Regularly parents ask us how their children can acquire computer vocational skills similar to those our children have learned. These parents want a way for their children to gain this same knowledge from home. Because of the number of inquires we receive, several years ago we began praying about a way to get this information into the hands of other families. Praying turned to discussion, and discussion has turned into a starting plan.

Through this blog post and survey, we are investigating whether there is enough interest for our oldest son, Nathan, to begin a mentor-guided distance-learning course to help others develop vocational computer skills. We think you would find Nathan to be an encouraging facilitator and a good role model – one that you would be happy to have your children, or maybe you yourself,  learning from.
The course that Nathan will be leading would:

1. Be reasonably priced – without the negative influences often encountered through other higher education vocational options

2. Challenge but be achievable by anyone

3. Enable others to begin a small business that:

a. Has little, if any, overhead

b. Can find clients in businesses, churches, and homes because almost everyone has a computer, and those computers have problems that need to be fixed.

c. Allows schedule flexibility
Steve and Teri

ITOR Introduction Blog Post – by Nathan

This article will share with you a direction the Lord is potentially leading me. As many of you have walked with us through life’s highs and lows, we wanted to bring you into this as soon as we could and solicit your thoughts and feedback. We have a survey below and would appreciate anything you wanted to share/post as a response to this blog entry in addition to completing the survey.

For the past 15 years, I have worked in the IT industry (IT being an acronym in the computer industry – Information Technology). Through strictly word of mouth, the Lord has brought together a consulting business for me, which is my full-time vocation. I work with small businesses; most of these organizations are not large enough to have full time IT staff members. The Lord has wonderfully directed my work. Times where I needed less work (such as a wife on bedrest) have been slow, other times much busier.

Now for the exciting news . . . We are looking at launching an IT mentor-guided, distance-learning in-depth program that I would facilitate. We will call it Our goal is to help individuals learn computer skills, foundational and beyond, to equip them for income generation, life skills, and service!

First, who would be interested in ITonRamp? Mainly, high-school age students. But, we see potential way beyond that. For example dads seeking to make a career change, graduates desiring to add skills to their portfolio, moms wanting to understand their computers, and even single moms developing a skillset to support their families.

We are looking at offering two tracks, with a third to come in the near future. The first two tracks will focus on foundational computer skills and knowledge – based around CompTia’s A+ (an industry-accepted certification of specific IT skills). These skills account for roughly 60-70% of what I use on a day-to day-basis as a self employed, small business IT service provider.

Let me address what this course isn’t. It’s not an easy, “here’s what happens when you double-click the Microsoft Word icon” – “Here’s how to copy and paste a file “. Rather, it will be challenging, in-depth, and frankly – hard! Someone with zero computer knowledge could expect to invest up to 200 hours in learning the material. Those with a greater familiarity will require less time. The big picture is that almost anyone would benefit from a knowledge of how computers work, the ability to remove spyware/viruses, and when repair doesn’t work, the ability to reload the computer. Because most homes have small networks, being able to work with residential routers, share printers, and make sure the wireless is setup in a secure manner are skills almost every home needs.

Anyone with even a slight interest in a computer-related field would highly benefit from this training. Joseph, a skilled programmer, received his A+ certification when he was fourteen by passing both tests. It meant hours of studying, week after week, but he has benefited greatly these last seven years from this information.

Whether you’re interested in system administration, project management, information security, web design, programming, electronic forensics . . . A+ is the place to start.

We are excited! This venture has been bathed in prayer, and we eagerly look forward to your thoughts. We’re wondering if there is a market/need, if it’s financially viable for me to reduce my client workload to begin ITonRamp, and if home educators are willing to invest the time and resources needed. So many questions! We are looking to hearing back from you as we begin this venture.

Would each of you please take a minute to complete the survey for us?


Nathan, Melanie and the girls

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Proverbs 20:11

19 thoughts on “News!!”

