    I am very interest in the Bards & Poets. I would love to check it out for my older two. Happy Mother’s Day.

  51. I have been trying to find a timeline book, too. I would love to have one.

    Thanks for sharing!

  52. Michelle Y
    |

    What a helpful review! Just spent some time browsing their site and everything looks so lovely.

  53. Erica
    |

    These look wonderful! Thank you for your thoughtful review!

  54. Shananne
    |

    Would love to try a family BOC this year, to warm up for individual ones with the big kids next year! Looks Beautifully done.

  55. Jennifer
    |

    This looks so fantastic! I do hope Canadians can enter! I am off to learn more, but can I just say that I also failed in my homemade timeline book attempt?

  56. Julie W
    |

    Thanks for the introduction to some new curriculum!

  57. Mrs. H
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    That book looks very interesting. I’d love to be entered in the drawing.

    Mrs. H

  58. Annie Jacobs
    |

    These look lovely, both of them. Thanks for the chance to win!

  59. Meghan
    |

    I absolutely love the look of that Book of Centuries. I didn’t realize I was quite as far away from being ready to begin one with my kids (my oldest is 6), but I’m so glad to be aware of this resource for the future! Thanks Mystie!

  60. Heather M
    |

    How does the binding look for holding up for the long haul for a BoC? I’m very interested in the B o C.

  61. Sarah
    |

    Thanks for the opportunity! I hope I win!

  62. Janell
    |

    My sister recently recommended this very Book of Centuries. Thank you for the review of Cottage Press.

  63. Andrea
    |

    I would love to be entered for a give away from Cottage Press. Thanks for providing such a great review. We have used First Language Lessons for several years, but I find the sheer number of lessons at each level daunting and the teacher narration gets a bit dull. I hesitate to put money into a whole new curriculum, but I’m very tempted…

  64. nctmcalister
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    The Book of Centuries looks awesome! Thanks for the review and the chance to win!!

  65. Lora
    |

    That Book of Centuries is lovely.

  66. Karen Dunham
    |

    I LOVE Cottage Press Materials; I Have been using them this past year. And Kathy is a gem and a great resource. We used the Book of Centuries in our one day a week homeschool academy this year as well and they have held up wonderfully.

  67. Janell
    |

    I purchased 3 Book of Centuries this week. Thank you for the review.

  68. Michelle
    |

    Wow, that Book of Centuries looks really great!

  69. Carrie
    |

    So happy to find out about Cottage Press. The Primers are exactly what I have been hoping to find!

  70. Rhebeka
    |

    I hope you’ll give us a follow up review, Mystie. I would love to hear your evaluation of the materials after they have been in use for a while! :)