Thursday, October 13, 2016

Starting Over with our Homeschool

We started out our second year of homeschool using Bob Jones University Press (BJU Press) curriculum.  I loved it.  I was excited and wooed by the bright colors and manipulatives.  Well, not 6 weeks into it, we are getting rid of it and starting over with something new.

Here is why:

1.  BJU Press is extremely time consuming.

I know, homeschooling itself is extremely time consuming.  But having a curriculum that is easy to manage and not extra-time consuming is important...especially as a busy mom of 6.  BJUP takes a lot of time to set up.  I first realized this when I had my mom and mother-in-law over to help prep and there were WAY more manipulatives than I had originally thought.  Every night,and sometimes the morning of, I would spend at least an hour, maybe more, getting things ready for the next day.  Math and Phonics had the most manipulatives, and every day added more and more onto what we already needed.  There were HUNDREDS of small, vocabulary cards;  sight word cards, family cards, word cards, and parts of a word cards to be prepared...and sometimes story characteres needing to be copied, cut out, colored, and glued to a stick.  And that is just one subject!!  It was just all too much for me.  

2.  BJUP is geared more towards an actual schoolroom.

The curriculum is made to be used in a classroom setting.  It assumes you have bulletin boards or space to store everything you need.  It has homework-type assignments.  It has activities or games that you need more than 2 students to do.  I was constantly having to come up with ways to adapt lessons for just my 2 first graders.  Again...wasting time.

3. They are a Baptist doctrine-based curriculum.

We are a Reformed Presbyterian family, so when doctrinal discussions came up (specifically salvation)  I was having to correct the text and the kids' work texts to fit into our doctrinal beliefs.  Not necessarily bad, but annoying to have to do.

Something Good about BJUP...

I loved their Math!

Their Math 1 curriculum is amazing.  Despite all of the manipulatives, the math program is great.  I especially love their use of Unifix Cubes.  When I started using them to help F and T review addition and more-or-less concepts...they picked up on it almost instantly.  They (the cubes) were a great visual to help them understand more and less...greater and lesser. I love that! 

So, what are we going to do?

Well, we decided to use Christian Liberty Press.  They are a Reformed doctrine-based curriculum, which is great for Bible class.  Their schedule is much more conducive to our needing-to-be-flexible family life.  Their work texts are simple and easy to follow.  Our books are being shipped to us soon, and I cannot wait to start!  

As my mother-in-law pointed out to me,  it is better to start all over with a new curriculum, than to struggle and force your way through one that doesn't fit.  

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