  1. Would my 14yo son’s nickname give you a hint? “Computer Geek” =) I will be showing this to him!

  2. Well, my children think I am techically challenged! I do use the computer daily in my job but my knowledge is very basic. The idea sounds very appealing to me. I will need to know a bit more— but I am interested.

  3. We’d like some more info, but we can’t honestly fill out the section regarding a “fair price” because we aren’t sure of what the class structure is going to be. To us, the cost is going to be directly related to the amount of personal instruction and mentoring involved. Other factores would be what materials would need to be purchased, whether there will be individual projects,etc.

    Other than that, this sounds like it will be a wonderful opportunity for study. Look forward to hearing more!

  4. Is this something you could do with a Macintosh?
    While Mac’s market share is growing, at this point the A+ certification is focused on Microsoft operating systems. It would be very possible to complete the course using a Mac, as long as a Microsoft operating system were in use on it, either virtually or via bootcamp. Or, it maybe possible to pickup an older used machine running Vista that could be used for practice. Nathan

  5. Is it ok if you only own a netbook?
    Netbooks – that would be a bit tough. I think it would be do-able. The curriculum is based on Windows Vista and somewhat Windows 7 (the A+ always lags a bit behind the Microsoft product release schedule). If the Netbook is running 7, that would work better.

    We’re still finalizing alot of these details and will post more as they are firmed up.


  6. This is great! I have a computer of my own, and would really like to know more about this technology. It is very rightfully named “News!!” It is definitely big and great news! Thanks a lot!

  7. Hi Maxwells. If you do the course & you decide to go ahead & try to be ‘certified’ do you know if that would be acknowledged abroad i.e) as in Australia? Either way what a really wonderful plan & we will pray for you & the HUGE decisions that lay ahead as we can only imagine the magnitude of this task. God bless.

  8. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn a vocation without the secular influences. The IT field seems to offer the flexibility that would benefit many people who are putting Christ and their families first.
    I’m sure we aren’t the only ones who have to make big family sacrifices to support dad’s occupation. While a change of career is not desirable for us, I am excited to see how the Lord works in the lives of those who may choose this mentoring opportunity.
    May God bless your efforts to glorify Him!
    Kim C.

  9. Could a motivated 12 year old handle this?
    Joseph did it at fourteen and likely could have at twelve. It is reasonable that he could.

  10. I am in Canada and have a 15 (almost 16 year old) son. I am VERY interested in him taking this course. However, I have not filled out the survey because I have to weigh different options. Right now he is doing a good days work with home-schooling so it depends when the course starts. Will he need extra material as he now has his own laptop? If he finishes home-schooing in May and can do the course over summer then it may be a consideration for us depending on the cost. I will have to go over this with my husband as well. When we were speaking about it last night, we were getting quite excited about it. Thank you for this. It sounds like an incredible opportunity. God Bless

  11. This sounds like a great and beneficial venture for alot of people. I Have to be honest though, I was hoping Anna had decided to make and sell the beautiful jumpers the Maxwell ladies wear. : ). May God bless all you do .

  12. It does sound like a fantastic idea, and I am also interested to know if the certification would be recognised overseas.

    I LOVE the idea of the girls sewing clothes and selling them! The clothes are so beautiful and there is obvious talent in the Maxwell ladies!

    May God bless you and guide you!
    We are told A+ is recognized in Canada, but not sure elsewhere.

  13. Is this offer something that can only be done in the near future or will you be continuing to make this available on a regular basis. My kids are not old enough yet. My husband is interested in bringing his computer programming skills up-to-date. He thought he heard before that programming was what Christopher is involved with.
    It will likely be one class at a time and we see how the Lord leads. We will have more info shortly.

  14. Hello Maxwells.

    Corey is very interested in this; looking forward to more details.

    Hope ya”ll are doing well.

    Allen for the S. Family

  15. When were you looking to launch this course?
    We are working through those details. We will post about it soon.

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