Do you struggle with homeschooling? Does it sometimes look like there is no possible way that you can give your child a decent education at home? Does life get in the way?
I started homeschooling in 1995 when our oldest was ready for kindergarten. My husband and I had no doubt in our minds that the Lord had led us into homeschooling – in fact, it was more like He had to shove us into homeschooling! With two toddlers and in the midst of the intense nausea of the first trimester of pregnancy with our 4th child, I was overwhelmed from the beginning.
The Lord brought us through that first year of homeschooling, and we were convinced that homeschooling was definitely His will for our family. However, life was becoming more interesting. A couple of miscarriages, a job change for my husband followed by under-employment for a couple of years, an 11-month separation from my husband when he took another job in a different state, and a house on the market all joined forces to make it more and more difficult for me to keep up with the demands of homeschooling.
In June of 2000, we moved away from the area where I had lived for the first 30 years of my life, away from all family and friends, to another state where my husband had taken another job. Before we had fully settled in, I was pregnant again, this time with what turned out to be the most difficult pregnancy I have yet experienced. How in the world was I going to be able to teach a 5th grader, a 2nd grader, and 2 kindergartners? My husband and I both knew that it wasn’t going to happen using our then-current curriculum.
By the Lord’s grace, friends had introduced us to the Distance Learning curriculum offered by BJU Press. We were immediately captivated by the excerpts we saw and delighted at the philosophy expressed – the video teachers were not there to replace me as the teacher, but to help me. It was the help I desperately needed, and we were able to continue the homeschooling journey.
As the years have passed by, we have continued to have “life interruptions”. If it had not been for the BJU Press Distance Learning curriculum, there would have been many times that we would have been forced to abandon homeschooling. It has given us much comfort to know that learning can continue, even when I am not able to teach.
We now have 8 children, all of whom have different personalities and learning styles, and the curriculum works with each one of them. The icing on the cake is that they enjoy the classes! There have been many times when one child has called others over to watch a segment of a class, and many favorite segments have been watched over and over.
What started as just something that allowed me to keep my children at home has become a passion for me. I have come to appreciate more and more the Biblical integration of the BJU Press curriculum. Believe it or not, it was a math book that first impressed me in this area! Whereas the Christian curriculum that I had previously used for math seemed like a secular textbook with Christian wording added to it, it was very apparent that the BJU Press math curriculum had the Bible as its foundation. I was impressed that the commitment to the Bible was carried through so completely, even into math.
One of my children recently commented to me that he feels “sorry for those children who have to use a different curriculum.” Of course, he has never used any other curriculum and does not have anything to compare it with, but I believe that this sweet comment was a testament to the fact that the Lord has definitely led our family to the BJU Press Distance Learning curriculum. I am a very thankful mama!
Beth van der Hoek is a mother of 8 who has been homeschooling for almost 18 years, and she is looking forward to at least another 15 years of it, Lord willing. Because of her passion for the BJU Press curriculum, she is also an independent HomeWorks Consultant with Precept Marketing, the company that represents BJU Press products at Homeschool Conventions across the country. She loves to talk to other families to help them determine if the curriculum will also provide the solutions they need in their own homeschools. Please feel free to visit her at http://www.homeworksbyprecept.com/Beth-van-der-Hoek or visit her blog at http://www.motherbydesign.com/blog.