Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homeschooling, What We Decided...

As you may remember from this post, my husband and I were once again back at the point of prayer over our homeschooling!  I won't bore you all by lamenting over our previous choices, but simply fill you in on what we decided through much prayer, consideration and advice from other Christian home educating friends. 

We knew from past experience that we simply could not rely on ourselves to review and remove the worldly content from the Irish State textbooks.  There is definitely too much of it to start with, I'd be there all day long with my faithful Sharpie!  Seriously though, we make mistakes, and may miss something that is not in our childrens best interests to read.  So we finally decided to make a full switch to a Christian curriculum.  What a relief that was!

I really dislike researching curriculum; it makes my head hurt!  As we were also importing it from overseas, there was the extra issue of not really being able to make an informed choice, due to the fact that we couldn't get a hands-on look at samples from each publisher.  We consulted with our Pastor who both recommended BJU and A Beka.  We decided to go with A Beka, as I felt that that would be the best choice for us, plus I felt the BJU website was somewhat confusing. 

The day our packages arrived (thankfully, the exorbitant postage ensured that they were delivered VERY quickly) we were all so excited!  Dylan also, as he had a couple of things coming from A Beka: a hymnal, CD, another math book (he is almost finished with the "senior infants/K5" one he started in September!!) and Bible memory cards.  Amy and I went through each book individually and I was very impressed with both the moral and academic content.  In all honesty I found the academic content to be superior compared with the Irish public school books.  Our Pastor's wife was such a blessing to us, when making decisions regarding our order.  She was the only person who advised us (using her own homeschooling experience) to buy the "teachers editions" also.  Based on her recommendation, my husband agreed we should get them one time, and then see whether it would be good to buy them subsequent years.  I don't know about you all, but I LOVE them!  I feel that they help me stay on track and be more efficient with our schooling, plus marking is so easy and fast having all the answers right there too!  So yes, we are LOVING our new school materials; I only wish that every child in our country had access to such high standard curriculum.

**Note**: Blogger has informed me that I have reached my maximum free photo storage and wants me to buy more.  I'm not sure if I'll do this yet, I'll have to talk it over with my husband.  So until then, there will sadly be no picture posts! :(


aurie good said...

First - I'm so glad that you found a curriculum that you love! What a blessing!!

You are the third blogger besides myself who got that error in the past week. I think something is going on with Blogger. I'm actually moving my blog to WordPress because of some of the issues I've had with Blogger.

Mrs. Josh said...

We found that if we created a "new" blog author and e-mail address that we were able to keep blogging at least temporarily as the "new" e-mail has no pictures on it yet. It worked for us and the BEST is FREE!
Loved your post!

Katie said...

We are using ABeka this year as well ~ our oldest in 5th grade and our daughter with 1st grade. In fact, we've used ABeka every year but two in our six year homeschooling journey thus far. We tried BJU last year, and while it was wonderful too ~ we decided to go back to ABeka just because we were used to the style. I love that both ABeka and BJU teach with KJV Scripture only. Many other curriculums use other versions.

We are big supporters and users of ABeka! Our Church even uses the ABeka Sunday School program for the elementary classes. A solid biblical curriculum standing on the Word of God. I agree wholeheartedly with you about the moral and academic content.

Many blessings to you in your continuing homeschooling journey!!

Blessings from the States~

~SALLY~ said...

I got the SAME MESSAGE from blogger too...I do wonder if it is a bug they are experiencing.

I have started Pre-K with my oldest and use is wonderful! Very detailed but very thorough. Hope you enjoy it! :)

Nicole Pelkey said...

That's great that you were able to find a curriculum you are so happy with!! We use a lot of Abeka also. Having now homeschooled for about 8 years I now pull different curricum from different places and somewhat put my "own thing" together. But we use a lot of Abeka.
A lot of people think that Landmark is "boring" or not challenging enough, or too basic...but we do use some of their stuff also. I've been told by a few pastor friends that BJU has a lot of material that is Calvanistic...just a heads up. I don't know for myself...but then you have to rememeber that no curriculum is perfect. Even Abeka...they clearly believe and teach the universal church.
What I like about Landmark is that they are an independent Baptist Church that puts out a curriculum. But like I said, the quality isn't really comparable to Abeka and higher name curriculums.
:) its sooo exciting when you love your curriculum! And when they kids love it! Sure makes school lots of fun!

