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.
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.
Cottage Press is offering one Simply Convivial reader any one book of choice from their shop for free! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. The winner will be announced on Monday, May 18.
You can also follow Cottage Press on Facebook to find out about discounts and other resources. Kathy is a homeschool mom who has graduated four of her six children and knows what she’s doing. Her classical education resources reflect a love of truth, goodness, and beauty. I know you’ll love them.