Mary Yates
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Originally from Arkansas, Mary Yates and her husband, Doug, moved to Texas. They currently reside in the beautiful and business-savvy city of Plano. Mary’s sons are active in sports, and their family enjoys camping, fishing, swimming and participating in other outdoor activities together.

The Yates’ three sons each have very different learning styles, and Mary has found that the BJU Press curriculum’s teaching methodology meets the needs of all three boys. She is a fan of the BJU Press Distance Learning program because of the high quality of the instruction and the flexibility it provides her as an educator. The Yates family is also learning Spanish and Japanese through Rosetta Stone.

Mary has been a HomeWorks consultant since 2011, and she is passionate about empowering home educators to be more effective. You can find her conducting workshops throughout Texas where she teaches motivational strategies for your school year, time management tips, meal planning helps, and more. Mary spoke with us via phone and shared some of her homeschooling experiences.

BJU Press Adapts to Multiple Learning Styles

BJU Press does not teach via a rote memory method – the curriculum teaches for understanding, which is a much more effective way to learn. If your child is doing rote memory work, he must memorize the answers to his questions/problems. In teaching for understanding, BJU Press realizes that a student might not remember all the answers, so they teach students logical ways to work through to solve a problem. For instance, in BJU Press math, students are presented with three different ways to solve the same ratio problem. Different children will understand doing ratios in different ways, so teaching them three ways to solve the same problem ensures they will be able to come to a logical answer. For tactile learners, have your children be involved in learning each subject by working with their hands during their lessons. This is the only curriculum that has worked for all three of my children and their different learning styles!

Provides Fun as a Family with Science

In BJU Press Distance Learning courses, the teachers have a unique way of bringing the “cool factor” out of the subject, even if it's a dry subject for most people. They really make the subject matter interesting! For example, Mrs. Sherri Vick teaches Science 2 in which children study parasites. Sherri shows all kinds of parasite specimens to the children. Children get the opportunity to see a dog's heart in a jar and what heartworms look like. Distance Learning teachers provide so much extra experience to each course!

Fifth grade science begins with geology, so we bought the Logos Science kits for Earth and Space science. The kit contains all the rocks, so we did the scratch test experiments on the rocks. The older boys were not yet learning that specific content in their curriculum, but we went ahead and did that experiment all together as a family. We had a lot of fun!

When Mrs. Vick performed the frog dissection in seventh grade Life Science, even though my youngest one was just in fourth grade at the time, we bought a frog for him too. He had his own dissection kit, and I helped him along. The whole family got in on the fun!

Promotes Critical Thinking Skills

The BJU Press teacher’s editions always have different types of questions to ask your children: interpretive, appreciative, literal, and critical. However, they always ask critical thinking questions in every class, and this begins in early elementary. The answers to these questions are not just given outright in the reading--students have to put a couple of ideas together to formulate the answers. This promotes reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Even in BJU Press’s Bible curriculum, children read the Scriptures first then discuss the doctrine presented. Children may have to put two Scripture passages together to see how this doctrine is based on the Scriptures. In every subject, critical thinking comes into play.

What I share with homeschool moms

I tell moms that if they run up against “a wall” in their teaching or if their child does not understand something in his schoolwork, give me a call. Maybe we have gone through the same thing, and I may be able to share with you either a motivational strategy or some way just to tweak your course a little bit to help your child.

I also say that if your kids have been doing really wonderfully with their schoolwork, but you do not really want to tell anyone else because people will just think that you are bragging, call me! I will rejoice in the Lord with you over your children’s accomplishments! Brag to me anytime you want to!

Mary is just one of many HomeWorks consultants throughout North America. If you have questions about curriculum or homeschooling challenges, you can find and contact your local consultant through the Consultant and Event Locator.

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