Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Penland Academy for Young Ladies

Yesterday we received our home school curriculum. As Nate was pulling loads and loads of books out of the box, he was getting more and more excited, and I was getting less so. I began to have simultaneous feelings of happiness, self-doubt, and buyer's remorse!
I was happy because I love teaching Suzy, and I've been intentionally teaching her since she was 10 months old. I made little lesson plans, and had a checklist of developmental goals. I know, I know! But she’s my only one, so why not?
So, last year, she met all the preschool developmental goals. At that point, I had no idea what further to do with her. I had taught preschool for years, and poured all my training and experience into Suzy, and I flat-out hit a wall. I had no idea how to begin teaching reading beyond letter recognition. We decided that instead of the both Suzy and Momma languishing a whole year not knowing what to do, that we would start kindergarten early, with a complete, made-by-someone-else curriculum.
We went with Veritas Press. It’s a classical education, with a heavy emphasis on the arts and languages. We got the kindegarten-1st grade combo (so she’ll do it for two years) of their reading program, The Phonics Museum. It combines art history with reading. It seems like something we’ll like.
Also, since it’s a pretty good bet (given her parents) that she’ll be more artistically than mathematically gifted, we got “Drawing With Children”, a book to help parents teach their children the basics of drawing. I was dismayed to find that it was over an inch thick, with nearly a third being prepatory work for the teacher. This brought in the self-doubt. However, since Suzy already spends hours contentedly drawing, I think she’ll love it so much that it will be well worth it.
My one big area of doubt was the math curriculum. We bought Saxon K, even though Veritas Press recommends skipping it and doing Saxon 1 for kindergarten. But since she’s only four, we went with the K. Looking it over last night, I think about a half of it are concepts she already knows well. This brought the buyer’s remorse. I decided to just go ahead with it and skip the lessons that would be too boring. And it’s all based around a calendar workbook that starts in September. It’s October, so it makes it awkward. We may just skip to the September lessons all together.
Anyway, these are my first impressions of the curriculum. Tomorrow is my Teacher Work Day. Nate will keep Suzy, and I will haul all this stuff to the library and plan my lessons. I’m actually really looking forward to that! I am excellent at planning. Not so good on follow through, but excellent at the planning!


  1. Hey Lori!

    We love phonics museum, and I think Suzy will too. It is really fun. Drawing with Children was hard for me to get started with, but now I really like it. The following website has some good posts about how to use the book.