Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Meet Marci!

Marci, also known as The Homeschool Scientist, has written a review of our Ancient History Through Literature program. Before you read it, we thought it would be fun to introduce you to Marci. We love Marci's approach to science and her mission statement: "to equip and encourage homeschool parents by taking the fear out of and putting the fun into science education." As history and literature buffs, we wanted to see what advice Marci had for teaching science and we love what she shared. Here's our interview.

BFB: What originally drew you to homeschooling?
Marci: My daughter LOVED the pre-school and kindergarten she attended at a local church. They used a Reggio Emilia approach to learning.She loved the hands-on, child-directedness of Reggio. She thrived there.

Since that school only had classes up through kindergarten, we sent our daughter to a private Christian school with an excellent academic reputation. The school was wonderful, by school standards. However, by the end of second grade, our jubilant learner cried on the way to school everyday and was becoming withdrawn.

After some investigating, we found out she was very bored at school. She was not being challenged or allowed to expand her knowledge base outside prescribed guidelines. Being stuck at a desk all day being fed stacks of worksheets were sucking the life out of her. The school said there was nothing they could do and that other kids were in the same boat. They just needed to adapt. That didn’t sit well with me. We had to do something.

We had lots of friends who home educated their children. I saw the benefits of a home education, but I never thought I had the patience or ability to pull it off successfully. It’s a funny thing when you suddenly realize you can and must do the thing that you were trying to avoid! We prayed that God would give us wisdom to make the right choice for our daughter’s education. He gave us perfect peace and confidence that we could and should homeschool. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

BFB: How long have you been homeschooling?
Marci: We just completed our sixth year of homeschooling since pulling my daughter out of school. My son went to the same pre-school and kindergarten as my daughter. The program there is the next best thing to homeschooling. He is just finishing his 3rd year homeschooling.

BFB: How did you discover Beautiful Feet Books?
Marci: Since my daughter is starting high school and is at the age where she knows her interests and learning styles, I decided to let her do the research and choose her own homeschool curriculum for the upcoming school year.

We decided to go to the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati so she could see and touch and talk to people about what was being offered. My daughter and I visited nearly all the the 400 or so booths searching for the right programs for her. She was the most discerning about History and English/Literature. After looking at so many different programs, my daughter said "If I could just read through history, that would be perfect." Just about that time we looked up and saw the Beautiful Feet "History Through Literature" banner. It was a God-send.

We bought the Ancient History pack on the spot. If you were at the convention and saw a girl lugging a big box of books around with a HUGE smile on her face. That was my daughter. The idea was that she would start her new history/literature curriculum in the fall, or summer at the earliest. We barely made it out of the parking garage and she had the box open. I couldn’t stop her! (nor did I want to)

We are a month in and she still can’t put the Beautiful Feet books down. She LOVES them!

BFB: What has been the greatest joy of homeschooling? The greatest challenge?
Marci: There are so many benefits to homeschooling.
~I can customize my children’s education to meet their learning styles and interests.
~Homeschooling gives our kids the ability to try new things they wouldn’t have time for if they were in a traditional school all day.
~We have the flexibility for family travel.
~Children have time to explore their interests.
~We get to go to museums and other places during the week instead of the crowded weekends!
~Although the above reasons are great and there are many more, I’d have to say the greatest joy of homeschooling is the relationships I am building with my children. I know them. That is priceless.

The greatest homeschooling challenge for me is staying on task. And I mean ME staying on task. I can get side tracked with house cleaning, emails, and impromptu art or science projects.

BFB: At BFB we're obviously history and literature nerds but we firmly believe that anyone can learn science. As a scientist, what advice would you give to homeschooling parents who are overwhelmed by the thought of teaching science to their children?
Marci: It is a shame that many adults have an aversion or fear of science. They see science as a complicated realm of big words, difficult calculations, and gross dissections. I blame dry textbooks and uninspired teachers. While terms and calculations are a little part of science, that is really not what science is.

We all start out as scientists. We were born curious. We observe and test our surroundings from the beginning. As we get older, we start putting all this information together. This is learning. This is science.

In the primary and early elementary ages, just let kids' natural curiosity take over. Let them explore and learn about what they see. If you want to use a curriculum or unit study, look for ones that are hands-on and that stress natural observation, testing, and thinking. Most of all, look for something fun that you can do together! As your students get older, build on their basic science knowledge they gained in the early years. Find a curriculum or study that your kids enjoy. It’s really that simple.

Thank you so much for talking with us Marci! Be sure to check out her review of our Ancient History program on her blog.

We would love to hear what you think! Chime in below in the comments section and share your thoughts. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages.  To learn more about Beautiful Feet Books, click here.

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  1. Looking forward to reading her post tomorrow!

  2. Hi Marci,
    It was so great to read about you here! I absolutely remember your daughter walking away (beaming) with her box of books! Adorable! And bravo to you for your work in science! Much success to you!