Barbara & Andrew Somervaille live on a beautiful little property north of Toowoomba where they have been busy raising their eight children. While Barbara feels like she has been homeschooling forever, she is on the homestretch now with her two youngest Hannah, 14 and Daniel, 11.
They have mainly used the ACE curriculum interspersed with abundant hands on activities and music with various resources to broaden the basics such as Sonlight historical literature and Charlotte Mason’s ideas. Horizons are broadening with a blossoming business venture that they hope will help fund some adventurous geography excursions!
Barbara has been involved with encouraging home educating families on the Darling Downs for more than 20 years and occasionally jots down some thoughts over at her blog Quiet Sonbeams.
Talk: Bloom Where You Are Planted
A gardener at heart, Barbara will be sharing snippets and stories about raising children through different seasons and is keen to encourage you – not just to survive the adventures of home educating – but to flourish. Storms come, even hailstorms, but God knows the beginning from the end and longs to prune and nourish you to thrive right where you are with your beautiful family.
Several years ago the Lord gave Alice John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you” as her life verse, and she is still loving learning what it means to abide in Christ. She’s passionate about abiding with her farming husband and four homeschooled children in northwestern NSW, while she shares her online Abode at alicemayburke.com
Talk: Abide & Abode
In her talks, “Abide” & “Abode”, Alice is hoping you’ll learn with her as we seek the Lord for answers to questions which can plague a Christian homeschooling mother, such as, ‘What does it mean to abide in the Vine, and how do I do that? Why do I struggle to consistently produce the fruit of the Spirit? If Jesus is offering joy that’s full and complete, why do I often feel so joyless and empty?’ And ‘How does Jesus’ command to abide apply specifically to homeschooling, and what does that look like?’ She is looking forward to sharing her story of God’s faithfulness, and the great news of the peace, joy and rest which are found by abiding in the Vine.
Cathy met her husband, Steve, in kindergarten. Eventually they married and are now raising five children while looking forward to the arrival of another in April 2017. Cathy has been home educating for five years, so is very familiar with the anxieties of starting out. She has found that the best days are ones where they go outside and read a good story, aloud.
Talk: From Fearful to Fruitful
So many of our decisions and habits grow in the soil of fear. Jesus changes our relationship with fear. This changes how we see, think and feel about everything. We will look closely at John 15 and consider how resting in Jesus transforms our vision and practice of homeschooling.
Carol and her husband have seven children and have homeschooled all of them. Five have now graduated and gone on to attend either university or TAFE. The two eldest are married and the two youngest are still being educated at home. Carol’s interests include music, creative arts and blogging about books and home education at journey & destination.
Talk: ‘The Seeds of Today’
As mums, we can have a tendency to judge each day by the fruit we can or cannot observe. We need to remember that it is the seeds that we plant and nurture today that determine the fruit we see in our children in the future. So what kind of fruit do we want to see? What seeds are we planting?