Do I Need to Purchase a Teacher’s Edition if I Use BJU Press Materials?
Friday, 10 April 2015

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  • Comprehension
  • Curriculum
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  • Parent Led
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There are many different ways to educate your child using BJU Press materials. Video courses provide interesting lessons taught by video course teachers. Their lessons are taught on colorful sets and include video clips and visual aids to make learning fun. Video course lessons are available online or on DVD. Parents can supervise and facilitate lessons that have already been prepared using BJU Press materials. For video courses, the teacher's editions are provided in PDF format, or a hard copy can be purchased at a discount during the video course lease period if a parent prefers to reference a hard copy for reinforcement. Video course lessons are customized for the homeschooled student and presented by teachers that have prepared those lessons using the teacher's edition as a guide.

Some parents prefer to teach lessons themselves rather than use distance learning and sometimes ask consultants if a teacher's edition is necessary to teach the lessons. Each child and family is unique as well as your child's learning style and your teaching style. We often say that the parent is the key to his child's education, so how you use materials to accomplish your goals is your prerogative. It is important to know how the materials are designed to work and to determine your family's goals in using those materials. If your goal is to teach lessons yourself that include developing critical thinking skills with a biblical worldview using hands-on activities that can be tailored to your child's needs, then teaching with a teacher's edition for BJU Press materials is important.

Lessons have been developed and presented with these goals in mind for your child so that you do not have to do any extra work. The teacher’s edition provides the materials you need to meet your objectives so you can tailor lessons to your child’s learning style. Most teachers' editions include additional and supplemental materials. Lessons are written to help develop critical thinking skills and to teach problem-solving. The teacher's edition explains background information and gives excellent explanations and support materials for teaching each subject.

What If I want to teach the lessons myself and I don't get a teacher's edition?

You will have to do more work to teach the lesson, although someone has already expertly prepared the lesson for you. Since the lesson is taught from the teacher’s edition, you are basically teaching from workbook pages that are designed to be part of guided instruction on the front side along with the TE lesson, and then the practice of that lesson on the back of the page. Although workbook pages are biblically integrated and have teaching boxes, the critical thinking questions and methods for helping your child to understand concepts are not available to you without the teacher's edition. This leaves it up to you to create a lesson that teaches the concept the workbook is reinforcing, which includes possibly adding in the biblical worldview and critical thinking questions, as well as demonstrations and additional information you may need in that presentation. For you to provide this level of instruction, you will need to do work that has already been done for you and will require you to spend time away from enjoying your child preparing for his lessons. Since less preparation time is one of the major benefits of using BJU Press materials, this would be a loss.

Your child will acquire basic knowledge but may not develop critical thinking skills without additional work on your part. A math lesson is more than a workbook page to complete using teaching boxes. In order for a concept to be taught well, there should be some review of concepts already learned as a foundation to build upon for more advanced conceptual learning. Teaching a lesson using manipulatives includes directions and preparation. The teacher's edition does this beautifully. It builds the teaching and understanding of a concept from a concrete problem. For example, adding five dollars to two dollars makes a sum of seven dollars. Teaching this lesson using concrete objects and connection to the abstract version of $2+$5=$7 will, when understood correctly, build to a later understanding of the addition of positive and negative numbers, fractions, and algebra. BJU Press materials are written with a spiral approach that builds upon itself so that students are introduced to a concept, taught to comprehend and apply it and practice it for mastery. This is all done through the use of a teacher's edition.

Although handwriting and spelling teacher's editions are small, they have important information for your child as well. Those with expertise have designed the materials and methods for writing to be age-appropriate and to work with your child's motor skills in mind.

Spelling words are just spelling words, right? Not if you plan to teach your child to use spelling patterns and rules to decipher and build his vocabulary and to spell well while writing. If you're looking for some words to spell correctly for a test, a teacher's edition is not important.

Teaching reading is more than having a child read a story aloud to see if he can pronounce words. The teacher's edition provides phonetic instruction and critical thinking questions to help your child comprehend what he is reading. A reader and workbook will not accomplish those goals alone.

So back to the original question: do I need to purchase a teacher's edition if I use BJU Press materials? If you use video courses, you will have everything you need without an additional purchase. You could use the teacher's editions on PDF or purchase them at a special discount if you prefer.

If you choose to teach the lessons yourself, you have other considerations. The truth is that your child could complete work without one, but you severely handicap yourself for time and efficiency by teaching without maximizing the well-thought-out curriculum that was developed to help your child understand and master concepts. And most importantly, your child will not receive the benefits of using a curriculum designed to teach critical thinking skills in a biblically-based format that can be tailored to meet his individual needs and provide the joy of learning that he needs and wants.

Please contact a HomeWorks consultant to discuss your family's educational needs. We will do our best to help you find the materials you need to accomplish your goals.

On behalf of the HomeWorks team,
Sharon Fisher

Manager | Curriculum Specialist, Speaker Coordinator, Social Media
HomeWorks by Precept