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If you use BJU Distance Learning with multiple children, could I ask you a question?


Mommy7
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I am seriously considering using BJU DVDs next year for several subjects. I am teaching 6 dc. My concern is the amount of checking of work involved. Could you please share with me how long that takes you? If it takes a long time, do you think it is worth it?

 

Also, I picture grading their work and walking around to make sure they stay on task as they watch the DVD's. In other words, as soon as they finish their work, I would want them to bring it to me and I would grade it right then. Is that doable?

 

If you are using BJU DL with multiple children, I would love to know if you feel that it has worked well or not. Also, what you love about it as well as the negatives.

 

My goal with using BJU is to step up the work level as well as to try to free up some of my time so that I can balance my life a little more...be able to have that longed for tea time with the child of the day that is on my schedule. It would be nice also if I could actually get laundry done and cook some yummy meals.

 

My dear friend who has 9 dc said that SOS is the only thing that has freed her up that way. She showed it to me and while I thought it was wonderful in many ways, I am not sure that my dc would enjoy learning that way. The BJU instruction on the DVDs looks so much more inviting. (for the most part) She agrees with me on that, but says that grading the work drove her crazy because it was sooo much. That made me nervous. (She used it years ago, though, before the new daily lesson plans, etc.)

 

So, what do you think?

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We are using it this year. The videos are great. Good sold program. My daughter is NOT an independent worker. So even though I'd hoped to have her work and I be able to keep the lo's occupied I.found myself sitting with her to make sure she did the stuff asked of her. We recently went back to me teaching her just because it's faster and I pretty much was anyway.

 

Grading work text is pretty fast. You could easily grade as they finish. There is a yahoo group for bju dl and they aee a ton of help.

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I think your idea of grading after each lesson should work well. For most lessons, it only takes a couple minutes to grade. If you need to free up more time, you could also teach your older children to check their own daily work.

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I have a large family and I used it for only one grade this year. I love it! I only really check the tests, the daily work I just look over and make sure they are getting the material and that everything is completed. The cons are that it does take longer. At first it was driving me batty since I felt there was a lot of fluffy stuff that wasn't necessary, but I find that my children love the fluffy stuff. For instance, in math they travel around the world and involve geography which makes it more interesting.

 

My other children that are not using BJU distance learning are begging for it next year. My child who used it is not. So not all kids enjoy the format.

 

As far as grading, I think ordering the tests for each subject that you are doing is a way of monitoring their progress without daily grading each subject, I think that would get rather tedious.

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Hi! I am chiming in here with my experience. I also had hopes to put my kids in to the dvd program and free up time...etc. It actually backfired for me. This is just my experience. I will tell you the good and bad for us. I had 2 kids in PS. 2 using the distance learning on computers and 2 using the dvds as I only had two tvs. as well as a preschool and 2 year old underfoot.

 

5th, 3rd/1st special needs, 1st, and K programs using full BJU programs.

 

1. There is a TON of prep work. Besides being costly, I printed out at least 2 reems of paper in the summer to prepare worksheets and manipulatives that go along with each subject for each grade. As well as daily supply gathering for several subjects for each grade level. I really thought I was organized and prepared. Spent hours upon hours printing and putting everything in binders with tabs etc. This was very helpful for daily work, but there still ended up being other things that needed to be gathered and organized each day.

 

I think you can order some of these papers preprinted this year. But that is an additional expense.

 

*I have a friend that used it for one child. She also felt like there was a tremendous amount of prep work, but was doable for one. She is not using it again next year because of the prepping.

 

*I ended up spending more time trying to get all the necessary items and papers for the kids than I would have with my former eclectic approach to teaching.

 

After much soul searching, I quit it mid year because of the stress it put on myself and my kids. This was a very diffficult decision as it was a huge financial sacrifice. But we felt that the lack of peace outweighed the guilt of not using the dvds. I continued to use several of the worktexts without the videos.

 

However, the actual classes and teachers were wonderful. Very engaging and strong in terms of educational instruction.

 

*The problem would be that the teacher would say, " You should have such and such supplies in a paper bag in your desk, also pull out such and such a folder. pull out page 3. In your manipulatives bag for today there will be 6 pennies and one eraser. You will also need the farm mat that will be in your desk.....etc etc etc." My point being that the kids want to have the same things the teacher is using for her example. They are being told that it is there for them.

 

*There are moms minutes to watch for every class for every grade level. A couple of minutes of talking from the teacher about what supplies the kids will need, what will be covered etc.

 

 

Anyway...;) Don't mean to be a huge downer. I really loved the idea, had high hopes and jumped in there thinking it would give me the time I needed to get a few things done around the house etc. And that just wasn't the case for me.

 

PM me if you have any other questions.

