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There are a lot of buzzwords floating through the air this summer as we consider education. Perhaps you have heard some of these: biblical worldview, critical thinking, joy of learning, hands-on learning, learning styles.

Although these words are common in blogs, articles, and conversations, I wonder if you have had time to ponder the significance of them. What is your worldview? What is your child’s worldview? What does it mean to have a biblical worldview? What are critical thinking skills? Are all curriculums the same as far as teaching these skills? How much critical thinking should my child be demonstrating at this stage of his educational journey? How can I help him? Is he enjoying school? Is he learning at his ability level? Do I know his learning style?
 
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August is a significant month in the life of a homeschooling family.  It is the month where, if you haven’t already, you need to nail down several things related to homeschooling.  Here are ten things to consider.

1. Talk.  With your spouse.  Make it a date but with the specific purpose of discussing her ideas, struggles and goals for the upcoming year.  You need to make this happen and can use this list as a guide.

2. Curriculum.  A great place to start this discussion with your wife.  Help her with the research or discuss the research that she has already done.  Talk to other homeschooling families, use the internet, interact with the curriculum developers, but don’t lose sight of the importance of a product saturated with a Biblical worldview – not just a Bible verse or two tacked on to the end of a lesson.  What about developing academic excellence and critical thinking in your child?  Does the product cover all subjects necessary for a well-rounded education?  How do the various subjects interact with each other?  Who are the authors and what are their backgrounds and qualifications?  Even if your spouse takes the lead in this, make sure you have skin in the game by asking questions and understanding the options before you make a buying decision.

 
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Our family has a seven-year-old dachshund, named Louis, who is a source of both joy and frustration on a daily basis. He has beautiful, shiny, black hair with tan paws, eyebrows, and snout. He loves to go for walks, so a week or so ago I took him for a little adventure down the street to sniff out whatever seemed interesting to him. While he was sniffing at something, I looked over and saw a little twig with two acorn cups still attached. The acorns were gone, but the cups remained.



My mind is constantly turning over blog ideas, so I started thinking about encouraging homeschool parents to get their kids outdoors and explore. Suddenly I had a flashback to my own childhood. I grew up in New Jersey. When I was a very young child I lived in a town where riots were becoming more and more prevalent (it was the mid-sixties, in case some of you are wondering). My parents were very young Christians and had little training in parenting or rearing their children to walk with God, but they had strong ideals for their family. One of those was to raise us in a safe, nurturing environment. So, at the age of eight I moved out to Central Jersey which was much more rural than our previous neighborhood. There were cornfields and cows nearby, but all the trappings of city life were just miles away.
 
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I see you unloading your van, getting your cart or stroller ready to go into the convention. Your children are excited and chatty as you are making sure they have snacks for the walk around the convention center. I see you double checking each little one to be sure he or she is wearing both shoes. Your list of materials to look over is ready, and your family is excited to see other homeschool friends and attend workshops on homeschooling.

As I watch you peruse the convention center, you kindly accept catalogs from vendors and let us interact with you and your precious children. We so enjoy getting to know you and want to help you with homeschool resources. I am struck with the knowledge of the sacrifices so many families make to educate their children at home. This causes me to wonder—what event led you to make the choice to homeschool? Now that you have committed to educating your children, to what lengths are you willing to take that commitment? Have you come to the conclusion that the decision to homeschool is just the first of many on your journey to educate your children? Each child’s educational path is an individual journey in itself.
 
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Steph & Cooper – 1996

At 4:00 PM this afternoon, May 10th, 2014, our second son Cooper received his homeschool diploma along with 21 other homeschool graduates from the Upstate area of South Carolina. The ceremony was all about these 21 students, and rightly so—their hard work and discipline these last 13 years of schooling; their accomplishments in academics, music, sports, community service, leadership and other extra-curricular activities; and those bright future plans that are no longer on the distant horizon but are about to materialize.

There were testimonies and remembrances of co-op teachers, grandparents, siblings, youth pastors, parents and other friends and mentors. It was a great time of recognition and celebration—that’s what you do to put the capstone on this portion of a wall you’ve labored on for all these years. A similar scene will be played out at hundreds of other locations across the country over the next few weeks—homeschool co-ops, Christian schools, private and public high schools. Graduates will take front and center stage for good reason. But as I’ve worked through my own emotions these last few weeks one thing keeps crowding out the other thoughts in my mind: what about mom?

 
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Welcome to the HomeWorks by Precept blog! My name is Sharon Fisher, The TeacherMom, and I will be your host on this blog as we travel together through the journey of homeschooling our children.

First, let me explain who we are and why we want to reach out to you. Precept Marketing Group is a Christian educational resource company that was co-founded in 2002 by the owner and president of Graco Children’s Products. It was created with the purpose of offering the best in quality educational materials and services to Christian schools. The leadership at Precept also recognized from the beginning that homeschooling parents need assistance in securing those same materials, so they created HomeWorks By Precept—a division completely devoted to meeting the educational needs of homeschool families.

Over the past 12 years, HomeWorks has grown to include more than 200 consultants across the US and into Canada, and offers families quality educational products and services. Our consultants are homeschool parents, so they’ve been where you’ve been. They’ve taught BJU Press curriculum, and they are here to help you. Our consultants do more than just assist with your ordering needs—they’re dedicated to partnering with and encouraging you in your homeschooling all year long.
 
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Doing a better job connecting with our homeschool families (and those that should be!)

The homeschool community has increasingly used the internet to learn about home schooling; share ideas; research and compare education aids and curriculum; keep up with legislation that could harm or benefit homeschooling; do every kind of school-work related research for students; and network with other like-minded families. As an organization dedicated to assisting families with homeschooling, HomeWorks needs to be more proactive in using technology to connect with our current customers and reach the thousands of new families that are joining the home school ranks every year.

Over the last year we have been working behind the scenes to grow our knowledge base about web design, analytics, blogging and social media. While digging in, we have discovered some extremely talented people on our team in addition to the outside specialist assisting us on this journey.

It has been said that the best way to learn a foreign language is to immerse yourself in that country and culture. I believe the same holds true with technology; so in order to better understand what we need to do and what our customers would like to see from us I decided to jump in and start a blog.
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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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