Author Archives: Biola Youth Academics

Does it matter what homeschool curriculum I use?

young girl sitting at her desk at home

In the past 20 years at Biola Youth Academics, we often get asked, “Does it matter what homeschool curriculum I use?”

Curriculum does matter. And, there’s a lot of it to choose from. Curriculum can be Christian or secular, biased or well-balanced in its presentation, classical, or cutting-edge. How does one family find the right curriculum for each of their kids—with all their God-given talents, interests, strengths and individualities?

Christian parents often ask, “Does my entire curriculum need to come from a Christian publisher?” At BYA, we think not. Frankly speaking, not all textbooks are created equal. While there are some fantastic Christian resources out there, there are others that have been tested and found wanting.

At Biola Youth Academics, we partner with expert educators and homeschool veterans to curate engaging, Christ-centered curriculum for all of our K–12 programs. In the course curriculum for our homeschool programs, we sometimes use Christian curriculum, sometimes supplement Christian curriculum with non faith-based sources and other times opt for a stand-out, seminal textbook and find other ways to integrate our faith and values.

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What If? – Staying True to the Intergenerational Investment of Home Education

Silhouette of a Child leaning against a tree and reading the Bible

In the 75th anniversary of Wycliffe’s ministry in Bible translation, I found myself absorbed in reading their history over the holidays. Obstacles, such as cross-cultural and linguistic challenges, kidnapping, and martyrdom wove throughout Wycliffe’s history.

I was particularly struck by the story of Chet Bitterman. When Chet was considering missions work, he told his wife, “I’ve only got seventy-five years on this earth at best. I want to use them to give someone the Bible.” So in obedience to their calling, this young couple joined Wycliffe (p. 103). Chet and his wife, Brenda, prepared for missions work and were to work with the Carijona people. As they prepared to move to this village in Colombia, they were at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Colombia.

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Where are They Now? Interview with Homeschool Alumnus Joshua Johnson

Young man standing under large tree beneath a stary sky - Homeschool Alumnus Blog

Our Homeschool Alumnus, Joshua Johnson graduated high school in 2015. Before that, he enrolled in Torrey Academy, where he took several online courses. As a senior, Joshua was a recipient of the 2015 Biola Youth Scholarship for writing an essay on how BYA impacted his spiritual growth in high school through reading the works of C.S. Lewis in Torrey Academy.

BYA caught up with Joshua to hear where he’s been since graduating, and how his experience helped him flourish in life after high school. Read more

Understanding Students with Special Needs

Empty Desk - Understanding Students with Special Needs

“The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained
will be like their teacher.” -Luke 6:40

Teaching students with special needs presents unique challenges, as well as opportunities to practice empathy, and refine our teaching—and allow the Lord to refine us. Dr. Eastman’s lecture models perspective taking, challenges presumptions, and gives practical tips on engaging and understanding students with special needs.

A homeschool dad and father of six (5 boys and 1 girl), Dr. Eastman invites his high school aged son to share from his perspective as a student with special needs.

Please enjoy Dr. Eastman’s presentation, offered by Biola University’s School of Education, and Open.Biola. Consider watching with a pen and paper nearby, and follow along with the in-lecture activities. Watch below. Read more

Don’t Do It Alone


The Vandewalles have been homeschooling their six children since 1999 and are about to graduate their third student. Until last year, most of their homeschooling was done at home without the benefit of outside classes;  like so many families, they were busy with activities and the daily demands of life. Academically, they tended to focus more on their high school students in order to prepare them for college.

Robyn Vandewalle shares, “A couple of years ago, we realized that our younger students, now entering middle school, had skated by with less academic attention than would be ideal. Read more

A Formula and a Solution: Why Homeschool Works

homeschool works

As a home educating parent, I am sure we have all experienced at one time or another, tongue clicking, head shaking, eyebrow raising, skeptics as they condescendingly offer the following comments—What about friends? You don’t have a teaching degree. What about college?  Fortunately for us, there has been a surge in home education in the past several decades, and there is research to support this “whim” of ours. Read more

6 Ways We Can Equip Our Students to Finish the Race

Finish line on red running track with while lines. Shot with pro Canon DSLR.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
(1 Corinthians 9:24, NIV)

As parents who home educate our children, we must ask ourselves “how important is the prize that my child is running after?” Coaching our children to finish the year strong is a prize well worth our effort. Finishing a task well is just as important as getting off to a good start. It is not uncommon to be motivated and fired up when we start something new, but admit it, sometimes it is hard to stay focused and finish the task when things gets tough. The writer of Ecclesiastes knew this when he wrote, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.” What can we do to finish our homeschooling year in a way that honors the Lord and our children? Read more


The Inspired Home Educator classroom of students

Welcome to The Inspired Home Educator, a place where Biola Youth Academics seeks to partner with you in your family’s academic journey. We are passionate about education and desire to come alongside you in your schooling efforts to provide a tailor-made education, nurturing your child’s unique purpose to become a relevant and redemptive voice in a changing world.

You may be asking yourself who or what is Biola Youth Academics? We are a valuable resource to the community and have been around since 1996, beginning as a supplementary education program for K–12 home educated students through Biola University, a Christian university with over 100 years of faithful service and doctrinal integrity. In fact, our instructors, tutors, and administrative staff are mostly experienced homeschoolers themselves! Read more