Okay, I seriously needed to do an update on this page!
Read more about who "I" am and who "we" are - as mentioned on the design-your-homeschool website.
Or see our younger homeschooling family in our "I love SBI!" video.
My name is Marianne and I have been married to my wonderful husband, Gerald for 25 years this year!
It's amazing you wonder where that time disappeared - but looking at my family shot above - you see my family growing up.
I am originally from Western Australia and he was born in New South Wales and moved shortly after to Queensland, where he spend most of his childhood. How God planned our meeting is another story.
We married after he had finished theological studies and moved to a church in southern Tasmania. We lived in this scenic part of the world for 7 years. Since then, we have lived in Sydney and we continue to enjoy living in the southern suburbs. We are blessed to be part of a wonderful church family.
We made the enormous decision to homeschool when our eldest child was "ready" to begin pre-school. The norm was that we would send him out of the home and to the pre-school where all the other children his age would be. For some reason the question, "Why?" "Why should we send him away?" "Why should he go to someone else's care when we are enjoying being a family together?" "Why should we be left with the scraps at the end of the day?" came to us and it was then, that the huge job of investigating options came about. God brought me in contact with some homeschoolers and up to that point, I had not even known about "home-schooling". At a small Christian University in Hobart, I was able to read my first book on homeschooling which has been one of my favourites ever since and I know it is a favourite of many. The book is For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffar Macaulay. That book was so inspiring and gave me a new perspective on education. The author says, "Education is an adventure... It's about people, children, life, reality!"
Following a year of questions, prayer, searching the scriptures and discussion, we made the decision to "give it a try". God gave us such an incredible peace when the decision was finally made, that we believe that He has led us to this point and has called our family to follow in this direction.
Since that time, we have had our ups and downs, questions which unsettle us (and me, in particular) for a time, but which slowly recede into the background the more convicted we become of what God has called our family to do.
The family at the end of one of our fun parties!
We know never to make huge life-changing decisions when you are in a crisis or in a time of doubt or enormous stress. It is easy to toss in the towel when it looks too hard! But if God has convicted you to walk along a certain pathway, do not question that conviction because of stress. Look hard at why you were led to a point in your life and if necessary consider whether God is calling you to a different path, but do this when life is peaceful and you are assessing the situation in a rational manner.
Now we are 18+ years down the track and still enjoying the benefits and lifestyle of homeschooling. As I have met more and more homeschoolers in the last few years, I have felt a desire to write about homeschooling and specifically a guide to help newer homeschoolers find their way and fulfill the goals that God has for their family. That brings us up to date.
We have six children: five boys and one girl. As to be expected, our children are all very different with different gifts and abilities and it is a joy to see how God is moulding each one for use in His kingdom right now.
Our eldest son, Nathanael,(23) has always had an entrepreneurial bent, and through the years has pursued his interests in computers, design and now working behind the scenes in search engine optimization. Last year, he began his own company, Smart SEO. He also continues to be an active part of our church community, and leading in a number of roles.
Our second son, Reuben,(22) loves to read! He loves historical fiction novels and continues to use his Kindle reader as a way to devour books; He has now completed his 4 years as an apprentice electrician, so once he completes his final exam, he will be a qualified electrician. He also is a faithful serving member in our church community especially enjoying work in sound mixing for one of our bands, and involvement in senior youth group.
Our third son, Benjamin,(18) continues to live in an organized mess, in which each piece of paper has some special writing and statistics and information crucial to the master plan. He is always creatively thinking of new schemes and has enjoyed 'some' success in an ebay business, as well as 'some' failures! He is currently working as an intern at a Christian campsite, so he is using his gifts and abilities in much the same way he has through his whole life - running games, making plans, organizing and leading kids on adventures!
Our fourth son, Joel, (17) still loves anything that flies. If anyone wants a nerf gun to be upgraded into a powerful, scary machine, he is the one to see. He loves making all sorts of creations like a homemade ballista, a water bottle air-presured gun and bows and arrows. Currently his interests are in the field of chemistry. He slowly moves through his Chemistry book as he scours the internet and other resources to answer his questions about making a powerful battery. He is another huge reader in the family and loves his Kindle reader sharing great books with his dad.
Our fifth son, Micah, (14) memorizes ads! Interesting, but not sure why or how that will be used down the track?? He loves anything to do with Microsoft and explores all their innovations. He also is pursuing an interest in App development and so working with programs and free videos which tutor him in this way. He has his whole curriculum set out to explore this elective. He loves Cadets and youth group at church and overall chats his way through the day, fixing up any computer problems or mobile phone problems through the house, even though he doesn't have a mobile phone himself.
Well, that leaves our little girl, Talitha (13). And yes! she is very different to the boys and wouldn't like to be called our 'little' girl anymore! Do you know the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, "I have a little shadow, Who goes in and out with me..." Well, that is Talitha! She loves to spend time with her mum, and truly it is a joy to have another female in the house. Most of the time we are terribly outnumbered. She loves pretty things, anything pink!, loves teasing her dad, has just entered the "I love reading" along with the other children. She is naturally a little personal assistant and loves to write, organize and lastly, she loves to spend time in the kitchen! What a treat for me! "Can I please cook today, mum?" Her ideas are great and she is getting very accomplished by watching the cooking shows and taking out books from the library.
It's a different experience for me to have a little girl and I am enjoying my pink one among all the blue. (At least her clothes are easy to sort out!)
Well, that is about "me" and about "us".
In the video below you see me describing what I really love about Solo Build It (those who helped me build this website). The video has all the members of the family in it!
Since that time, more of my children have enjoyed their own experiences building a web site. You can see their own videos about building with Solo Build It!