Have you experienced frustration when trying to teach your own children? I can remember sitting at the table with one of my daughters, going over a simple sequence of events in American history, and she just couldn’t get it straight. The thought of “why can’t she learn this simple idea?” quickly led to “I’m such a failure as a homeschooler.” As a homeschool grad and a homeschool dad, I’ve had experience on both sides of this disheartening scenario. Often our frustration grows from our expectations about teaching. If we have a better understanding of teaching as a creative practice, we can also have better expectations for our children.
“Can I teach this subject in a group learning setting to students of different grade levels?” This is a common question from homeschooling parents who are struggling with the time requirements of teaching multiple children of different ages. Specifically, parents want to know if they can do group learning with their textbooks. But often, questions like this just don’t have a simple answer. One family might be able to make it work, while another might not. Alternatively, it could work in your family with one subject, but not another. Before you give group learning a try, here are a few tips that might help you on your journey.
I had to laugh at a recent advertising slogan I saw: “Mac and cheese is self-care.” As I thought about this matter of self-care, I realized that we don’t usually neglect to take care of ourselves. The problem is we tend to allow the world, our feelings, or our friends to dictate how we “self-care.” In every area of life, our purpose should be to bring glory to God, and this includes taking care of ourselves. If we do this selfishly, it will end up only hurting us and our families.
So what is the right way to approach this issue of self-care? As in all other aspects of life, we can look to Jesus, our perfect example. Though fully God, He was also fully human and experienced human needs. Jesus spent His earthly life serving others, but He also took time to take care of Himself in two main ways.
As we approach Inauguration Day, you and your children may be having regular conversations about the outcome of the elections, how leaders are chosen, and how Christians should respond to leaders who do not value God’s commands. The Bible should always guide our responses to the major events in our lives. However, our world often appears differently from the way it did in Bible times.
In Bible times, when leaders were often born into their roles, it was easy to see how God chose leaders. In a democracy, the people choose our leaders. Certainly God remains sovereign over all the choices of man, but is it possible that God intended for us to have a better leader but allowed the people to choose a worse leader? Are our current leaders not the leaders He chose for us? How should we as Christians respond to earthly leadership?
Have you ever noticed that life and homeschool curriculum just don’t always see eye-to-eye? The days are either too short or they somehow get too full. How can you possibly get every subject done and all the extras, too? If you’re overwhelmed with life events, if you’re transitioning to a new curriculum, if you’re just getting into homeschooling, or if you’re spending way too much time each day just getting through curriculum, it may be time to consider modifying your curriculum to make it simpler for you and your children.
This doesn’t need to be another daunting task for you to accomplish. Modifying your BJU Press curriculum doesn’t usually mean rewriting it or finding additional resources to add to your day. Modifying either your parent-led or video course curriculum usually means deciding which resources provide the most value to your family and focusing on those. Our writers never intended for students to answer every question and complete every activity. Each book has more than you need for the completion of the course. An important learning principle is that successful education doesn’t mean doing all the things all the time. Successful learning comes when you do the things you have time to do effectively. We will look at ways to modify the program so it works better for you, but first, here are some things to consider before making those modifications.