Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet our New Representatives!

This year we've started working with six new representatives! After nearly 30 years of attending home school conventions, we decided we needed some more regular help. We now have six new representatives who will be working in southern California, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin! If you live in these areas, you can meet these wonderful ladies at the state home school conventions this spring as well as smaller events throughout the year.

In order to get to know one another better, we had a training session in Santa Barbara where we were able to talk about education, Charlotte Mason, inspiring a life-long love of learning, chat about our favorite children's books, and much more. Each of these women is wonderful in her own right and I felt privileged to be able to listen to their experiences and gain from their wisdom. Being with them and seeing their dedication to their children's education–not just intellectual but spiritual and emotional–was encouraging and energizing. Today I'm happy to introduce tow new representatives who will be working with us in Wisconsin and Louisiana/Texas.

Samantha Millard
Many of you may know Sam from the Beautiful Feet Homeschoolers Yahoo group she moderates. She's been volunteering her time with this for years and has provided support to countless homeschooling parents who have questions about our study guides and methods. The group is a wonderful resource that is entirely independent from BFB and is run and moderated entirely by volunteers.

Samantha is the mother of three children ranging in age from 8 to 16 and has always taught them at home. When not busy teaching and moderating the BFB group she enjoys heirloom embroidery, smocking, and sewing children's clothes! Music is a huge part of her life, both in the church she and her husband minister at. She's also a great cook and has been learning how to cook Cajun food since moving to Louisiana. She loves to come alongside moms, "helping them learn to listen to their instincts and nurture their children from babyhood all the way into aldulthood." 

"Our weekend with the Beautiful Feet Books team was refreshing, inspiring, and challenging. Getting away for a girls' weekend in a such a beautiful location was refreshing to my soul. We ate wonderful food, shared our stories, laughed, cried, and bonded. It was amazing to be with a group of people who have the same love for their families, educating themselves and their children, and beautiful literature! As we each shared our stories, there were many moments of laughter, nods of agreement, and often tears as we were touched by the impact that beautiful literature and these incredible curriculum guides have had on our families. I was inspired by the stories I heard to delve into the Character guide with my family in our evening readings. I felt myself challenged to read aloud more to my older children. But perhaps the best treat of the weekend was to get to know the family behind this wonderful curriculum. Seeing their love for the books and the impact this kind of education has had on their family confirmed for me that we are on the right track. My heart has always led me in this direction, but sometimes doubts can creep in and cause me to question my choices. It was so obvious to me by the end of the weekend that this curriculum is serving my family well and that this is a product that I believe in and want to share with other homeschooling families."

Samantha will be presenting for BFB at various homeschool groups in her area. Stay tuned for more information as we will be posting that as events are confirmed.

Kathy Alphs 
Kathy will be representing us in Wisconsin and is a passionate advocate of following an eclectic approach to education. She and her husband have been teaching their 14 year old daughter from the day she was born, reading aloud to her and fostering what Charlotte Mason describes as an "atmosphere of learning." Kathy's educational approach melds together Charlotte Mason (of whom she's a distant relative!!), classical education, Thomas Jefferson, and unschooling. She's been using BFB study guides for the past seven years and is a wealth of information. You can meet her at the CHEA Wisconsin, May 29-31! She will also be sharing her thoughts on our blog and I know you will enjoy reading what she has to share about education.

She had this to say about the retreat:
“'Words are how we think; stories are how we link.' Christina Baldwin
As I sat around the patio table, I was awe struck by the stories which were being shared. Each woman’s story was different, but the stories linked us in a common bond. Our common bond is the implementation of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy through the use of 'living books.' 'Living books' nurture the imagination, feed the soul, and stir the conscience. It was amazing to see how one woman’s influence has rippled out and touched the lives of those who were participating in the discussion and those within each woman’s sphere of influence." 

Tomorrow I will introduce you to the the West Coast representatives and provide information on the conventions you can meet them at! 

First four photos compliments of Lisa Sulewski Photography.

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