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Over twelve years ago, I was filled with excitement at the prospect of homeschooling my oldest child. Flowers and sunshine seemed to frame my vision of reading and learning together with her. Soon thereafter, however, anxiety set in. You see, I didn't own a computer, and I didn't know where to start. With all the unknowns ahead of me, I felt like I was carving out a new path.
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My name is Kristi Lawrence. My husband Dan and I have been married for 15 years now. We live in Salem, Oregon. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful, and my husband loves to be out in nature hunting, fishing, and anything else with our boys. I, on the other hand, am usually found at home curled up next to the fireplace with a good book. We have 3 amazing kids. Our oldest Tommy is 13 and in 8th grade. His favorite subject is Pre-Algebra, and he is interested in drawing. Isaac is 10 in 5th grade. He has ADHD and likes to say that he doesn't like any school, but he is always showing me cool facts and funny things from his lessons so there must be something good. Then there is Sarah, age 6. She loves reading and has taken off in her schooling and finished up most of her 1st-grade subjects very quickly. The freedom of homeschooling allowed us to let her go at her own pace and move straight into 2nd grade already.
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I have recently heard some moms discussing their balance to be "Fun Mom" instead of just "Homeschool Mom." The fact is, as Mom, we are also Schedule-keeper Mom, Cook-and-housekeeper Mom, Spouse-to-your-husband Mom, Family-member Mom, Neighbor Mom, Church Member Mom, possibly Working-a -job-while-homeschooling-Mom, and more. It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of responsibility to keep your children and yourself on task. We have a great blog post written by a homeschooling mom that shares some great tips for maintaining that balance as Fun Mom. But what about the rest?
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When I taught fifth grade in a Christian school, we rarely finished a textbook in a year. Teachers deal with interruptions all the time: two-hour delays, wasps in the classroom, special assemblies, lice checks, field trips, behavior issues, holiday parties, and vomit, to name a few. And then there's the pace. Some students need more assistance and review than others. Teachers do what they can, but when the school year is done, it is done.
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Are you stressed out about the amount of time it takes to finish the homeschool work each day? Consider this helpful illustration from one of my favorite video teachers, Evanna Walker. BJU Press Homeschool is like a buffet. It's full of wonderful choices for your child. There are activities for every learning style as well as options for different skill levels. And while you should feel free to pile your plate high with educational goodness, remember that no one ever eats everything on the buffet.
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When we started our homeschool journey six years ago in Mississippi, I had all these questions about how and what was required. I had this image that it had to look like the public school system, but I was pleasantly surprised that it did not have to look anything like the public school. Mississippi has low regulations when it comes to homeschooling with few requirements. I will cover the few requirements that Mississippi has regarding homeschooling and some suggestions regarding high school requirements.
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Some of my most vivid school memories come from using BJU Press Homeschool's Science and Heritage Studies books. I distinctly remember the day I dissected the crayfish on our kitchen table in Biology with my mom. I have fond memories of the day we spontaneously made pueblos and cliff dwellings out of clay and pine needles because we had been studying the different types of Native American houses during Heritage Studies. These are the types of memories I hope to create with my children as well! This year we are using Science 2 (4th edition) & Heritage Studies 2 (3rd edition), and I love that this curriculum has cultivated learning experiences that have enhanced my children's understanding of the material! Science 2 & Heritage Studies 2 are both half-year courses. (These subjects become full-year courses in 4th grade.)
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Mandi Fox lives in south-central Illinois, just southwest of the capital, Springfield. She graduated from Bob Jones University in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She works as an emergency room nurse one day a week and also picks up work at the local Express Cares. She also teaches a variety of certification classes needed for nurses and doctors. She also is a pastor's wife with the many responsibilities that entails.
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Block scheduling, have you heard of it? It is used within homeschool and traditional school settings. I know this because I had a block schedule in high school. There are so many benefits to block scheduling within homeschooling!
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Hi, my name is Alice Bradley. I grew up in southern New Jersey, the home of the absolute best hoagies, where we drank “wooder” instead of water, and in a home with my mother, who was a single parent, and four sisters. I went to public school until attending Bob Jones University, where I met my wonderful husband, Roger. We have been married 32 years and have 4 daughters and a son. While my husband was pursuing a graduate degree, I helped out some dear friends who homeschooled their children using BJU Press Homeschool materials. That is where the seed of homeschooling started for us.
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