Looking For a Secular Florida Umbrella School?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


I am secretly exerting my influence, systematically attempting to take control of a small private school from within by revolutionizing their curriculum choices.

Dad and I are thoroughly impressed with the preschool L is attending. She is absolutely thriving. It has turned out to be such a good thing that we are wavering on our relocation plans, thinking we will go ahead and build ourselves a house on the four acres here in Punta Gorda (keeping the island, too.) She loves her teacher, her friends, her swim coach. This week she hit a milestone and moved into her first workbook, Primary Phonics, an Educators Publishing Service product. Over the five-day holiday her teacher assigned six pages of homework in the book. She had completed five before dinner tonight. I tried to stop her after three, it was exhausting me to watch, her four year old fine motor skills lagging behind her mental agility, but she insisted. It is amazing to see her reading and writing sentences on her own.

The school continues on up through 12th grade, and the idea of enrolling the older two keeps tempting me. I want to be sure first, of course, that the curricula they offer meshes with what I have been teaching.

Latin - They teach it, but what text? Must speak with Latin teacher. Plenty of research material to share.
Math - Currently using ABeka, but the math teacher told me today she is contemplating a switch to Saxon next year. My recommendation in favor of Saxon was taken into consideration.
English - Not sure what they are using. My aim is to assist them in their selection and make sure writing is a strong part of the program.
Logic/Rhetoric - A classical-styled school must-have. Again, I plan to foist my preferences upon them.

Back at the beginning of the school year, I found two glaring red flags which caused me extreme enrollment unease: excessive typos in an in-house produced information packet for the older grades, and Creation Science. My plan for these minor stumbling blocks will be to voluntarily edit and rewrite their materials, and allow for plenty of eye-rolling.

The principal has already expressed interest in The Well Trained Mind, now I will encourage him to read Climbing Parnassus, too.

If I am successful in manipulating their curriculum, I will gladly send the girls in the fall. If not, then we keep on.

Am I so self-important that I think I can really influence their selections? No. I learned at our last school that it is very easy to effect change in a small learning environment, squeaky wheel or not. This student body is even smaller, the senior class this year totals eight, and with enrollment down as a result of the hurricanes, they are hungry for tuition money. It all boils down to the green stuff.

No comments: