Something unexpected to come out of the Biochemistry Literacy project has been the interest from home school parents. Initially, I created the curriculum to be used in schools, and taught by trained chemistry teachers, but when some pioneering home school parents found out about the project, they took a chance on it, and tried it with their own kids. At the moment, I have home school students using the materials in five countries: the US, Canada, Israel, Singapore, and Thailand.
Not all the home school parents have a science background, so to help them out, I’ve created video accompaniments for each lesson. Now, I believe anyone, not just chemistry teachers, can effectively instruct Biochemistry Literacy classes. So far, we’ve had some wonderful success with these first home school families, and some have reported that the kids actually learn the material all by themselves, just by watching the videos! I used to be shocked when I experienced how easy it was for me to teach college-level chemistry in schools, but it’s even more shocking for me to learn about kids teaching college-level chemistry to themselves.
Here’s a Facebook post written by a wonderful home school parent in California. Her student, pictured here, is incredibly bright and enthusiastic about learning, and it’s been an honor to share my project with her. I’m really looking forward to seeing how she develops her understanding of science as she advances through the units. She’s also the happiest chemistry model builder I’ve ever seen!
“Just sharing some sniplets of our home school journey. Our daughter is continuing her biochemistry course which has taught her so much, from learning about the octet rule, noble gas configuration, orbitals, why certain elements are more reactive than others, etc. This course has provided her with a lot of joy and a good amount of information, and it fills my heart with love when I see how much she enjoys to study it.”
You can see more of her posts on the Biochemistry Literacy for Kids Facebook page.
Working with home school kids, even remotely, has given me some insight into my methodology that I had overlooked by dealing mainly with larger school groups. I’ve been able to think more about the individual learner, and how they experience the curriculum. Actually, seeing these individuals learn makes me a little jealous. I wish I could again experience for the first time, the door to the molecular world opening up in front of me. It must be amazing to begin to see what the world is really made of and how it works. It took me years to develop this knowledge, but these kids are experiencing it all at once. I talk about Biochemistry Literacy as my dream curriculum, the curriculum I wish I had as a kid, so it’s very special to see individuals realize that dream, themselves.
PS: Another wonderful 9 year old student that I began working with in person, here in New Jersey, has a popular Instagram account where she posts about her biochemistry learning. Check it out!