I really enjoy hearing from those who’ve used any of my books. If you have a comment, feel free to e-mail me!

From a Review by Katrina Milligan, NJ
The idea of unit studies seem to be a concept that strikes fear into many homeschoolers that I have spoken with. They express concerns about recordkeeping, time management, teaching everything necessary, etc. Then to add in the idea of doing this for high school is very intimidating. I am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, an organized person. I faced those fears myself as I began to realize that unit studies were the way to go for my family. I faced those fears again as I considered curriculum for high school.

BITM and FAR provided the organization I lack! Both curriculums have helpful forms to track points, keep a transcript, give report cards, etc. It also gives a recommended amount of credits for college bound or general studies. I was able to overcome my own organizational challenges by using these curriculums.

Each of my 3 children have different learning styles, my oldest son needs to hear to be able to discuss what he’s learning, for my daughter just give her a book and she’s happy, my youngest son needs to do hands on learning, there are SO many suggestions for each subject that we were able to pick and choose so that each child learned to his or her learning style.

Finally, there is an email group that Mrs. Coats is an active participant on. Where else can you get help directly from the author?! Not only that, but there are a lot of other helpful, supportive, creative homeschoolers who add their own ideas and encouragement. This list is also quick to pray with and for you when concerns and joys come along.

All 3 of my children have graduated using these curriculums and we have been greatly blessed by Mrs. Coats, the curriculum she wrote and the email list!

We use Lynda’s Blessed Is The Man unit study for our high school son. It is in a big blue binder, and based on Psalms 1. We’ve used it for the past 3 years after a friend found FAR for her daughters and couldn’t say enough good things about it (thanks PJ). We are so thrilled with the level of maturity to which this study is taking our son and how it is giving him the ability to “dig out” Biblical perspectives on so many areas of life. This is the single best $ investment we could have made in the futures of our sons.
Nadine in Iowa

“This will be our 2nd year using BITM. It is an answer to prayer for us. My son, Justin (15), really enjoys his school work now!I asked him a few weeks back, ‘Justin, would you like me to order you something else for school?’He said, ‘like what?’I said, ‘Like curriculum.’He said, ‘No way Mom! I like what I have. I don’t want what I used to learn with’ (BJU, ABeka.)I smiled (inside and out!!) and told him Okay and offered to get “fun” books…I purchased Man in Demand. He LOVES it!!! It is comical, silly (the art work) but serious…much like my Justin! ;0)I cannot speak highly enough about FAR or BITM! It has been an answer to prayer! Talk about a stress-free homeschoolin’ mom, thats me :) Their years are planned thanks to Lynda!I better hush here…I have the writing capabilities of my daughter…I get excited talking about something and well, you’d better be sittin’! :) ha Thanks Lynda for all your hard work!!”

Michelle in MD

We are a family with four boys who love the unit study approach with a Charlotte Mason flair. BITM was a perfect fit for us. There is much to choose in the way of great reading, research, writing, and hands-on projects in all subject areas. We use Easy Grammar Plus to supplement and our own Math program (though there are wonderful math objectives included in the curriculum) and we customize it to fit our needs. What is great for me is that I have a fantastic guideline/resource to put together many wonderful units, my high schooler has some input into what he is studying and it can be done independently. I tone down the units for my younger boys and we can all be on the same units together for the most part.Blessings,
Kathy in Arkansas

We liked how BITM was a guide for us where we would have otherwise floundered. We didn’t follow it completely but used it sort of as a reference and a point of planning. I liked that it was a compliment to my daughter’s FAR and didn’t feel disjointed in our schooling but that they were sort of on the same path. Another thing we liked is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a complete curriculum, if you chose to follow how she has it laid out. We opted for more in Science [Apologia Biology & Chemistry] and Math [Saxon through Algebra II] but depending on your child you may not have to. You can use the library or choose to buy the resources you feel you need. We ended up buying “Writer’s Inc” and “Streams of Civilization”. I also have a “Little Brown Handbook” from my college English class so he used that, along with various other books we already owned. You can choose how involved you will be with the curriculum. As a guide, or “whole hog”. Good for those of us who lack the creativity to even come up with a starting point.Jada

