Help Me!!


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  • meganrussell

    I have five children, ages 14, 11, 9, 6 and 4. I made a HUGE mistake in November, and that mistake was this :

    I bought the Bob Jones DVD complete subject curriculum sets for my two oldest children. I put them in grades 9 and 7. We homeschool year round, so they are placed correctly.

    We HATE it. There is so much busy work, no engaging literature or books to read, too many quizzes and tests, and it is so boring. My children are miserable and frankly, so am I.

    I spent a big chunk of money on this – $2000. My husband would freak if I stop using it – which is what I want to do so badly! I want to use SCM with them, and I definitely will next “year”. My question is, what can I do in the meantime? Must I suffer for 112 more days (the time left in our BJ)? Should I make the kids finish? Or suck up the money lost and get what is tried and true with our family?

    I decided to go with BJ because I wanted to focus on my three younger kids, especially my 6 year old who has struggled with speech and learning to read. I thought if they were independent I could not worry, they would be learning every thing they “needed to”, and all would be sunshine and unicorns.

    I am using MFW K and 1st with my two youngest and we love it. My 9 year old is using a mix of things including MOH, CKE, LLFT, and other things. We are happy with her curriculum, too. My older two miss learning together. That’s what they’ve always done.

    HELP ME!!


    That is a tough one. Have you discussed it with dh? He may understand and be o.k with a switch. BJ has great resale value. Maybe you could stick with math and language arts through the year and just use the library for living books in the other subjects. Maybe get books that would line up with your 9 year olds MOH time period so they get a sense of that family learning again. Are you stuck with rigid requirements for your high schooler? If it turns out you must stick with it could you eliminate the busywork and tests and just have them read through the material? Or follow the table of contents for a scope and sequence but select library books to cover it instead. I know others will have great ideas, we have all made these kinds of mistakes.


    Sell it on eBay!


    The only thing about selling it is that we’ve used 1/3 of it. The DVDs are leased so I’ll have to mail those back. The teachers guides were loose leaf sheets that I put in binders. I don’t think I could get much for it, and it would be so heavy to ship.

    Money isn’t an obstacle for us, as my husband had a great job, but I think he’d be unhappy with a “waste” of that much​ money. I haven’t told him how I feel yet. But I am on the verge of burnout with the BJ. It’s so much busy work for me, too, grading and correcting and recording…

    I keep looking at the Ancients history guide, thinking I could get what we need term by term…

    What is a good science for middle school/high school? Just to keep in mind…


    I love the OLD Apologia books for middle school and highschool. I used Biology and Chemistry several years ago.  Dr While left Apologia and has starter Berean Builders. I have heard the new Apologia chemistry book is not as good as his new Berean builders chemistry text.  I really like those books too. These aren’t Charlotte Mason per say but dr wile loves his subject and I found them easy to understand and temember them with fondness. As a self starter teen relatively independent. There isn’t a lot of busy work  lots of experiments and there is a test each chapter. I retained a good bit from them as well


    Hi MEgan,

    I was just last night thinking about curriculum and Charlotte Mason, and although i have known for a long time that CM is NOT a curriculum it is a method, I think it really just sunk in.

    So, can you just Masonise  (hehe just made that up) What you have? Obviously there was something about the scope and sequence that appealed to you with BJ. I’ve never looked at BJ’S before, but perhaps over a week WITH your older children, go through what is good (maybe the spine books) then supplement with book lists off SCM, AO and the free Baldwin project which has loads of classic books. Skip the quizzes etc and use the foundational elements of CM… oral and written narrations. To help with time management, perhaps the oral narrations could be recorded on a voice recorder?

    Not sure if your BJ includes science, but again same thing…written narrations and notes with beautiful and careful diagrams.

    My oldest daughter, nearly 15 uses Guest hollow chemistry (we love love love this), it’s only $25 but we CM it…as above.

    I’ve spent ages trying to find just the ‘thing’ for my older girl, but realised it’s not what you use, but how you use it.

    All the best,




    I’d get rid of it as quickly as possible.  You already know that you’re not going to be continuing with it, so it’s not as if you’ll be saving it to use for younger children.  You already know that it’s going out your door at some point.  It could just as well be now.

    The money wasn’t wasted.  It bought you valuable insights. Don’t allow it to waste your time now.



    I would use the math, the science, and some of the language arts.

    Then I would use the history for a spine and add in library books instead of doing the tests and busy work assigned. I would scrap the BJU literature and use classics and narration instead.

    I would let the younger of the two use the curriculum very loosely.

    It won’t hurt the oldest to use the math and science, along with portions of the language arts because most of us are using textbooks for these subjects by high school age any way.

    My reasoning is that you do want to please your husband in this area and you also want to make the wisest use of your investment in this curriculum. You can start over next year and it’s not that far away. 🙂


    I have thought about using their history and science books as an outline and getting living books to go along with them, but I’m just not crazy about their content. My oldest is using Cultural Geography, and it’s so dry and Boring.

    We do not have rigid guidelines to stick to. We are in Louisiana so homeschooling is a breeze under the private school act. My 9th grader plans to go into cosmetology so I’m not worried about college level maths and sciences right now. She struggles with math and science, and does well with language arts and reading. She is always fixing our hair and doing our make up and is really good at it!

    I am just so confused. I know what I want to do, and I know what my kids want to do…


    BJU lit is excerpts from some classics and the textbook can help students decide what classics to read based on the descriptions and excerpts.

    I agree that you could CM the science,  use the math and parts of language arts. You could skip the DVDS, tests,  etc.

    I would skip the history and use the Mystery of History that you have,  adding books for high schoolers.


    I am a veteran homeschool mom, and have “wasted” a lot of money this year,  but I am getting smarter; ) My experiences with curricula are wide and deep,  so I can help others;)



    I have decided what I’m going to do, after talking with my husband and explaining how miserable we are with Bob Jones.

    I ordered a few inexpensive books to use as a spine for science and history along with a few living books to supplement. My 7th and 9th grader will learn the same thing, using the same books. I’ll ask for narrations, written and oral, and some sketching and nature study. They will also be reading good literature for language arts along with copywork and quick and easy grammar lessons from the text. They will be reading Pride and Prejudice (my daughter) and Eragon (my son) to begin with.

    They love to read books, so they are very excited. We are saying it’s a “break” from BJ and if it doesn’t work we will go back to BJ. I have a feeling it’s going to go extremely well though. 😉

    jill smith

    Hi Megan,

    I would contact BJ and let them know your not happy with the product. I have heard they have a great return policy.

    If they wont return it, I would sell it on a homeschool site. There is a lot of people that look for that way  of teaching.

    We are pretty new to the CM way and I have found every time I try and change my heart goes back to CM. It is a transition and we are still figuring it out. I hope that you find the right thing for your family.


    Glad you came to a decision that all of you are at peace with! It sounds like y’all are going to have a great time learning together! 🙂

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