- Married to Kenny Gotcher for 20 years
- Mother of Audrey (13), Claire (12) and Elise (7)
- Was homeschooled 2 years (last two years of high school)
- Started homeschooling in 2010
Renée Gotcher is a wife, mother, freelancer and home educator with a passion to share her homeschooling journey and faith walk with others as an encouragement and testimony to God’s amazing grace, unconditional love and desire to continually shape us into the image of Christ.
Before motherhood, Renée’s career began in journalism. She was an executive editor for a national technology magazine, has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Oral Roberts University. After leaving the journalism world in 2002 to become a work-at-home mother, Renée also started an independent business as a Mary Kay beauty consultant and served as a Sr. Sales Director for her team of inspiring entrepreneurial women until the spring of 2011, when she decided to focus on home educating her three daughters full time and pursue new writing opportunities.
Before launching NextGen Homeschool, Renée used to blog at “Durango Mama’s Diary,” a Christian motherhood blog she started while living in Durango. Since leaving Durango, she rolled content from DMD into a new personal blog called A New Chapter. Renée also launched a new writing and communications consulting business called WriteWords Ink to help other entrepreneurs and small business owners express their unique business message more effectively online, in print and in person. Along with homeschooling full time and part-time consulting with WriteWords Ink, Renée is an editor and author for NextGen Homeschool and a contributing writer for the Christian motherhood blog, Managing Your Blessings.
Renée has been happily married to her best friend Kenny Gotcher, whom she met in college, for 20 years. Kenny was homeschooled from fourth grade until college along with his sisters, fellow NextGen Homeschool authors Rosanna Ward and Elizabeth Thomas.
Currently loving life in Castle Rock, Colorado, Renée and her family are outdoor enthusiasts who love to travel and enjoy God’s breathtaking creations, for which Colorado is an excellent showcase. Camping, hiking, fishing, snowboarding, skiing and biking are some of her family’s favorite activities.
NextGen Homeschool started out as an inspiring idea from Renée’s sister-in-law, fellow NextGen Homeschool Author Rosanna Ward. This blog reflects a lifetime of learning and God’s leading to share this journey with you for His greater glory.
- Married to Jason Ward for 22 years
- Mother of Hannah (21), Virginia (19), Joel (9) and Leif (3)
- Was homeschooled from 8th grade until college
- Started homeschooling in 2005
Rosanna Ward is a devoted wife of 22 years and mother of four children — two of which are homeschool graduates (daughters Hannah and Virginia). Her eldest daughter Hannah is doing a year of Bible School at VBI and has taken two missionary trips to Haiti since graduating.
Rosanna and her husband own two Daylight Donuts businesses in Sapulpa, OK, which their two daughters are now managing. She is a homeschool graduate and graduated from Oral Roberts University with a B.S. in Recreational Administration. She is currently passionate about studying History and Genealogy and writes a genealogy blog called Rosanna’s Genealogical Thoughts. As well as helping to run the family businesses, Rosanna is a Thirty-One Gifts consultant and enjoys making organization look beautiful in her home!
- Married to Anthony Thomas for seven years
- Mother of Stormie (15), Rachael (14), Faith (12), Cadence (6), and Melody (2)
- Was homeschooled K-12th grade
- Began homeschooling in 2009
In 1998, Elizabeth left home against her parents wishes and spent four years in an abusive relationship, where she nearly lost her life. During that relationship, she was blessed with three daughters: Stormie, Rachael and Faith. In 2002, Elizabeth left the relationship and spent five months in a shelter for battered women with her three daughters before moving closer to her sister, Rosanna, to start over. During her four years as a single mother, Elizabeth worked two to three jobs at a time while taking classes part time. She received her G.E.D. and began taking classes at a local community college to work toward a degree.
In 2007, she met and married Anthony Thomas, and the next year she gave birth to Cadence Grace. The idea of going back to work after Cadence was born was painful, and when Tony asked Elizabeth to stay home, it was a fast “yes!” When he asked her to homeschool all four girls, that was a little harder. Now, Elizabeth loves to watch her children learn new things!
Currently residing in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, Elizabeth likes to shop and do girly stuff (like dress up and take fun pictures) with her girls. She loves makeup and doing nails. She likes to work out, ride bikes, and roller blade, as well as crafting. She loves being in church and loves praise and worship. Elizabeth also likes to garden — even when almost everything dies. A favorite quote: “A clean house is a happy home, but a sterile house is not a home, it’s a hospital.” Elizabeth likes watching movies with her husband and thinks the most romantic thing on earth is when her husband finishes her sentences. She loves having a schedule that changes weekly and finds that homeschooling is so much more than just an education — it’s God’s plan for life.
The Thomas family was recently blessed with the arrival of daughter No. 5, Melody Rosanna Thomas, on October 28, 2012!
- Married to Jeremy Eklund for 10 years
- Mother of son Elijah (9), daughter Arielle (6), and baby Samuel
- Was homeschooled from 6th-12th grade
- Began homeschooling in 2010
Cristina Eklund is married to Jeremy Eklund, a public high school history teacher. Cristina formally worked in Visual Merchandising for a large global retail company for five years, and not long after getting married, she and her husband moved to Nicaragua for two years to pursue their mutual desire (since childhood) to be missionaries.
Now living in Concord, Calif., they are homeschooling their 9-year-old son Elijah and 6-year-old daughter Arielle, and added baby Samuel to the family in March of 2014. Cristina’s husband Jeremy was homeschooled until the 3rd grade, and he graduated from California State University at Davis with a History and Teaching degree. Cristina was homeschooled from 6th grade through high school, and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.