Far Above Rubies

Far Above Rubies is a curriculum guide to help navigate through high school (shark infested) waters. In a traditional curriculum, such as most of us encountered in governmental institutions, we would have 6 - 8 subjects daily. We would have boring textbooks & boring assignments in each of those classes. We would be at the mercy of *their* timetable & schedule. As bad as that is, as homeschoolers we sometimes stick with this because it was drilled into us that this was *education* and because it is familiar. However, God gave Lynda, and her family a vision for something better for God’s young ladies….Far Above Rubies! (and for the young men…Blessed is the Man).

FAR is based upon the ideal woman whose worth is “far above rubies”. Her description is found in Proverbs 31. This woman has a broad base of knowledge (in the present day, we call it a liberal arts education, which has nothing to do with a liberal political mindset). This woman knew about agriculture (“she considereth a field”) She had business sense (“…and buyeth it”). She had a home-based business to earn her own pin money (“she maketh fine linen & selleth it”). Her main business was the hands-on care & welfare of her family, and she took care of them very well (“she is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet”). Her husband knew she could handle it, and so he could turn some of his attention to the political scene of their community (“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land”). She wasn’t a whiny, clingy crybaby; .she was a confident, capable, & caring woman (“strength and honor are her clothing”). A woman who knows her place in the Grand Scheme of things and is prepared to function in that place and not usurp another’s place has a peace & productivity that is amazing to behold.

FAR is a curriculum designed to do just that for the Christian young women of the world. With this goal in mind, now you are ready to think about the methodology. FAR is a guidebook to take us through many books available to buy or to borrow that will expand on the principles of Scripture. These books will make us aware of events, people, and places of the world. We will learn much of God’s Creation. Our girls will learn to express themselves in the written word and in such creative ways as flower arranging, calligraphy, or painting.

Points are awarded for completing activities. These points are then accumulated into traditional course titles to make the summary transcript and to award a diploma. I encourage anyone who will be homeschooling for high school to obtain a copy for ideas, even if implementing the entire curriculum might not work for your family. {This is how we use it….as an idea book!}

FAR, as a curriculum will point us and our daughters to those books, videos, and other resources to help our young women become the Proverbs 31 woman — A very worthy goal.


The original Far Above Rubies was written by Lynda Coats and is a stand-alone curriculum. The Far Above Rubies Lesson Plans, written by Robin Scarlata, were additional lessons to accompany the unit study, but in a totally different format. I have the original FAR, Lesson Plans, and Companion and refer to them occasionally. However, there is a newer revised (2001) FAR in a most understandable format, in which the student could work directly. I love the revision!With the new FAR, everything is in ONE big volume — no flipping from book to book. The new FAR is so much better than anything available in the past. If you want to preview it, you can purchase a sample pack with unit one for $7.00. (You could link here to ordering instructions.) Just write back and ask Lynda, the author, about it. I keep a sample pack on hand just to share with my inquisitive friends.There are people close to us who are so judgmental on ‘how’ we homeschool — by letting the Lord lead us rather than letting man’s scope-and-sequence lead us,. Although I’m considered by other (homeschoolers) to be a leader in our community, sometimes I just want to keep my mouth closed about what we do so that I not cast my pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.) Do others ever feel this way?People look at us and think what we do is sub-standard. They think we use the curricula we use because our children are not capable of doing ABeka videos, or correspondence schools. They just don’t get that our way is MUCH more lively, enriched, ‘digestible’, and able to grow thereby. Many thought I was crazy for following a Charlotte Mason non-textbook/workbook approach. Now that we’re doing FAR … Well, you can imagine. I feel scrutinized! I’ve researched and researched many, many curricula and methods of home education. I’m VERY thankful to have FAR as our basis for high school studies. I’m very sure that our daughters will be well prepared for their future! And I am thankful to have our FAR e-list to help me stay focused where I KNOW the Lord wants us to be. You help me to see the beautiful grass that we are all waddling in — just filled with precious PEARLS! Even rubies!!Cindy in Georgia

