BJU Press's philosophy is conservative and Christian (Protestant). Educationally, they seem to have balanced their curriculum with teaching methods that suit most learning styles, although much of the necessary information to properly teach to all the learning styles is contained in the teacher's editions rather than in student books.
BJU Press offers a mixture of softbound and hardbound student texts with separate teacher's editions. Most teacher's editions include reduced images of student textbook pages. Teacher's editions seem expensive, and home educators sometimes try to work without them. However, they often contain material essential to proper use of the texts.
Throughout BJU Press's curriculum, student material is colorful and well presented. It also has strong Biblical teaching incorporated in a very effective manner. BJUP also has less busy work than A Beka.
While the cost might be higher than other publishers, quality and durability are good, and many of the books can be resold after use.
BJUP begins reading instruction in kindergarten. The phonics program is contained within Beginnings K5 and Phonics and Reading 1. Beginnings K5 provides all you need for kindergarten aside from math curriculum and Bible instruction. The goal of the K5 program is exposure to beginning concepts without pressure. BJU Press's Reading 1 correlates their Phonics and English 1 to continue with language arts instruction for first grade. While there are a variety of informal activities in the K-1 programs, they lean toward more formal learning than some find necessary in the homeschool. You might use other methods for early elementary levels (particularly kindergarten), switching to BJUP when you feel it is appropriate.
BJU Press's math program strives to help students develop an understanding of math with manipulatives and thought-provoking word problems. At upper levels, BJU Press math encourages children to think and analyze through well-designed word problems. The math program requires more one-on-one presentation than do many other math programs, especially for high school level, but it does a good job of teaching both concepts and skills.
BJU Press uses a slant printing/handwriting system very similar to ScottForesman's D'Nealian that is very popular with some homeschoolers and teachers.
Science books for first through fifth grades are more activity-oriented than traditional science texts. This makes them more useful for children with different learning styles. BJU Press has done a good job melding high-quality content with activities. (The elementary science series is among my Top Picks. You can read the review here.) Junior high science texts (Life and Space and Earth Science) are good courses that will work well in the homeschool. Higher level texts assume the classroom environment for lab work and are increasingly difficult to use. However, BJU Press lab DVDs and lab kits are appropriate for homeschool use.
The BJU Press Bible curriculum for junior and senior high school is well written, purposeful, and easy to use, even without the teacher's editions.
Families with only one or two grade levels to teach generally find they can make use of BJUP texts and teacher's editions more easily than families with more grade levels to teach. The problem of getting through the large amount of material in the teacher's editions sometimes causes families to use only the texts or workbooks, thereby eliminating essential parts of many courses. Consider whether or not you have the time to use these courses properly before buying. If you are short on teaching time, consider using the online or DVD presentations of most BJU Press courses.
You might want to check out the ready-made lesson plans from Homeschool Planet that are available for many BJU Press courses.
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