Monday, January 23, 2017

Bob Jones Distance Learning Details and Components - The VLG

I hope to start a series of posts on Bob Jones Distance Learning (BJDL) - the details and components of the program. Just a quick overview: Mikaela is using the 9th grade complete curriculum and Eli is using the 7th grade complete curriculum, both with DVDs. They completed Day 33 today, so I'm not ready to give a complete review of the program, but so far we are really loving it and I'm quite impressed. Yes, there are a few things we aren't crazy about, but isn't that true with every program?

I wanted to give a review of my favorite component of BJDL is the VLG - Video Lesson Guide. This is simply a booklet that contains the 180 daily lesson plans for each of your child's subjects.

Let's take a peek into Eli's VLG - Day 34. I'll use the Life Science subject row for the examples below. As you can see, there are 6 columns at the top of the page. These columns are "Lesson", "Content", "Materials Needed", "Work Text", "Assignment", and "Parent Responsibility".

The "Lesson" column just states the subject, along with video number your child will be watching for the day. For example, his first column says "Life Science LS-05-05". This tells Eli that for Life Science he will watch the DVD that spans these numbers, find the number on the screen, and push play.

The "Content" column explains what the lesson is about. This way, at a glance, I can see what he will be learning in his video and what he will be working on today. Today his says:
  • Chapter 5 Test
  • UNIT 2 - Heredity and the Origin of Life
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 6 - Cell Division
  • Introduction
The "Materials Needed" column lists any materials your child will need in addition to his textbook, workbook, and pencils. Today, he will need the Chapter 5 Test which is in a test booklet. I can tear out the test and hand it to him to complete. If there is a lab or investigation, it will list all of the supplies you need.

The "Work Text" column tells you which pages in your book(s) you will be using. His says "pp. 79-80".

The "Assignment" column is just that - the assignment for the day. This is really nice because I can glance at this and see exactly what they are expected to do today for homework. Today his says "Read Section 6A, pp. 79-82". Sometimes it will say things like "Answer section review questions on this page..." or "Be prepared for a quiz tomorrow".

The last column is "Parent Responsibility". This tells me exactly what I have to do each day. Today it says "Administer, grade and record Chapter 5 test." It also tells you how long the video will be each lesson. This lesson is 30 minutes, which is the standard time. Some days may be shorter, like 15-25 minutes, but it's never longer.

The reason I love the VLG so much is because it has simplified my life! Every morning after Bible time, I tell Mikaela and Eli to bring me their VLGs. We take a few minutes to read over together, discuss anything that I think they need to remember, and gather any materials. I can quickly see if I need to do anything, which subjects I need to check (because some they check in "class" on the DVD), and what they need to study for.

The kids use it as a checklist as well. Each time they finish a subject, they can put a checkmark beside it. They know what they've done and what they have left.

It is such a simple thing, but without it, BJDL would be much more complicated for me to use. The kids really like it, too, because they can quickly see what they are doing today. Some days, they don't have a video to watch and some days are "catch up days". They usually compare "days" with each other. "I don't have a video in Cultural Geography or Bible today!" and "Oh man, I have two quizzes today!" Looking ahead, on Day 35, Eli has three subjects that are "No Video" days! He has tests and assignments, but no video.

In summary, the VLG is my favorite component of BJDL because it simplifies things for myself and my children.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful program. Thanks for sharing with us at Together on Tuesdays.

  2. It's so nice that they know exactly what to do. That helps so much I bet!

  3. Great review! I've used BJU online streaming classes for some high school work. It was very thorough and organized :) Thanks for sharing your review of this program at Together on Tuesdays.

    1. It is very organized, and I am so thankful for that. It is quite a juggling act using it for two grade levels.