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How do you find time to serve and give to others in your community? We didn’t choose to homeschool because we wanted to be secluded from our community; we simply wanted to provide an excellent and wholesome education for our children. We sought out community activities and ways to volunteer and serve too.
 
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It’s the Christmas season—nearly every business is decorated and church buildings display some type of signage to reflect the season. From special sales and Santa sightings to Christmas programs and gingerbread, the general population is aware that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But something struck me yesterday as I was driving down the street. It was a very understated sign that read, Immanuel: God with us. We see words like “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” everywhere during December, but the words “God with us” made me stop and think.
 
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A few years ago, I tried my very first distance learning online class. At the time I thought it was a little expensive, but I was desperate. I had four homeschool students plus a toddler, and was not at 100% health. Did I mention that one of those children was significantly behind because of hearing loss and I was doing speech therapy almost three hours a day with him and the toddler? I spent the money and purchased just one subject—Reading 2—for Samuel, the child who was struggling with reading. I was willing to spend the money because I knew no matter how busy my life was or what kinds of problems we were having, that child HAD to progress in reading before he realized he was behind.
 
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Let’s talk writing! Most homeschooling families realize the value of teaching their children to write, but have a difficult time finding good resources that meet their needs and that their children enjoy using. BJU Press curriculum begins the writing process in Grade 2 with Grammar and Writing textbooks, and continues all the way through high school. In addition, writing activities are included with Spelling and also in the secondary level of Grades 7-12 Literature. Many writing tools offered by BJU Press can be combined with any writing program you are considering.
 
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The leaves are turning beautiful autumn colors and the outside temperature has cooled. It's that wonderful time of year when we start to bake more often and our kids make crafts of every variety. Our homes are decorated with pumpkins and turkeys.

We all look forward to the Thanksgiving season—spending time with family and enjoying a big meal together. During this time we remind our children of all we have to be thankful for. They write little poems and make cards to share with others. We remember the Pilgrims and give God thanks for His grace to us.
 
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Last time I talked about adapting your day to your child’s needs. Now, how do you create that much-needed schedule? The schedule is just a guide—every day will not be perfect. Having a guide will help though, and scheduling time to spend with the Lord, reading or listening to His Word and talking to Him through prayer, is the key to that happy schedule.
 
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Each child learns differently and we should adapt our daily structure to meet his needs. Although each of my children was different, I didn’t have to change my curriculum or teaching tools; I simply had to change my style—the way I taught or presented the materials. Scheduling the day on paper helped me spend time with each child to meet each one’s needs accordingly. Setting aside time with the Lord first thing in the morning gave me the focus I needed for my day to run smoothly. As you read further, I hope you will find helpful tidbits to help you better structure and schedule your day.
 
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Could someone please give me advice for homeschooling my children with a newborn or little one in our home?

I often see this question in the Facebook newsfeed and enjoy reading through the encouraging comments that mothers have for each other. Although I understand the joys of having multiple children and juggling the responsibilities and blessings of being a working mom, I have not actually homeschooled, let alone done it with one or more little ones in the mix. As part of the HomeWorks team, I'm able to meet many of you at conventions, interact with more of you on social media, and also work with the many wonderful consultants who homeschool their children. I see those with special needs, many with little ones, those who are fostering or adopting, and those who are grandparents with young children at home, and I am constantly amazed at the depth of your dedication to educate your children for the glory of God. All that to say, it is a blessing to be part of a homeschooling community that can help you bear one another’s burdens and share good advice.
 
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Now that fall is here, homeschooling is in full swing for most families. Some of you teach four days a week, some choose several weeks on and then several off, some homeschool year-round, and others follow a traditional school schedule; but regardless, at this time of year we all are in a “back to school” mindset to some extent. It’s easy to get caught up in the many exciting lessons we have planned for our children, and somehow our responsibilities pile up and we can become overwhelmed. Let me encourage you to find a good plan and do everything you can to follow it, then give yourself some grace. You are a mother first and foremost.
 
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As a HomeWorks Consultant, many times I am placing an order for a new customer who has just purchased a full BJU Press grade kit, and she asks in a worried tone, “What about electives? Is this going to be enough?”

Usually the answer to that question is YES, you have enough. Biology covers a lot of health. World History covers a lot of fine art history. Foreign Language and Bible are both included and make excellent electives.

You will want to cover any electives your state requires and clearly note them on your student’s transcript. In Kentucky, I am including Physical Education, Fine Arts, and Health.
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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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