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Students put so much effort into their academic work; I never wanted them to see me throw it away. My method of keeping schoolwork is to toss it all in a box at the end of the year and put in the attic. This week I’ve brought down a couple of those out and have been throwing away a lot of unnecessary records. In the trash went a Handwriting 3 book my daughter completed three years ago.
 
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We are celebrating Memorial Day this week, and in our last blog post, we discussed the origin of the holiday and value of remembering and honoring those who lost their lives in battle for our American freedoms. But memorializing doesn’t happen just once a year. Think about other holidays. We remember and honor God’s gift and Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind at Christmas and Easter. At Thanksgiving, we remember those who went before us to make this country great and God’s protection for them. We celebrate our veterans and our independence as national holidays. But more than that, we memorialize events in our day-to day lives as well.
 
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It’s almost Memorial Day and many families take the day off to enjoy a picnic, a day on the lake, or just some family time together. When I was growing up in the Northeast, I knew school was almost finished for the year because Memorial Day was here. It was our first picnic of the season where we gathered with all of my uncles and their families at a local park. We enjoyed this activity on July 4th and Labor Day, which signaled the end of summer to us as well. Of course there were fireworks on the 4th, but all of the other holidays had grilled food, baseball, and watermelon. So what made Memorial Day special? I do faintly remember seeing flags and adults wearing poppies on their lapels, but to be honest, I don’t remember memorializing anything. As homeschooling parents this is a wonderful opportunity to not only enjoy a day together, but also to teach a life lesson.
 
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Many different types of families attend homeschool conventions, from those with a very conservative background to those who are self-proclaimed secularists in their philosophy. There are very large families and those with only one or two children. There are families who foster or adopt, and those who do not. There are parents desperate to find an answer for their child’s special needs, and those who simply want to give their kids a full educational experience.
 
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Homeschooling truly is one of God’s greatest blessings to families. In our country we have the right to choose the materials, resources, and methods we use to teach our children, not to mention where and when that takes place. HomeWorks firmly believes in the privilege of choice and therefore is dedicated to providing the flexibility required to meet your child’s needs. However, all choices of materials are not equal. Before you decide between BJU Press and another homeschooling material—or even a BJU Press workbook over a full grade kit—let’s look at some important considerations.
 
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It’s a list of familiar lies. You’re a terrible mother. You’ve made too many mistakes. Your kids will never “rise up and call you blessed.” You must have missed something in your child rearing OR you might miss something in your child rearing. It’s your fault if your kids don’t turn out exactly as you hope they will for God’s glory. I have told myself these lies over the years, and even now as a mother of grown sons, yesterday I heard the whisper in my ears yet again.
 
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When do you grade spelling on projects? This question comes up often at conventions and on Facebook. Spelling is certainly something we need to teach our children so that they will become good communicators; but must they spell everything correctly on every page? The answer is no. Especially at a young age, children are trying to determine letter-sound correlation and use critical thinking skills to spell things. As they progress, they are taught generalizations and rules to help them become better spellers.
 
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Do your children dislike math? Do you dislike teaching math? If your kids don’t like math it could be because they don't understand the math itself, but it also could be that they think the math doesn’t really matter and is a waste of time to learn. We’ll address the comprehension issue in a separate blog post. Being able to understand the math that they’re learning is very important, otherwise they're not able to apply the concepts that they've learned to real life problem solving, which is really the basis for making math matter.
 
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Are you trying to get a full lesson done each day? Why? Slow things down and remember this is just a tool. Try watching the video one day and completing the assignment the next, or watch a portion of the video one day and the rest the next. Use the rewind whenever needed. You don't have to finish a complete lesson every day. I like to say, “Teach to learn the lesson, not to get to the next lesson.” If it takes three days, then take that time to work on the lesson—it’s okay. The videos are tools to come alongside you, not to rule you. The Distance Learning teachers are there to assist you. You know your children, so make adjustments to fit their needs. Also, it’s okay to do open book tests once in a while. That will serve as an encouragement if they are struggling through a difficult stage.
 
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Social media provides a valuable and informative channel for the HomeWorks team to stay in touch with our homeschool families. As we read through different social media newsfeeds, we are always excited and encouraged by the experiences and successes shared by our homeschool families about BJU Press materials. We especially enjoy meeting your families at conventions and hearing from your own children how much they love the materials and how they are grasping new concepts.
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Consultant Spotlight

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Esther Black

Esther Black is a second-generation homeschooler, wife, mom of 7, and HomeWorks by Precept Consultant from Iowa. Her goal is to encourage and support other homeschooling families to find the tools they need to continue investing in their children. ...
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Carla Heslop

As a homeschooling momma of 7, I’m familiar with the fear of ruining your children for life. I’ve even tossed around the idea of pushing my kids on the school bus and throwing in that towel! I desperately didn’t want to, and I just didn’t know what else to do! I was drowning. I needed homeschool help, and I just didn’t know where to find it...
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Beth Milligan

My name is Beth Milligan. I live in a beautiful part of North Idaho surrounded by glistening lakes and rugged forests. We live in a rural area where fishing and hiking are within minutes and where a moose may pay a visit on our back porch. In the summers, you will find our family of 5 playing a fun round of ...
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Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith lives in Fayetteville, NC – the home of Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne and US Army Special Operations. She graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education. Natalie met her husband, Germaine, at Bob Jones University working in the University Cleaners. They have been married for 13 years. The Lord has blessed them with two girls. ...
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Sharon Huizinga

Sharon Huizinga lives in Michigan with Tom, her husband of 13 years, and their four children. They both grew up in Connecticut, met at church, and got to know each other better in college at Western Connecticut State University. Sharon graduated with her bachelor’s degree just a few weeks before she and Tom married in 2006. She went on to teach second, fourth and fifth grades in Christian schools. ...
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HomeWorks By Precept exists to provide you with the best educational resources to help your child become a creative, adaptive thinker with a strong biblical worldview. Our relationship doesn’t end with the once-a-year curriculum purchase—HomeWorks By Precept is here to partner with you all year long.
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