This morning I received an email from a woman asking for info about Penmanship to Praise. I thought I’d share some of my response here. Penmanship to Praise (or P2P, as we like to call it) is a penmanship program written by Becky Avery, the author of The Weaver Curriculum. Within each book you’ll find colored cardstock with both cursive and italic alphabets. (Although I’ve never seen the A Beka or BJU programs, I’m told that the cursive and italics in P2P are not quite the same–seems no two companies are alike when it comes to how to form letters.) The younger levels also have a page that is block-style, and the older levels have a page that compares the three styles. I tend to teach cursive myself, and have been known to ‘change’ a letter or two if I don’t like how it looks on the chart. You need to choose the level based on the size of the lines that are comfortable for your child. I started my then-1st-grade son on level 1 last year and after about a month I moved him up to level 2 because the lines were too far apart and he was writing sloppy. P2P is set up in three sections: Memory Verse Choices, Practice for Praise, and Border Sheets. The Memory Verse Choices section is co-ordinated with the Weaver volumes, with all the memory verses for each volume listed by chapter. This is the only program within the Weaver Curriculum that has the Bible verses printed out (New American Standard), but it is just as easy to use your own choice of translations. The verses are merely type-written, not done in cursive or italics. The child is expected to “translate” the verse to the proper form on their sheet. The Practice for Praise section gives suggestions for letters to focus on each week, and then provides four days’ worth of practice sheets (Mon-Thur). The Border Sheets are for Friday, when the student writes the week’s verse in their best penmanship. There are detailed instructions at the front of the book that explain how to use the program, but as with any curriculum you are free to adapt it since you are the teacher. You can get a free sample of the program from AOP if you call them. They’ll send you sample sheets from each level so you can see the various line widths. Again, this is very important for placing your child in the correct level.
Our schedule has gotten off-track just a little. Last Thursday my husband returned from a business trip in the afternoon. I couldn’t go grocery shopping because I was waiting for him to call for a ride home from the airport. I couldn’t go Friday because we had the day off from school and spent it an hour away visiting grandparents. I couldn’t go Friday night because we had other commitments. I finally went this evening (Saturday) even though I dislike shopping on weekends/evenings. Not only has my “mom” routine gotten off-track, but some of the children didn’t finish up school on Thursday, so they’ll be working on Monday to catch-up. I’ll have to go through my lesson plans and rewrite them to fit in the catch-up day. But, that’s okay–that’s what makes homeschooling so great! We are not working on anyone esle’s schedule but our own. If we need to spend more time on something, we do. If we need to wrap it up quickly, we do. If we need to postpone it, we do. You’ll hear people refer to “teachable moments.” That’s where flexibility comes in. As we drove to visit grandparents yesterday, we observed the devastation caused by ice storms a couple weeks ago. Trees cracked at the top, and branches totally ripped off… the poor trees looked so sad and wounded, my heart broke. We were able to discuss how the damage happened, which led to weather and other science-related issues. There was a pile for burning branches in the community where my parents live. This led to another scientific discussion about heat, and “reactions.” Flexibility. Rabbit Trails. Teachable Moments. Call it what you like, it all comes down to educating our children according to God’s perfect plan: through the family. I am so thankful that we homeschool, and that my children feel they can ask anything, discuss anything, comment on anything… they enjoy having conversations with us!
Every now and then, homeschooling parents will come across a program or book that they feel is a must for their students to complete or read before they officially graduate. Although there are many books that I’ve read that I would like my children to read as well, only one has been so well-written that I felt it needed to be a “must read” for my children.
Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables, by Phil Vischer, is that book.
Phil had a dream–a dream of furthering the Gospel message and pointing children in the Right Direction. Surely God was blessing him when that dream came true in a big way. So… what happened? Where was God when it all came crashing down? Learn from Phil in this excellent book that will point you (and your high school student) toward the path that focuses on God.