~ oh...I bought a new storage planso I could clog with pictures again...but what Nikki did is probably the best plan /idea/solution I've seen ...


Nora L said...

This is great Sarah,
I must look into ABEKA and BJU but if the latter is leaning on the calvanist side then that is a definite that is a no no.But i must look into them we know 2 pastors who have used the ACE curriculum and loved it ,i thought it looked good too from the Lighthouse Christian Education presentation on The net.But we must look into it further and if it be God's Will ,we'll be able to afford it.
I was looking at Charlie Hayes book again the other day it really is terrible 2 things i noticed a picture of a semi naked lady(wearing a bikini)in the tourism section,and the second is he praises Communism for giving women 'freedom' i.e allowing them to be part of the work force.There is too much in the book to guard my children from and to give them more accurate facts,Well Done and i feel like saying yippee &congratulations to you on picking a Christian curriculum... Enjoy ,Nora

Jessi said...

All the family's in our church use Abeka for homeschooling. My husband used landmark curriculum when he was homeschooled. I do like the idea of a local independent Baptist church that puts out curriculum, but I have also heard the quality of Abeka is a lot better.

Anonymous said...

I have attended Bob Jones University and have experience with their materials both as a student and as a homeschooling parent, and, as a Calvinist, I can assure you their material is not taught from that world view-quite the opposite, actually. That being said, A Beka is a great curriculum-comparable in quality to BJU, but not quite as pricey and in my opinion, more homeschool friendly.

Selah Rose said...

Im glad you are enjoying A Beka books! I have to admit I'm a little biased though, since I graduated from Pensacola Christian College :). It seems there is a wide open market for those from different countries who like the teaching philosophy and world view of A Beka books.
Your blog is such an encouragement!! How is your family Christmas number coming? I'm sure y'all will be great!
God bless!! Sara

Sarah said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments! I am also glad to know that I'm not the only one who got the message from Blogger. Hopefully it is just a temporary glitch and more pictures will be posted soon!

Nicole ~ Hmmm, I've never heard anything like that about BJU? But I cannot say for sure as I've never personally used BJU. But I can tell you that our Pastor's family use BJU for their older four children, and he is most definitely against I doubt he would use BJU if the curriculum leaned that way.

Nora L ~ Thanks! I would certainly recommend A Beka, though of course no curriculum is perfect. :)

Ann ~ In our opinion too, BJU is very expensive!

Sara ~ Thank you for your kindness! Hmmm..our Christmas hymn is coming very slowly! Amy has her piano examination next week so we are waiting to get that out of the before concentrating on anything else...she is somewhat nervous!

Thanks again all! :)

sage said...

Sarah - 25 year veteran home school mom here. Out of all the A Beka products, which are wonderful, our family's favorite were the Bible Flash-a Cards. Just remarkable.

You can use these with ALL of your kids - simultaneously. If you can only get one set - please get the "Salvation Series." Worth every penny.

My kids are adults now - but still talk fondly of our "Bible time," with mom animatedly reading the accompanying script to the pictures. They just loved it - and all got saved through the Salvation series.

Sarah in Ireland said...

To the "concerned reader" who wondered if our son was finished with his math book so soon, because they are unchallenging for him and/or if I am such a poor "teacher":

Firstly our son is completing a math book that has been designed for "senior infants" level, if he were to attend public school he would not have been allowed to use this book until he was 6.5 years old!!

Thankfully he IS homeschooled and as such, we can cater his schooling to suit his ability and academinc strengths. Dylan LOVES maths and completed junior infants maths last year when he was just 3-4 years old, something his peers have only just started.

Perhaps concentrate on your own parenting and homeschooling rather than picking fault with others.

Sarah in Ireland said...