Consultant Spotlight - Alice Bradley
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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.

When our oldest child was ready to start kindergarten, we prayed about the option of homeschooling. A Christian education was a priority for us, because both my husband and I grew up in the public school system and agreed that we wanted our children to learn what the Bible had to say about everything they were learning in school, instead of learning about evolution, humanistic philosophy, and having bad influences from other children. We also felt that their education was our responsibility and not someone else’s. We took the admonition from God’s Word: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Admittedly, I initially felt unqualified for the task I had been given, so we needed a curriculum that I could use without needing to know how to teach. After doing some research, we decided on BJU Press Homeschool curriculum because of how user-friendly the BJU Press Homeschool teacher editions are.

Our family grew to five children. Each child was so unique in personality and learning styles. We have some who are quantitative/number/math/logic-oriented. Others are more verbal and literary. Homeschooling allowed us to tailor our children’s education to their strengths and weaknesses.

Having five children has unique challenges. It was five against one, and I was losing the battle in homeschooling. Our children wanted to be in their own grades with their own subjects. There was no way that I could do seven subjects for each of them and still get my wash done and dinner on the table. When we saw the BJU Press Homeschool video courses, we knew that was God’s answer to help us with this overwhelming job of homeschooling multiple children.

Lessons learned over the past 23 years

I learned to prioritize my own personal devotion time and not let anything get in the way. When my children were younger, I remember dragging myself out of bed to have my devotions. I knew that without God’s help, I could do nothing. I prayed for each child and their individual needs, as well as my own. A frequent prayer was, “Lord, help me to get done what You want me to do because I can’t get it all accomplished.”

I learned to control the curriculum and not have it control me. We had to rethink our hours in the school day as a budget. We wanted them to learn but also wanted them to take part in extracurricular activities. My husband and I decide what we want to accomplish in the school time for each child and cut out and prioritize as needed.

Homeschooling isn’t glamorous, but it is such an important job. I found myself becoming discouraged about my responsibilities. Just checking the children’s work can become tedious. I was challenged by Rand Hummel’s definition of diligence, which is “looking at each task I am given as a special assignment from the Lord and using all the talents and energies I have to accomplish it.” Romans 12:11 says, “… not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord whom you serve.” When I realized that homeschooling was my God-given, special assignment, I was motivated to do the best job I could to please Him.

Opportunities

Homeschooling offers so many unique opportunities. We wanted to include life skills in our homeschooling. When we lived in Florida, we were blessed to be a part of a wonderful 4-H group. My children learned sewing, cooking, flower arranging, caring for plants, meat judging, and public speaking. The volunteers in our county were amazing. They had the patience to teach my children things that I couldn’t teach. Participating in 4-H also gave us opportunities to rub shoulders with unsaved families and allowed us to be a witness to them. My children learned leadership skills by running a meeting, organizing activities, and holding different offices in their clubs and county.

What a joy it was to watch my children, who would hardly speak in public, be able to compete in speech and demonstration contests! One daughter won third place in the state of Florida in the 4-H speech contest, and loved cooking so much she majored in culinary arts in college. Another daughter uses her sewing skills in college by sewing costumes for theater productions. My son participated in a forest ecology club. He learned the different types of trees, helped the county forester plant new trees, learned how to estimate the amount of lumber in a tree, and even learned how to build a house while working with a seasoned builder.

When you are home schooling, everyday life is going on all around you. This may cause delays in your learning. When my mother was dying from lung cancer, we were able to be there to help her during her last year. We learned the life lesson that people are more important than things. A school schedule is important, but sometimes you have to adjust. We didn’t get as far in school that year, but were able to spend precious time with my mother that we will always cherish. We started the next school year on schedule and continued to the next grade. We stopped where we needed to firm up things that we may have missed the year before and then kept going.

Recently, my youngest daughter and I participated in an afterschool ministry where some public school children are brought to our church on Wednesday afternoons. We have an amazing opportunity to present the Gospel to the children, serve them a snack, and help them with their homework! What a privilege to be a part of that ministry! If my children had attended public school, we would have missed out on many of these experiences!

I am in the homeschooling homestretch now with only one year left. I have loved homeschooling my children and would not have changed it for anything in the world! I am so thankful for the freedom and opportunity God gave me to homeschool them. As I finish these last years, I want to cherish every minute and finish well. I am so thankful that God equipped a nobody like me to do such an important job, and He will do the same for you if you are willing.

How I became a HomeWorks Consultant

I remember over the years wishing that I could talk with and maybe get together with someone who lived nearby who used BJU Press Homeschool materials. One time when I called to order my BJU Press materials, I asked if they could let me know if there was anyone who was nearby using BJU Press materials, but they couldn’t give me any names because of privacy laws.

A friend asked me to join her at a local BJU Press Homeschool Curriculum Display, where I had the opportunity to show her the curriculum and share all the things I loved about it. She ended up purchasing it for her son. I was thrilled! Later, I learned about HomeWorks Consultants and found that this was exactly what I had wished for all these years.

After my husband and I talked, he said that maybe this is something that the Lord would have me to do in order to help other people. My comment was, “ME? I already have more on my plate than I can handle!” I was not looking for something else to do. As we prayed about it, we saw it as a way that we could give back to the homeschooling community by sharing all the wonderful things God has taught us. So many people had helped us on our journey, and this was an opportunity for us to help others.

I absolutely love being a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant. I love encouraging other homeschoolers. My customers are like family to me. I have watched their children grow up. I love hearing their cute stories of what their children have said and learned. I want to be there for the fun times and pray with them and help them during the difficult times. Best of all is when I have the privilege to hear how God used BJU Press materials to point their children to the Lord, and they trust Him to be their Savior!

Many of my customers are real heroes to me. Some are caring for their families while dealing with heartbreaking medical problems. Some have to work full-time jobs and keep the homeschooling going. They encourage me every day. In turn, I try to give them what I wanted when I was in the thick of things: someone to listen, laugh, cry, cheer them on, pray for them, and point them to God, who can equip them to do the job He has for them.

I meet customers while hosting an event, who express doubt that they can homeschool. I listen to their situation, try to provide a solution that will give them confidence to homeschool. They leave the event with a Biblical curriculum on order, know how to tailor it for the needs of their children, have my number to call for help, and leave with a smile. On those days, I am reminded why I do what I do and am thankful to do what I love.

Meet the Author


Alice Bradley - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant
www.homeworksbyprecept.com/Alice-Bradley


 

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