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Learning Anew

Will you use your Geneva College degree in all the ways you expect? Maybe not—and that is the story of Joanne (Raser ′85) Calderwood. 

Her Geneva degree was a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. After she and Tim ′85 graduated, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Joanne began teaching at a small Christian school in Nashville, and she also started studying the psychology of learning in relation to parenting.

Then came the children: Nicolas, Lauren, Taylor and Franklin. Soon “Nicky” was ready for school. But he had already been reading for two years and, in Joanne′s words, was “a little math machine.” What could he be taught in kindergarten that he did not already know? Thus began Tim and Joanne′s home-education adventure.

Fast-forward through the birth of four more children, and Joanne had her own classroom at home. In the midst of those crazy years, she discovered her children worked more quickly and efficiently when they worked independently. When the children worked for themselves, they were more motivated than when they toiled for a parent or teacher. 

But what about the results of this approach? Joanne encouraged Nicholas to take the ACT “for fun” as a high school freshman. He scored 35 out of a possible 36. He then achieved a perfect SAT score, and became a finalist in the prestigious Presidential Scholars competition. The next three Calderwood kids also scored extraordinarily well on their exams. The current status: four down, four more to go.

During the many-little-children-at-home days, Joanne developed a planning system for her children to use to track their progress. Today The Home School Student Planners and The Essential High School Planners are popular with home educators around the world. Joanne calls her methodology “The Self-Propelled Advantage,” and it will be the subject of a book due to be released later this year by Morgan James Publishing. 

For eight years, Joanne has also been offering her products and services online for home educating families at the delightfully named She also writes columns for Home School Enrichment magazine and travels as a speaker, teaching adults the secrets to instilling self-motivation, excellence and self-mastery in their children.

Joanne credits the education faculty at Geneva College with introducing her to learning theory and the joy of teaching. But her education reached a new dimension when she comprehended the joy of training up young adults to boldly step forward, use their unique gifts and set the course for their generation.

Who could have expected this?

You can reach Joanne at


To All Alumni Who Have the Bank of America Geneva Affinity
Credit Card:

As of March 31, 2012, Bank of America is ending Geneva′s participation in its affinity card program. After that time, you may continue to use your card, but your purchases will no longer benefit Geneva. The Alumni Office is pursuing the possibility of a different affinity credit card. If we are able to make one available, we will let you know. Thanks to everyone whose purchases have benefited Geneva.


Upcoming Alumni Events:

  • March 6-10, 2012Geneva in Florida
  • March 10, 2012 – Gathering at the Genevans Concert in Broomall, Pennsylvania (Reserve your spot at the post-concert dinner by emailing Randy Buckwalter at
  • March 24, 2012Genevans Reunion
  • March 31, 2012Geneva in Kansas
  • April 14, 2012Founders Day
  • April 28, 2012Softball Reunion
  • May 11, 2012 – Class of 2011 Gathering
  • Save the Date: Homecoming 2012 – Saturday, October 20
  • Save the Date: Family Weekend 2012 – Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10

March 2012

Geneva Magazine Geneva Magazine
Be sure to check out the new winter 2012 issue online.

Geneva Across America Geneva Across America
transcontinental bicycle tour scheduled to take place during the summer of 2013.

Geneva Takes A Stand Geneva Files Lawsuit
Geneva College is committed to acting in a manner consistent with our deeply held Christian beliefs.


"The professors were quick to show how valuable the fields of business and accounting are, how necessary they are for human life and how many opportunities there are for businessmen and women to serve Christ and those around them through their work."

– Heather Pinkerton '07

Click here to read Heather's profile.

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March 2012

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