After being involved in the lives of missionary children at Evangelical Christian Academy in Madrid, Spain (see photo) from 1979 to 1991, finding my niche in my new home took some time. I tutored for an organization in Tacoma and taught at Heritage Christian School in University Place. While components of these two experiences were similar to what I was doing in Spain, it wasn’t the same. While it didn’t need to be exactly the same, it needed to be right for this new chapter in my life. God used these experiences in my life for His glory and for my good.
While Ronnie and I were corresponding long distance, he still owned and operated a Christian bookstore in a retail location in Lakewood. There had been some opportunity for me to test homeschooling families in Spain, so I imagined that I could offer testing and consultation services through his bookstore once we were married. Meanwhile, Ronnie looked at his situation and knew that marrying entailed additional financial responsibility. Since he gave great discounts and limited his inventory to books that he believed to be consistent with Scripture, it was not supporting himself, much less two people. Several months before we were married, Ronnie closed his bookstore, but maintained much of his inventory.
During the first years of our marriage, we worked for other people, but eventually God led us to work from our home. In 1994 I became of teacher consultant with Family Academy / Academy Northwest as an independent contractor. Family Academy offers services to independent homeschoolers (Able to Teach class and webinars for parents, 1 day academic classes for students and 3 day Outdoor Schools for families) and Academy Northwest offers learning centers throughout western Washington and beyond – a blend between independent homeschooling and private school. Both organizations promote “Family-Directed Education.” Ronnie continued to manage our finances and eventually we began offering homeschool curriculum, Christian books and neurodevelopmental program supplies. Along with my increasing responsibilities with families, Ronnie’s work load of keeping track of the finances and selling materials increased.
As a teacher consultant with Family Academy / Academy Northwest the Lord brought many families to me that faced academic challenges. I had earned a Master’s of Art degree in Special Education in 1989 and developed a program for struggling students in Spain. By 2002, I was looking for more tools to help these students. My Academy Northwest learning center was going well, but I wanted to get to the underlying cause for these challenges and not just supply accommodations. In my search I learned of the neurodevelopmental approach to learning. I began an independent study / internship with the International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists in 2003 which culminated in certification in 2007.
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