Things you might like to know…
Teri: I am told that some people are born to teach and I guess that includes me. After earning my degree in education, I taught in various private schools, learning centers and special education programs while my husband served in the Air Force for nearly ten years. I chose to focus my training in Special Education. Half of my student teaching and all of my internships and research projects were in Special Education.
I began by teaching project-based learning to thousands of children in Gifted And Talented classes. Then, I worked in various private schools and learning centers. These taught me to use accurate assessments and focus on appropriate basic skills, then add rich experiences to apply the basics.
In 1985, I experienced the “Still Small Voice” in my heart… “children, ministry, home… children, ministry, home…” eventually I opened up a small one-room school in my home and discovered that I had begun a “Cottage School.” Thus Christian Cottage Schools was born. Christian is first in the name because Jesus Christ is always first and foremost in our ministry and our lives. As I began home educating my own children as well as others, I used many of the tried and true teaching ideas I had learned in learning centers and private special education programs.
Since home schooling was pretty rare in those days, there were very few options available. Many times fellow home schoolers would marvel at my children’s joy of learning and quick progress. “What are you using? Can you help me too?” Soon home educators were coming to me on a regular basis for consultation and assessment. We have now helped thousands of children since 1986. We have also graduated hundreds of students from our Christian Cottage umbrella school program who have been welcomed into many higher education programs.
We also began writing our own curriculum. We have now self-published four volumes of unit studies with over 500 pages of text each. We also wrote four levels of Learning Rivers reading and writing curriculum that teaches children every sound in the English language in only 100 lessons.We decided to help students apply our favorite learning tips and techniques in the My Everything Book. It nearly includes about everything a student needs to know. I wrote Teri’s Tips to help families know all of the wonderful things I’ve learned after educating children and parents for decades
Our goal at Christian Cottage Schools has always been to support and empower parents as they exercise their God-given rights to control and direct the education of their children. We empower parents as home school teachers. We provide answers for them through testing, curriculum, teaching strategies and even proven education therapies.
Mike: I’m blessed to be a child of God and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Teri mentioned, I was on active duty with Air Force from 1974 to 1983. I received my commission from the Air Force Academy and graduated with my degree in Management and Business Administration. I also earned my Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1978. My career (both military and early “civilian life”) was as a manager in the telecommunications field. To my embarrassment, I distinctly remember telling Teri that I “don’t want to live in a school” when she first started teaching the kids at home. I knew she could teach, and I knew that I wasn’t completely satisfied with the public schools’ impact, especially on our son, but…
In September, 1988, the Lord answered a long-standing prayer regarding my job in town, and I was laid off. By that time, the school had out-grown Teri’s ability to cover all of the bases single-handedly, and my management training was needed here. In 2006 I went to work at our church and spent 6 years learning formal facility management disciplines, and developed a passion for physical security.
Later, I spent four years as the Chief Range Safety Officer and Basic Pistol Instructor at a commercial gun range. That work confirmed my call and passion for security and teaching personal protection skills while I earned multiple instructor credentials. I still serve our church as the volunteer head of security, and conduct qualification training for my security team members, as well as teaching preparedness and firearms classes.
Those skills may seem odd for a private Christian school, but my ability as an instructor (and years as a grandfather) help me relate to both parents and students. Over these many years, we’ve been privileged to have a part in the tremendously exciting growth of at least ten thousand children and their parents. We’ve helped hundreds of students graduate and begin lives as productive independent adults, and are now blessed to have several “second-generation” Christian Cottage families enrolled.