Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Degree and Debt Free

2013 came to a very exciting and fulfilling close after we traveled to Melbourne to attend our son's graduation ceremony for RMIT University. He gained a Bachelor of Technology (Computer Studies) and graduated with distinction. Those who have followed my blog over the past few years may remember his homeschool story. I am a strong believer in delight directed learning and allowed our son to concentrate on a subject throughout the high school years which he enjoyed which was computer programming. He began teaching himself to program at age 12 and at 16 he enrolled in a unit at RMIT University via Open Universities Australia (OUA). When his friends were sitting the HSC at 18 our son was partway through his University degree. His part time farm job provided income for the initial units and at 18 he set up his own web design business from home. I gave up trying to explain to people who kept asking when he was sitting the HSC. Blank stares ensued when I said he was already undertaking a degree. Now I am being asked what he is going to do now he has a degree! He is not unemployed. He has a successful business and we pray that it will continue to flourish.

We are so proud of his achievements and the fact that he was able to graduate debt free. As more design work came in, he enrolled in more units. The flexibility of the OUA programme made this possible. He studied at home and he worked from home. Exams were sat at an office in the city. Some days he would have an exam in the morning followed by a business meeting with a client! The years of hard work paid off and what a delight it was to take our first trip to Melbourne -  which is now on my list of favourite cities for lots of reasons.

Students who study externally via OUA earn exactly the same degree as those attending the bricks and mortar institution. During our stay our son met up with some of the other OUA graduates putting faces to names of people he had met and befriended on online study forums. On graduation day students from RMIT marched down the street from the University to Federation Square. In the evening the graduation ceremony took place at Docklands Stadium. I had no idea how big RMIT was or how many students would be graduating. In a sea of thousands of cap and gowns, families watched on from the stands above as their sons and daughters waited for that moment when their name was announced and they could step onto their respective stages and receive their degrees. Large screens set up around the stadium meant we were able to see in much more detail this very special moment. I had to pinch myself a few times... it was really happening!

Academic achievements aside... what delights my soul more is knowing that my son continues to walk with the Lord. That his convictions concerning God's Word and the truth it contains are strong and steadfast. That he honours God with his life... how much more important it is to be qualified for Heaven through faith in Jesus!


We made the most of our stay in Melbourne. We walked for miles until we sussed out the trams (why are there no large signs explaining they are cashless and you need a card!) and I found the best little vintage shop in the universe where I bought my first chandelier. A real chandelier from the 1940's made of glass and not plastic unlike some modern reproductions  it's for our vintage hire business but hangs outside under the verandah where it is easy to access and admire. Our trip home was eventful. A day of crazy heat that our van could not handle. It was 45 degrees (that's 113 f for my overseas friends!) as we drove through inner Sydney and the decision was made to stop for the night somewhere on the way home which meant we got to visit quite a few country cities and towns. I did most of my Christmas shopping in these towns and found Vinnies (a thrift store) that had vintage china at reasonable prices. Now that is quite something these days!

We were home for Christmas ... a quiet and intimate Christmas this year and an opportunity to relax and enjoy my favourite time of the year with my favourite people - my family.

2014 has already commenced . I pray that it will be a year of many blessings for you all. That God will reveal Himself to you more and more ...His ways, His plans, His paths. I hope I find more time to blog but no promises are being made. I hope that sharing some more of our homeschool journey has been an encouragement to someone ... maybe someone who is just starting out or a mom who is constantly being asked 'How is he going to get to university if he doesn't go to school?'. We have been there and know what that is like! The Lord goes with you wherever you go. He is with you every step of the relax in that knowledge and enjoy the learning journey with the precious ones He has entrusted to you. Persevere dear homeschool friends.... you will not regret your decision.


A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

What a vry busy time it was Christmas in Melbourne and the rmit event makes for some inner city madness!!! You did o well navigating around on the only hot week we have had!!!! I just wish more time had been available to you to really enjoy and be spoilt by us melbourners,But howproud you must have been and how proud your Son I am most surre will make you in the future! well done to your handsome Son xx

Pam said...

Congratulations to you and your hubby and your son... what a wonderful accomplishment for your son. I am sure you must be very pleased, as any of us would be. I have no doubt he did very well, and that the Lord has many plans for him and the others also. Ann, This truly is a great encouragement to anyone who has homeschooled... at whatever stage they are at in the process.

Glad you had a lovely peaceful Christmas. We had a lovely Christmas, although much less quiet this year; for us it was delightfully noisy, and now we are catching our breath a bit. Haha. We are now making plans for the weeks ahead, and the year to come. Happy New Year to all of you.
Love and Blessings,

Farming On Faith said...

From one homeschool mom to another~ I am rejoicing with you!

Great Job Momma!

Shane Pollard said...

CONGRATULATIONS to your son on gaining his degree - well earned and to be debt free now that's a special blessing.
The world is now his oyster.

May you find great joy in your journey through 2014 as the year unfolds dear Ann. Hold tight to the hand of our Lord and He will take care of you and your precious family.
With love
Shane x

Shane Pollard said...

CONGRATULATIONS to your son on gaining his degree - well earned and to be debt free now that's a special blessing.
The world is now his oyster.

May you find great joy in your journey through 2014 as the year unfolds dear Ann. Hold tight to the hand of our Lord and He will take care of you and your precious family.
With love
Shane x

Camille said...

What an encouraging post my friend. Congratulations to your young man!! And...yippeee for graduating debt free! :) Sounds like your Christmas was lovely...just the kind I like...home with family. What a blessing. Enjoy these precious, precious days. Love to you! Camille

living from glory to glory said...

Dearest Ann, I also rejoice with your son and with his parents.
Our son learned to build and became a contractor at a young age. We homeschooled and allowed the Lord to train and the flow of the interest our son had.
He is feeling a tug to help build a Church in Africa!
Blessings to you in 2014
Always, Roxy

Beloved's Redheaded Bride said...

Amazing. Congrats all around. A wonderful accomplishment that is for sure! Sounds just like a fabulous experience.


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