Growing Teachers Who Dare to Be Different.
Our Vision Statement:
We are seeking to answer many of the questions we have been receiving for years. Our goal is to help new and veteran teachers improve their teaching and have fun in the process. We want to unpack the mystery of teaching for families and raise learning experiences to a new level in the home. Education means to those of us at TYC, extending beyond the classroom and follows children into real-life experiences. Experiences that will create a zest for learning as well as teach about running a life-in-balance. We believe that this will create adults with character who pursue life-long learning.
We are a homeschool family that has been involved with numerous aspects of education for over 15 years. For a number of years we ran a successful tutoring business that focused on helping struggling children excel. Nicole is a veteran teacher who holds degrees in psychology & Education. She has had the opportunity to teach in public and private schools, teaching a variety of ages, and numerous subjects. It was not until Nicole had the opportunity to teach her own children that her passion for teaching fully matured. For the last 10 years, Nicole has been fine tuning her craft with our own children, and sharing her skills with numerous homeschool groups and co-ops. Nathan has a love of travel, history, social psychology, and maps. Though he holds a degree in geography, it is not relevant to his career. As a homeschooling father, he is interested in seeing that his children get the best education possible. Though not initially excited about homeschooling, Nathan has since become an avid advocate for homeschooling.
Where Are The Bills Now?:
6/1/14 - Present - Austin, Texas
We have hung up our nomadic hat for a little while, settling down & keeping it weird in Austin, Texas. This is a great city to experience, there is literally something fun going on everyday. We are currently attempting to survive the 150 degree inferno! Thankfully there are plenty of georgous springs to swim in. It has occured to us that our children have only trully experienced two seasons, blazing hot summers & long fridged winters. Might be time for us to think about staying in a moderate climiate soon, for the full educational experience!
Thailand Excursion:5/14/14 - 5/28/14 - Koh Tao, Thailand
We have arrived after a long journey to Koh Tao. We are thrilled to have to opportunity to certify our entire family in scuba diving. Nothing teaches the importance of algebra like working an algorithm for pressure groups to avoid getting the Bends! We are staying at Bans Diving Resort for the next two weeks. This place is incredible, it is like a mini diving university. We spent the last two months learning and exposing the kids to Thai culture, now on the island they are meeting travelers from all over the world who have a love of diving and ocean studies in common. What a fantastic opportunity!
April 2014 - Visa Run: Ranong province, Thailand - Andaman sea – Kawthoung, Myanmar
We were fortunate to be able to make our visa run into an excursion through the southern Thai provinces with a great cultural guide who spent a great deal of time teaching us about Thailand’s culture, architecture, school, and food. After sailing across the Andaman sea we got to explore Kawthoung, Myanmar. Where we learned of the heated history between these two countries. Our guide in Myanmar took time explaining the history of Myanmar to our children and current politics. Our visa run proved to be a great lesson for us all in Thai & Burmese politics, and how quickly changes in laws and policies can create havoc on any foreigner traveling. Everyone needs a little excitement in their lives!
3/14/14 - 5/14/14 - Hua Hin, Thailand
We have decided to uproot & culture shock our children, to do that we have landed in Thailand for the next few months. Travel will often bring new vision. We wanted for our children to see the world, but not with a short tourist visit… we wanted them to have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture, to experience life outside of familiarity comforts. Thailand offered an affordable 180 degree version of life to the typical American lifestyle.
8/16/13 - 3/12/14 - Rooflessness experiment in Texas
Now that we have shucked most of our belongings (again!) We are going to try & reconnect with family. Most cultures around the world have multigenerational homes, what is that like? We are going to find out. We have spent the last 2 years away from all of our family (during the transitional pre-teen, beginning teen years), we want our kids to reconnect with maternal & paternal sides of our family (most of which live in Texas), we also wanted to take this time of not owning and help family & friends where we can. The second component to our “rooflessness experiment” is 1. to pay off, 2. save up $, 3. to devote a lot of time to developing TYC!
7/12/14 - 8/16/14 - Traveling AK to TX west coast style
Jobs have changed & new opportunities arise, in true Bills’ Fashion we are making it an epic journey! We will be taking the kids along the AK hwy, through Canada (Yukon, BC, Alberta), driving down the west coast of WA, OR, CA, over into the desert of NV, AZ, NM, ending up in Austin, TX. We will be taking great efforts to show our children all they have learned about these areas throughout their entire education up to this point!
7/2011 - 7/2013 – Living in Alaska
A new chapter in our life. Nathan & I have dreamed of living in Alaska since we were 17 years old. We finally made it at 34 years old! It will be interesting to see how our family changes being so far from family and the community we have developed over the years. Here in Alaska the freedom to homeschool is vast. I’m told that we are considered independent homeschoolers because we do it all out of our own pocketbook.
6/23/11 - 7/4/11 - Moving to Alaska?!!
Job change = moving as far north as we can! It is going to be hard to say goodbye to all of our friends & family but our path winds upward to AK, (this is a dream come true for us). We will be shucking all of our belongs & loading up our jeep to drive north. The kids will be staying with grandparents until we get a place (hopefully just a couple of weeks), in the mean time Nathan & I will be testing our teamwork skills as drive upward with little money or time to spare!
4/2007 - 6/2011 - Life in the Lockhart, Texas Red House
With heavy hearts we closed our “brick and mortar” location of TYC. After our trip to Kenya, we decided that we truly want to spread our message as far and as wide as we can. To help accomplish this we started to build TYC online, which has evolved into the website you are currently reading. The catalyst for this move was falling in love with a run down 1850’s home. We bought it to restore as a family project. We thought it would be a great opportunity to learn new carpentry skills for ourselves as well as our children. We not only became adroit in carpentry, but this house provide many lessons in fiscal responsibilities. These financial wisdom gained from these lessons are forever engrained in our hearts and minds. While living in this small town we became involved with our first homeschooling communities. When we lived in Tomball, we had friends who homeschooled but Lockhart provided the first groups that we joined for classes, park days, mom’s coffee meetings. It was a wonderful time of growth and learning in our homeschooling journey. We are still close friends with many of the families we met during this time.
March 2006 - Working with the World Hope Organization orphans in Kenya
We were very excited to be able to go on this mission-oriented trip to Kenya. Nathan had the opportunity to teach carpentry skills to the local workers & children at the orphanage. Nicole was able to go into the schools of the local village and learn how they are educating their children. We worked with the local orphanage to help determine learning challenges that some of the kiddos faced and demonstrate how to teach with these challenges. This two week trip was full of learning and adventure. We were blessed with new friendships and christened with new names the locals gave us. We are told they translate to “Happy man and Happy woman” We dig ’em and have often fancied changing our names legally.
3/2004 - 4/2007 - Building a new home
We moved just down the road into our first new home. During these years TYC was busting at the seams. We were thrilled to open a new location in Tomball, TX. In order to accommodate all of our new students we began hiring/training teachers to help.
2002 - 2004 - The “New Beginnings” Years
During these two years we had experienced a lot of new firsts. We began TYC as a tutoring practice out of our home. Our goal was to catch those students that had fallen through the cracks. We found that through years of frustration, inevitably all families will struggle internally. Not only will the students fall through the cracks, but the family’s cohesiveness too. We decided to offer free sessions for these students’ families. During those sessions TYC’s goal was to help provide tools for communication and problem solving. We felt blessed to pray and be apart of change for so many families that came into our tiny home. In 2003, we grew our family by “2 feet” and welcomed our second child. In 2004, we set off on our adventures in homeschooling with our first born.