Thursday, May 23, 2019

Defeated


I feel a bit defeated this morning.

In the last few days I have realized that I am a lousy communicator.

I realize this blog is about adoption and we are very very passionate about it, but Rob and I are also very passionate about history. And I have FAILED to communicate that passion.

When I was a child I hated history. I hated it. I thought it was the most boring subject in the world despite a mom and dad who loved history and who took us to every museum up and down the east coast. We lived in the D.C. area and were surrounded by museums and battlefields and historical sites and they drowned us in history. 

But school history was nothing like museum history and battlefields and historical sites. 

It was all about reading the textbook and answering questions and taking tests.

School history was U.S. history. Year after year. Again and again and again. 

Don't get me wrong. U.S. history is wonderful and fascinating but how many years in a row do you need to learn about the pilgrims and the Mayflower and the Revolutionary War? We rarely ever even got to the Civil War and I don't ever remember doing the World Wars. 

World history was scattershot until we got to that one year of World History in High school. I checked out after the first week. Hearing the teacher drone on and on just put me to sleep.

I hated history but I LOVED to read. I read anything you handed me. I devoured all the books in our family library, our school library, our church library, my friend's libraries, the town library. I loved when my mom went to thrift shops so I could buy books for cheap. 

I read everything and anything. My favorite - biographies and memoirs, books about the Holocaust and World War II, historical fiction, classics and books on psychology. 

MOST of the books I read were history-related. It was in those books where I developed a deep love of history as a story. But my reading was completely separate from the history I did in school.

School history was boring and something to be endured. The history in my books was real and alive and something to be devoured.

So how did a history-hating, book-loving mom of five end up co-writing seven history books???

How in the world did Rob and I end up owning a history and literature curriculum?

How in the world did I get where I am and how in the world have I neglected to explain fully explain our story and our passion??

I share my story at conventions whenever I can.



I'm not a big speaker. I don't draw the big crowds. We are lovers of history and passionate about our curriculum but LOUSY at advertisement and selling our books. We are pitiful about selling ourselves. We don't do book signings. We don't have our faces plastered on banners. We don't name drop.

We self-publish. We work out of our home. We juggle writing with being mom and dad to our five children. I field test all of our material at a local homeschooling co-op. Most of my homeschool families don't even realize the work we pour into the material their children are using.

Our time is limited. We are currently writing our eighth book. I am currently in Florida at a homeschool convention and Rob is writing and sole caretaker for all three kids. Mary's still on a seizure roller coaster which makes me a mess to think about being this far from her. 

But we are passionate about our work. I hated history for so long because the history I knew was separated from the stories I loved. 

When I was much younger and single and trying to decide the course of my life, I attended seminary. I was considering going on the mission field. I had a degree in nursing and teaching and was pursuing a masters in Christian Education. 

It was in seminary when my entire "I hate history" worldview changed. It was a professor of Old Testament who opened up an entirely different way of viewing history. An Old Testament class. How in the world? We studied Bible history and Ancient history in concert. It was mind-boggling, amazing, earth shattering for me. All of a sudden I began to see the Bible in an entirely different light. The stories I learned as a child became real against the backdrop of the ancient world. The ancient world was messy and gritty and filled with intrigue and horror and stories that made this book-lover happily satisfied.

I watched history unfold as we worked our way through the Old Testament. It didn't stop there. The New Testament class, church history, theology - all of it began to make sense as I studied it in context with the greater world. 

I began to realize that history was more than just memorizing names and dates and battles and taking tests. It was a woven story where, in the midst of the story, God was weaving HIS story. How priceless. Children, adults, everyone needed to see this. 

I left seminary and wanted to DO SOMETHING about what I had learned. 

But I had no outlet. 

Until I started homeschooling.

And we started using a little-known book plan called BiblioPlan.

It had a simple philosophy.

Line up history books with literature books.

Learn history in ORDER. From Ancients to Modern. Then cycle back again.

Study U.S. History along with World History.

Learn history through STORIES. 

Merge secular, Bible and church history together. 

Knock me off my feet.

Send me into book-loving orbit. 

I used it with my sons and then started teaching it at the co-op. I became passionate about it. I took that simple little book plan and started writing supplements, then simple history books. Rob got involved. We partnered with the owners. We wrote more. We began to realize the potential of what we had been given. Our simple history books became full blown textbooks. We eventually bought the company. 

Seven books later, 60+ products in our product line, sons who are actively involved in helping us, one part-time employee (WE ARE SO SMALL-TIME), three special needs children, another book on the way, more products coming out in the next year or so, revising, editing, writing, READING, researching, learning and growing.

All of that and people in my own world barely even know we exist.

I had a mom at our co-op this week tell me all about another curriculum (that happens to be one of our 'rivals') and I was jaw-dropped. She had no idea our material shared the same philosophy as that curriculum. And I teach her child in my history class!!

As I said.

I really feel defeated.

Both Rob and I write all the time when we are not juggling our kids and their special needs. 

We are all in when it comes to writing and caring for our kids and teaching and keeping our house from falling apart around us but we are LOUSY at promotion.

So here is my promotion....

