Gentle BPA

With all the trappings of Biblical Principle Approach–word studies, 4-Ring, notebooks, the Red Books, Rudiments, etc., you can easily get overwhelmed and frustrated. Your idea of home education is not caught up in books and all that research, but in being with your children, learning alongside them. There is a way to do both.

  • Ease into the whole BPA mindset. It takes time and effort to reformulate your ideas of American Christian education, to get a handle on the terminology and to reflect on what you are learning. Give yourself time. How much time? As much as it takes.
  • Take one subject and deal with that. Don’t take the whole homeschooling elephant in one bite. You’ll just pull something and you’ll still be hungry.
  • Don’t make everything formal. You can ease into word studies and literature studies without making a big announcement. It’s okay to just fold these things into your homeschooling day. Pull out the Bible and the 1828 dictionary and just ask a few questions. The children will do the work for you.
  • Lower your expectations. That seems counter-intuitive to BPA philosophy, at least at first blush. But we are home educators, not classroom Master Teachers. We [probably] teach multiple grades with many subjects and to expect to become a Master Teacher in every subject is asking for a breakdown. Just keep ahead of your students. Learn alongside them. Discover things together as you dig into the Word. It’s amazing how lowered expectations can set you free and actually produce better results in the long run.
  • Think of teaching deep, not broad. The principles expand through the grades, so you get deeper and deeper, as Ms. Dang says, going 20 years deep. It’s not a smattering of learning but more like digging a well. A well your children can draw from as they learn to teach themselves.
  • Take one principle per subject per day. No need to overwhelm baby birds with too much food. It will just fall to the ground. One idea to reflect on and discuss will lead to exciting results.

What challenges do you encounter with the Biblical Principle Approach? If you are new to this methodology, what questions do you have?

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9 Responses to Gentle BPA

  1. Barbara Johnson says:

    Eloquently put, and how children will prosper under such a teaching philosophy!

  2. Renae says:

    I like the well metaphor. That is exactly what I want to develop in my children.
    .-= Renae´s last blog ..Homeschool Supplies Giveaway Winner =-.

  3. Summer says:

    This article is awesome! Thank you for the encouragement to keep going. Just in the past few weeks I have been seeing advertisements for The Noah Plan and as much as I would like to use tha curriculum, the thought of it overwhelms me. I bought MWOG last year but it was a repeat of history for us and he boys quickly grew bored. I will check the next one in the series to see if that would be a better fit. Is there anything you would recommend?

  4. Anna-Marie says:

    MWOG is excellent. It is my first choice for younger children but my oldest is going into 7th grade so I am going to do the jr high TRISMS instead. FACE has a great DVD that Peggy Coven did on how to do NP lessons spanning several grades. It makes NP more doable the way she explains how she did it. I forget what ages your children are. Or you can branch out on your own. Ha!

    Actually you can use any textbook and add in the principles people say. I think that makes things more difficult in a way because you are not using original docs but another’s interpretation of events. But it can become a jumping off point for research & discussion.

    Also you can check the scope & sequence for your state and use that as an outline to make gentle lessons as well. If I think of anything else I will add it later!

  5. Anna-Marie says:

    I agree Renae. I do too. I love the idea of going deep and not broad very much. But to me it seems to have been easier said than done! Ms. Dang says the process is messy though, and it won’t always be neat and pretty. I hang on to that sometimes. :)

  6. Anna-Marie says:

    Thanks, Mom. I pray I am able to keep the faith where BPA is concerned. I feel I fall so short but then I remember it is God who gives the increase. That’s not my job. :)

  7. NPN Transistor says:

    .’: I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives great information ..,

  8. Valerie says:

    I did K-3 Noah Plan lessons with my kids, but after that went to a hodge-podge of curricula. I loved the NP and wanted to continue but cannot get past the hump of having to do my own lessons; still, I’m not thrilled with anything else I’ve tried. Now my kids are going into 8th, 6th, and 2nd. I see where you saw to start PAing one course at a time, but you still have to start with something. I just don’t know where to begin. How do I pick a curriculum and then PA that subject? I really need practical help if I’m going to pull this off. I just wish there were daily lessons somewhere already written! Then I could easily adjust them to fit our needs/family. Thanks so much.

  9. Anna-Marie says:

    Noah Plan is the only daily lessons that I know of, other than Mighty Works of God for HisStory. You can see that from a link in my sidebar under “friends”. I highly recommend Mrs. Smith’s books. They are terrific!

    History, even if you never BPA another subject, can still give your children a fantastic foundation in thinking the BPA way.

    You can use any curriculum that you like. Even Sonlight, with its literature emphasis, would be a great choice. History is all bout people, not just facts and dates. Any question you still have please feel free to keep asking!

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