I have a confession to make. When I started homeschooling last year, I was scared. I was scared of messing up my children’s education. I was scared that my carefully ordered life was about to be turned upside-down. And I was scared of two subjects in particular—math and handwriting.
As I read through the Math 2 and Handwriting 2 Teacher’s Editions in preparation for the beginning of our homeschool year, I began to get really nervous. I knew, of course, how to write in cursive and how to add and subtract. But this teaching methodology, this style of writing—all of it was new. I couldn’t help thinking to myself this is not how I learned it.
My memory of second grade isn’t perfect, but I remember drilling math facts, the long homework papers filled with math problems, and the stressful timed tests. I didn’t learn cursive writing until third grade, and my uppercase Ts, Gs, and Fs looked nothing like the letters that I saw on BJU Press’s handwriting chart.
Maybe you find yourself having similar thoughts as you evaluate the BJU Press math or handwriting curriculum. Like me, you might want to avoid the unfamiliar in favor of the familiar. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind that I hope will be a help to you.
BJU Press math is different because it emphasizes understanding.
I grew up with a “drill and kill” math curriculum that heavily emphasized the memorization of facts, formulas, principles, and so on. And I did fine . . . until I had to actually apply the math. Since I had no real depth of understanding, I struggled to apply what I learned.
Without ignoring the need for learning math facts, BJU Press aims to develop a depth of math understanding that leads to application from the very beginning. I personally learned so much as I was teaching second-grade math—I went from a mindset of “I didn’t learn it this way” to “I wish I had learned it this way.”
BJU Press handwriting is different because it’s based on how kids naturally write.
Many young children struggle with writing. I know I did. In first grade, I even had a tutor to help me with my handwriting. Straight lines and round circles aren’t easy for small hands to form. That’s why BJU Press developed the PreCursive handwriting style. It’s simpler for little hands. Plus, it makes the transition to cursive a breeze.
It took me a couple weeks to retrain my own pen strokes, so kids who didn’t start out learning BJU Press PreCursive from the very beginning might need a little time to get used to the new handwriting style. But once they learn it, it will be easy for them to produce neat writing.
BJU Press math and handwriting have been a big blessing to our homeschool. I no longer consider them odd—I think they’re awesome.
Check out our math and handwriting products for yourself, and see what a difference “different” can make.