1. Why did you choose to homeschool?
In the late 1980s I happened to catch an interview with David and Micki Colfax, authors of Homeschooling for Excellence. Their sons were educated at home and accepted into a prestigious Ivy League institution. I considered the possibility that their teaching backgrounds or even their natural intelligence was the source of their sons’ academic success, but I was intrigued enough to buy the book. The more I learned, the more I was convinced that a customized home education was the right choice for me and all five of the children I planned to have. It was well over a decade later when I was finally blessed with an amazing daughter. Despite the long wait, I can honestly say I never really second-guessed my decision to homeschool. I started working with my daughter when she was three years old using materials like the Early Learning workbooks, and then the Calvert programs for Pre-K and Kindergarten.
2. Why did you choose the classical method as outlined in The Well-Trained Mind?
In the course of researching curricula and philosophies, I encountered The Well-Trained Mind. Again, I felt that I’d found a perfect fit. I believe the classical model has stood the test of time because it is logical, language intensive and academically rigorous. In contrast with the progressive and pragmatic approaches favored today, classical education strives to turn out well-rounded thinkers who know how to critically and objectively evaluate the information that is put before them, and to see that information in the context of the human story.
3. Why did you develop science study guides?
As my daughter approached the logic stage, I began to search for a science program that followed the recommendations advocated in The Well-Trained Mind. I prefer to teach religion and spiritual values separately from science, and I couldn’t find a curriculum that met these criteria. As I began to design lesson plans for our homeschool, it occurred to me that others must be facing the same challenge, so I decided to formalize my work and publish.
4. What is your background and experience?
I am a perpetual student and advocate of life-long education. At the university level, I have studied physics, computer science and the humanities, most recently at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. There, I majored in both philosophy and religious studies, and was on track to graduate summa cum laude with honors before having to leave the university to give birth to our long awaited daughter. I have been a corporate technology consultant, homemaker, mother, general contractor, undergraduate tutor, graduate writing coach, home educator and author.
5. When will kits be ready for ClassiQuest Science: Logic Stage Biology?
We are very pleased that kits are now available on the Home Science Tools website. Just click the following link: http://www.hometrainingtools.com/classiquest-biology-materials-kit/p/CQ-KITBIOL/.
6. When will ClassiQuest Science: Logic Stage Chemistry be available for purchase?
The revised publication target for this study guide is early 2017. Updates will be posted on my websites, so check back frequently. Or, sign up for updates and notifications from the Home page. We never share our mailing list.
7. What's next in the ClassiQuest line?
Our goal is to have all of the logic stage science study guides available by the end of 2017. The Kindle versions of the existing publications are now available, along with optional lab books in print and e-book form. Also in the works are rhetoric stage guides and the introduction of study guides for art, music and philosophy.
8. What do you recommend for science fair projects?
Ideally, the student should be stimulated to develop their own science fair project. In reality, this is not always possible, especially with students who are new to the scientific method. Some of the kits recommended in ClassiQuest Science study guides suggest long-term experiments that make excellent science projects. For other ideas, check out the Home Science Tools website and Janice VanCleave's A+ Projects in Biology. Both offer a wealth of ideas which can serve as great jumping off points. We have also enjoyed VanCleave's Help! My Science Project is Due Tomorrow and Scientific American's Great Science Fair Projects by Marc Rosner.