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I'm nervous! Why? I always get this way at the beginning of the school year. We start on Tuesday! Every beginning of the school year a fear takes over me... a dread that I will fail as a teacher, a mother, and spiritual mentor. I have no one to blame, no one to complain to, no one to say it’s not my fault...the buck stops with me. I am the educator.
 
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Every school year I spend a little bit of time preparing the materials my child and I will need to have a successful school year. This makes everything easier for the both of us. Here are my organizing tips for this year’s materials- the BJU Press Homeschool Distance Learning Online Grade Kit.
 
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Routines and schedules are necessary for accomplishing our goals, but students (and parents) get tired of doing things the same way every day.

As adults, routines help us not have to make a hundred million decisions every day. We tend to stick to our routines even if we don’t purposely do so. Ever find yourself sitting in the same chair or pew week after week at church? You might even park in the same spot every Sunday. I have one area at Walmart I always park my car. If I didn’t park in that area, I’d likely forget where I parked.
 
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My name is Michael Knott, and I am the Director of HomeWorks by Precept. As many homeschool families begin to start their new school year, I wanted to take some time to encourage each of you with something has been on my heart recently as it pertains to the Christian homeschool community.

The book of Genesis has always fascinated me. It was written by Moses to the Israelites who had been in Egyptian captivity for hundreds of years. The Israelites did not have the luxury that you and I have of opening our Bibles to study God's Word. At their point in time, they only knew stories and practiced certain traditions that their parents had passed down to them. They were basic people who never had the close interaction with God that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their direct descendants had.
 
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Choosing to homeschool through high school is a big decision with a lot of responsibility. Dual enrollment allows your student to take a college course both for high school and college credit. I want to give you a few things to consider when deciding if your homeschool teen will benefit from dual enrollment.
 
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Here are a few tips for helping your child participate in a dual enrollment course.

1. Take the ACT or SAT – Almost all colleges will have minimum ACT/SAT scores before they will register your student in a dual credit class. Sometimes, this is only for the subject corresponding with the course the student wants to take. PLAN to take the ACT near the end of the student’s SOPHOMORE year if you plan to dual enroll the student as a junior.
 
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Some years we’re not quite done with school by May 15th, and I choose to add a little schoolwork in the summer. We do some half days in June (before it’s terribly hot) and more in July when being outside in the afternoon isn’t fun without a pool. “School,” when we do it in the summer, is quite a bit more relaxed and simple than during our regular school year. We only do a couple of core traditional subjects each day and really focus on skills with electives. Here are five ideas for summer homeschooling.
 
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Each homeschooling home is unique. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling. We have the opportunity to adapt curriculum, schedules, calendars, and various other things to fit the needs of our home and family. One of the adaptations that I made for our home and family was to our school calendar. The traditional school calendar did not necessarily fit our needs, so my husband and I decided that we would opt for a year-round school schedule.
 
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Samuel was three before we finally knew his delayed language was due to a moderate hearing loss. I was already homeschooling a five and seven-year-old, so continuing to homeschool was an easy decision. Many mornings of our early homeschool journey began like this.

“Good morning, Samuel. Do you have your ‘ears’ in?”
“Huh?”
“Samuel, go put in your hearing aids.”
 
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I have four children. I know families who have more, so to me, four doesn’t seem like a lot. But when we go out in public, I always get “looks”. Some are disapproving, some are just amused. At the grocery store is always the best, though, because we are shopping in the middle of the school day, so the girls always get the question “Shouldn’t you be in school?” Usually, it is older women who give me smiles and relate their own experience with motherhood – “I remember those days. They go so fast. Enjoy!” or “I used to wait for my husband to come home so I could shop because I just needed a little quiet!” My favorite was the woman who patiently waited as we trooped around the end corner of an aisle, smiled at us, told me that my family was beautiful, my children were so well-behaved and that she had raised 6, and they had all been teenagers at once. And then she said, “They all moved out, one right after the other, and now my house is too quiet.” That statement got me thinking about the time of life in which I currently find myself.
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My consultant has been a great help to me when I need to know quickly what is available for my various needs when they arise throughout the school year. She is such a joy to talk to, and very down-to-earth when sharing her homeschool insight. // Mary K - Westminster, Maryland
 

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