ROB AND I OWN A COMPANY CALLED BIBLIOPLAN....

It's a Classical History and Literature Curriculum for grades K-12 with a fun Charlotte Mason flair.





It is mom-friendly, EASY TO USE, history rich, story rich, hands on fun, great for a family to do together (everyone studies the same time period but does age appropriate questions, maps and literature). 

Giants of the Faith Notebooking Series

We have written two levels of textbooks - one series for the older students (7-12) and one series (almost finished) for the younger students (K-7). 

We have maps and coloring books and timelines and a family guide that is loaded with ideas on how to link history with literature. 


We tell you what movies to watch to line up with the history. 

We line up some of the favorite spines from other curriculums (Story of the World, History of Us, Mystery of History etc.) so you can read those books along with our material. 

We give you great props for having family discussions. 

We give you all kinds of poems, verses, speeches etc, your child/ren can memorize. 

We line up all kinds of other material (audios, lapbooks, notebooking) to enhance what you are doing in history.


We provide writing ideas. 

High school students can get history and literature credit. They can also get Bible and Church history elective credits.

We weave God's story into history.

We have so many literature books lined up that we have an optional literature reading section because there are so many!

We do this all day every day.



So please - if you are homeschooling - at least go check us out.


GO NOW!

THANK YOU!!

13 comments:

  1. I love your curriculum and talk it up to everyone who will listen. I have used it for 5 of my 10 years of homeschooling and refuse to stop using it. I have just gotten into using the Family Guide for scheduling literature and other books (like the Victor’s Journey through the Bible), and that’s adding even more. Please feel encouraged and know that your curriculum is affecting so many people—and bringing glory to God.

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  2. Julia! I am one of the people who have used and love your curriculum! I feel blessed to have met you (I believe!) at a Homeschool convention in Frederick MD. You were one of the most kind hearted people I have ever met. You replaced my friend's curriculum (that had been lost in a fire while they were on the mission field) with digital copies.. Free of charge. She didn't even ask! We bought the Medieval book for middles(it was the only one at the time) to blend in to our studies! We have maps, coloring books and some of the classic biblioplan. Please don't feel completely discouraged ♥ you have blessed this mama of eight and I thank you.

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  3. I shared your blog post in 2 different homeschool groups. I am praying you do well this year. I know you have worked so hard on this.

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  4. You were an answer to prayer years ago and continue to be. Love love your material and heart!

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  5. We just finished our 5th year of Biblioplan and we've LOVED it. It allowed me to teach all 5 of our kids at the same time and it truly has made History fun. Those of us who are using your curriculum greatly appreciate all the work you've put into it!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your heart and passion. I sooo appreciate all the work your family has poured into BP. I’m moving through the curriculum slowly with my kiddos because there are just so many interesting things to read but I also read RTD and the Companion for my own interest because, quite frankly, it’s the best source for church history I’ve found since Bible College. I can’t wait to get to the other years :)

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  7. Your books have inspired my family and I! I too hated history all growing up and when I began to home-school could not find anything I liked until I met you at a convention. Your curriculum changed our lives. History went from the dreaded subject to the subject we had to put down in order to get anything else done! My kids have devoured every single one of your books. They are now in 6th and 9th grade. Their understanding of history is so great that adults are always impressed with what they know and it's all because of your books! I have learned so much from your books as well, I actually feel confident talking about history with other adults...something that was always a struggle for me! Your books have created such a love of history in me that I read almost all historical books now I can't get enough of them and now they actually make sense to me! I even taught your book at our co-op this year. I always have people come ask me for advice when they begin to home-school and while I give many recommendations for each subject, history is the one where I give the consistent answer of BiblioPlan! It's actually the only curriculum in my own home-school that I have NEVER changed! Blessings to you and your family and thank you for your continued sacrifice to do what you do!

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  8. What a wonderful calling and service you are fulfilling for the Lord's people and His glory! Reading this post has made me miss homeschooling more than anything else has. I'd love to work for you - that's how strongly I support what you are accomplishing! May the Lord continue to empower and flourish your work. Kelly Messimer

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  9. We know it! We use it! We love it! We love you!

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  10. I just purchased this a few days ago on buildyourbundle! I would have bought more of it! I went to your website to review prior to purchasing it in the bundle and was super excited with what I saw and heard!

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  11. Do you have an instagram? Or Facebook? you can preschedule social media posts and that could attract a lot more attention. Also, I have just now started realizing the social media "Influencers" who get a sample of your curriculum or more for free and they can tell what they like about it they are a really good form of marketing. I had heard of you a few years ago but my daughter is just now 8. I wasn't really looking at hard core history in the years prior but am very excited since I purchased your offering on Buildyourbundle.

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  12. I enjoy your books on a personal level. I don't homeschool and my kids don't have much time nor interest in reading "extra" books. But like you, I felt like I missed something in my history classes while growing up. I tuned out the dates and names of all the battles. I don't remember ever talking about more recent history. So now I'm teaching myself. Your books are easy to read and they help me to make connections that I hadn't made before.

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  13. How is Mary doing? You haven't posted in a long time.

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Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!