I Need Homeschooling Materials! How Do I Choose The Best?
Homeschooling materials are the extras you use in your homeschooling to aid in your studies. They are usually apart from the main curriculum (separate from, for example, your christian homeschool curriculum or homeschool history textbooks) and back up whatever you're teaching as a complement to your main studies.
I recently came across an outstanding addition to the homeschooling materials I already owned. Here's the review. I also got to talk with the creator of this material, Mrs. Belinda Bullard.
Belinda created one of the first Christian African-American history curriculum series for elementary through high school students a few years back. She continues to provide excellent homeschooling materials for home schoolers.
Q: Do you consider yourself a natural parent?I’m still learning what it means to be a natural parent, so I certainly don’t consider myself one—yet. Right now, my goals is to learn more each day about how to best minister to my family, head to feet. Keeping them healthy and whole is as much a part of my ministry as anything else I do, and I want most to glorify God through them.
Q: When did you start homeschooling?We began homeschooling seven years ago. We were introduced to the concept when our oldest (now 15) was a baby, but it took years and a few professional trials for us to realize that this was something we could do if we were willing to leave the world’s definition of success behind.
Q: When did you first figure out that your current homeschool history program wasn't fitting your needs?Not too long after we began homeschooling. I was already adding pages, researching other lesson plans, and pulling in other information to make it more well-rounded, so to speak. When the owner of a local homeschooling materials store spoke with me about the possibility of writing a curriculum, it confirmed a nudge from the Holy Spirit, and such was the humble birth of A Blessed Heritage.
Q: What inspired you and encouraged you to write your own christian homeschool curriculum and homeschooling materials?As I mentioned before, I was already thinking about it. Part of my professional experience before coming home included a number of years as a training manager, so I had some idea as to how to develop curriculum. The beauty of my testimony is that in each step of the way I met someone who was in my life long enough to get me to the next step. From the first series, “Our History, HIS-Story,” I met someone who led me through developing a website. You pointed me toward the magnificent world of blogging — a tool that can be used effectively for both personal and professional purposes. The Holy Spirit has led me to people and other resources all at the right time and in the right season. Growing A Blessed Heritage has been special.
Q: How long did it take to finish?I’m never finished, so it’d be hard to say. If I had to pen it down, I might say a couple of years. I like to try the ideas on my own children. I like to read the books to them and get a reaction. I’ve actually added or removed books from either curriculum based upon my own children’s reactions.
Q: How did you/do you balance work and family?Not well. While working outside my home, it was much easier to do those things that Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) calls important, but not urgent. Those items are where we see true growth and productivity. At home, I fall into the constant trap of doing what is either urgent, but not necessarily important, or what is either non-urgent and unimportant. Those items usually come after the word, “MOOOOOOMMMM!” (smile) Yet, they must be done. I’ve tried a number of techniques to balance work and family, but has been most effective for me in the last year or more is to get up earlier than the kids and really seek God about the priorities of the day, and guess what? Family might not be the priority every day! But God is faithful to give me peace about the order of my day, and it all lines out perfectly.
Q: Did you ever feel like quitting home schooling?Honestly, I’ve never felt like totally quitting homeschooling, but I have wondered at times if it was the right way to school all of our children. Just recently, I wrote an article for Heart of the Matter Online describing some of my trials with our oldest daughter. As a part of the article, I shared a word in season that had come from someone who’d homeschooled longer than I have. Had I quit, I’d have never seen the fruit that we now have.
Q: How do you encourage yourself to continue home schooling?It isn’t hard to be encouraged with so much that is going well, and I guess that’s one of the ways I encourage myself - to focus on the positive. Yet, there are a couple of tactics that help me when I’m feeling stressed and/or overwhelmed. Surrounding myself with those who are farther down the path than I am has been critical. As an introvert, I haven’t always reached out to people, but I now recognize the value of at least one or two friends in your life who can speak to what you’re feeling and encourage you to keep going.
Filling yourself up with Word is also critical. We speak decrees over our home each day based upon Scripture, and I could not articulate in words how God’s Word comes alive in our home. Most mornings, I start the day with worship music while the kids are getting ready to come downstairs for breakfast and school. It does so much for the atmosphere in which we learn. We are not perfect by any means, but the children know without doubt the power of Jesus to come alive in your home and in your life every single day.
Q: What do you hope families get from your curriculum and homeschooling materials?I hope that families will love books, and the power of literature to educate as well as to entertain. I hope that families will enjoy reading history that is outside of the normal stories that we are all taught in public schools, and that most homeschool curriculum teach. The stories brought forth through A Blessed Heritage aren’t just about black people; they are about people in every shade, and they tell of the best and worst of all of us. What I want most for families to get is a message of hope, love, and forgiveness through the power that is Jesus Christ.
Q: Do you have any other writings in the works?I am currently writing a high school history curriculum after years of praying about how to proceed. Also, there are other ideas that I have and will add to the unit studies that are currently available. One thing I have learned is that unless the Holy Spirit gives peace and guidance, there is no point in getting started. When I’ve tried to write things that weren’t in season, I would wrestle with what to say, how to say it, etc. When I get the “yes” answer from God, the ideas just flow much better.
What Are Your Favorite Homeschooling Materials?
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