 

Like I said. The kids and I liked the classes, and liked the teachers. But not one of them ever asked for the dvds again. :001_huh:

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We've been using the program for the past 3 years. My reasons for going that route were similar to yours.

 

I didn't find the prep work to be too overwhelming, as the program allows for you to skip stuff without impacting the lesson. It's really up to you if you want your child doing the extras that come with the lessons.

 

However, my boys have grown bored with it and our days start with "I hate schoooooool!" whining as a result. :( The videos are getting longer, the worktexts are predictable and boring to them, and half the time they complete the worktext while the teacher is teaching...rendering the video instruction useless for them. And unfortunately, because they "hate" school so much, it's reflecting in the work they are turning in. Handwriting has become sloppy, math problems are blown through and minor mistakes are being made, etc. And of course, because of this, I make them redo their work...which causes more wailing and gnashing of teeth. *sigh*

 

We're switching gears and trying out Sonlight for next year. I think BJU is a solid program, but it's not really 'homeschool'...it's more 'school at home'. And I don't think that's a bad thing, but it's just not working for us right now.

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Hi, I haven't used this but a friend did and I saw her setup and know her results ;)

 

She had 3 girls, all different grades, in her school room. Each kid had their own computer. She didn't like it after a few months. She couldn't keep up with all 3 girls' subjects. She didn't know what any of them were doing in some subjects b/c she often needed to help one child more than the others. So when the others needed her help she had to go back and see what it was they were doing, which took too much time and eventually she got too far behind to balance all 3 girls. By spring she dumped half the subjects and only did the basics to just finish. She didn't use it this year. She said one kid would be fine, but balancing 3 was too hard b/c someone always needed help and she just couldn't watch all 3 videos beforehand to keep up herself.

 

HTH

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Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts. I appreciate all reviews, good or bad, because it gives me a balanced picture so that I know more precisely what I am getting into. These are the first really negative ones I have heard. It sounds like a lot of these involve people using the entire grade level? That is my impression, anyway. I will not be doing that. But, I was considering 2-3 courses per child. I'm not sure. Part of me says to go for it and just try it. I'm not feeling as convinced as I was at one point, though. I'm not sure what the answer is.

 

Any other thoughts?

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I use this with my 3 children. We don't do all BJU, but use other things as well. There is a lot of prep and extra things needed for the younger grades, but not nearly as much after about 4th or 5th grade.

 

I prep and copy what's needed for the year during the summer. I put all the copies in notebooks that are kept with the kids' school books. My dc know how to make copies if I forget anything.

 

This is our 4th year using the DVDs. My kids still enjoy them for the most part. I don't require them to watch the videos for review lessons.

 

I don't grade everything, but do check to make sure the work is done. I skim :-). My kids need that accountability. They turn their work every day and it usually takes me about 15 min. to check everything.

 

I think if you look at is as having tutors in a few subjects, it can be a good tool to use. It has freed me up a lot, but not entirely. You still have to facilitate and help. You just don't have to do the direct teaching. The good thing is, it always gets done, whether I'm feeling well or not :-).

 

Gayle

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The good thing is, it always gets done, whether I'm feeling well or not :-).

 

Gayle, I can so relate to this last quote. That is part of the problem that I am having with homeschooling right now. There are days when I am not feeling well and I have a hard time getting to all the schooling that needs to be done. That is one of the main reasons I am considering BJU w/ DVDs.

 

With the above in mind, do you think it is wisest to do the main subjects like English & Math? What subjects have you used? I have decided to just do a couple of classes per child, I think. I want them to enjoy it, but I do not want it to be an incredibly long day, etc.

 

I felt like the prep work was bound to be more intense in the younger grades. My youngest will be 3rd graders next year.

 

Thank you for your encouraging words about your dc still enjoying it after 4 years. :)

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Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts. I appreciate all reviews, good or bad, because it gives me a balanced picture so that I know more precisely what I am getting into. These are the first really negative ones I have heard. It sounds like a lot of these involve people using the entire grade level? That is my impression, anyway. I will not be doing that. But, I was considering 2-3 courses per child. I'm not sure. Part of me says to go for it and just try it. I'm not feeling as convinced as I was at one point, though. I'm not sure what the answer is.

 

Any other thoughts?

 

 

 

I also like the idea of BJU but am worried about all of the negatives that were previously expressed by some of the other Moms. I decided to start small next year and am going to have my oldest do one class from BJU using their DVD program (Life Science). I think after that, I'll be in a better position to decide if I think BJU will be a good fit for our family for more classes in the future. I have a sneaking suspiscion that I would only be drawn to one BJU class at a time, anyway, because of the amount of time each BJU lesson seems to take using the DVD option. It will be nice to "outsource" one class during our school day (and provide a refreshing change for both me and my daughter) but I think having every single class on DVD would slowly kill our love for learning.

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