I just wanted to let you know that we have started Unit 1 in the new FAR. WE are having a ball. Part of the reason is that we do not feel the pressure of having to go by a laid-out plan. FAR is fitting us because we are not slaves to it. It can be stretched to serve us - not us to it! When I came to this realization, it was like a light bulb went off in my head.How long have we used textbooks and 9similar) curricula?? Years! This was stifling to us. We skipped a day because someone was sick - we were behind. The day’s lessons did not line back up. My whole well- planned schedule book was zapped!Not so with FAR. We went through unit 1 together and we both picked out activities in the subject groups. This is so much fun. It makes it seem like school is a breeze. Part of this time in doing the various things, she did not even realize it was part of FAR and counted as school. Now that is a winner!!We are taking our time in Unit 1 and getting use to the FAR method, which, by the way, is not hard at all. I am keeping up with what we are doing and will add her points up at the end of the unit. At the end of it, I am sure we will both be surprised at the points she has gathered from just Unit 1, and we will have 19 more to go!I will tell you ladies - this is fun. We are BOTH learning so much. If any of you out there are here debating on FAR, jump on it. You will not regret it. Lynda has a wonderful study here.We are actually “enjoying-loving” school . My daughter loves this curriculum. If another home can come to love learning in this fun and easy style, that lets mom and daughter choose the road they travel down for the years of schooling, then I will shout it from the rooftops!!!!!God bless you and I hope this unit sells truckloads for you!!!! You certainly deserve it!Debra in Virginia

My name is Kelly, and my husband’s name is Doug. We are the parents of 7 children, so far, from God. Our three oldest are girls, ages 11 ½, 13, and 17 (in 3 weeks). Our four youngest are boys, ages 7 months, 2 ½, 4, and 10.We are in our second year of using FAR (the old version) with our two oldest girls. Our oldest is using FAR plus a video series for Algebra and Biology. She is a junior. this year. Our middle daughter is an 8th grader this year. She, too, is using FAR and then Math-U-See. We love the curriculum, especially our middle daughter and I. Our oldest has balked at it because she is afraid that “she won’t know as much as everyone else will who goes to the public schools”. I have talked to her until I am blue in the face to make her realize this just isn’t true, but she refuses to believe me. (You could all pray about this for us.) At any rate, she has the world at her fingertips as far as I am concerned using FAR, and I feel that if she applies herself, I have given her everything possible to enable her to succeed and excel, IF she chooses to take the initiative. I can no longer hold her hand and force her to do her work. Now it is a choice - her choice. I will continue using FAR for this reason: I know how much she can learn here if she will just do it.Our oldest daughter did love being able to dissect a cow while on a trip to MN (for a FAR biology assignment), and also the assignment on writing a diary as if she were Abigail Adams. She thoroughly loved that one! We have had some wonderful opportunities with using FAR, and I want to thank Lynda for all the work she has put in to it.Thank you, Lynda!!!!Kelly in Iowa

For any of those who are concerned if Far Above Rubies will adequately prepare your daughter for college, I would say absolutely yes. My oldest graduated from college almost two years ago. We did not do FAR with her while she was homeschooling. As a matter of fact, I had not even heard of it until just a few years back. We did a more traditional approach with her plus a lot of “living books”. Reading and researching on her own was better preparation than any textbook. Knowing how to find information and then present that information is what college is all about. She graduated with honors despite the so-called “gaps” in her homeschool education. This is our 18th year of homeschooling and if I could give only one piece of advice it would be not to worry. Teach your children how to learn and they will excel in whatever they choose to do. This is precisely what Far Above Rubies does. What a precious gift to give our children - the realization that they can learn about any subject that interests them.Thanks again LyndaLori in CA

Covenant Academy

Thank you for your ministry of providing us with the ability to school our children at home through Covenant Academy. Your help and guidance over the past three years has made this a very enjoyable and low-stress endeavor. We will continue to suggest Covenant to all who are inquiring about homeschool options in Alabama.

Susan in Huntsville, AL