Friday, December 16, 2016

First Thoughts on Bob Jones Distance Learning

My oldest two children, Mikaela {14} and Eli {11} have been using Bob Jones distance learning {using DVDs} for several weeks now. Mikaela is in 9th grade, and Eli is 7th grade. They have completed 18 days using this curriculum. This is in no way a review of BJ; these are just my first thoughts on this curriculum for anyone interested!

My very first thought was "Oh my goodness, what have I done?", when the UPS man brought me four gigantic boxes of curriculum. I have never received so much curriculum at one time for two children. I was so overwhelmed, I didn't open the boxes for a few days!

Once I did unpack the boxes, I was very impressed, and still a little overwhelmed. The textbooks are so beautiful, colorful and thick. I enjoyed flipping through them, looking at the pictures and reading some of the information. For each subject, there is a textbook, a teacher's guide, a test booklet, and a tests answer booklet. Some subjects also have an activity book and teacher's guide. There were also the DVD's, which are packed in their own cases - some have nearly 20 DVD's per subject! I didn't know where on earth to put all of this stuff in our smallish house. We don't have a school room, and I didn't expect there to be so much!

I had to go to the store and buy 12 binders for the teacher's guides, which come 3-hole punched, loose in shrink wrap. I didn't like this part, and don't know why they don't bind them like they do the textbooks. Some binders had to be 2 and 1/2 inches for the papers to fit! So, on top of all the money I spent on this curriculum {nearly $2000}, I had to buy binders.

Once I got all of the papers and books organized, I was starting to feel a little better. It's still a lot of stuff, and my kids were very overwhelmed at first. We spent an entire day watching "orientation" videos, which helped us figure some things out, but took hours.

So far, there are things I really like about this curriculum, and there are things I'm not so sure about.

  • beautiful, colorful textbooks
  • interesting and engaging teachers
  • the DVD's are fun to watch {for the most part}
  • peace of mind for me - I don't have to worry about writing lesson plans or meeting grade level requirements
  • there are quizzes almost daily - this is a pro and a con - a pro because I like to see how much information the kids are retaining and they don't take long to do {except math}
  • the curriculum is very biblical based and the science is a young-earth mindset
  • the kids have to write essays and biographies
  • there are tons of fun projects to do in Eli's Life Science {making an insect collection, making a living organism scrapbook, etc}
  • long days - nearly 6 hours for each of them
  • the math is hard, very advanced, and there's a lot of math each day {it takes them over an hour to do math each day}
  • lots of writing and busy-work in some subjects {it can be overkill}
  • some teachers get long-winded {like Mr. Harmon!}
  • I have a lot of parent responsibility - grading quizzes, tests, and daily work and recording them
  • Mikaela's physical science has labs - this wouldn't be bad, but the equipment for the labs can get expensive! We are choosing to do half the labs and just watch the other half.
I am glad we are using Bob Jones, because I feel like it has been good for my kids so far. They are being challenged more than they ever have. The days are long, and a few days, I have let them split the day in half. They would complete 2-3 subjects on Monday, the other 2-3 subjects on Tuesday {completing one "day" in two}. The only bad thing about this is that we have a year to return the DVD's, so I want to complete the 180 days by next December.

These are my thoughts so far. I plan to do a detailed review of each subject for each grade after the new year, one a week. Have you used Bob Jones before? What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I thought about using the junior high life science at one point. The books are definitely beautiful and seem to be really well done. I'm glad it's working out so well for you so far!