Marielle’s Story​

Marielle’s Story

Marielle Speetjens is a mother of three kids and one angel. She was born and raised in The Netherlands. She is married to a (crazy) Finn and lived with her children on a boat in Dubai for over a decade. On the boat, Marielle home schooled her kids for seven years before she moved to Portugal where she currently resides with her family, three cats and a rescue dog. She adores sun, sand and sea, loves (almost) all kinds of music and considers herself a jumpsuits afficionado.

Her kids now attend an International School in the Lisbon area.

Education & Early Life

After her MA in International Relations Marielle started her career at a Humans Rights Organization in The Hague after which she worked for an International Management School, setting up MBA programs around the world. She then worked as a Management Consultant, specializing in organizational restructuring. Good communication, creating strong teams and getting things done collaboratively was her trademark. In the process she got deeply involved in Training & Coaching which ultimately led to her starting her own Training-Coaching company called Mindbreeze in Amsterdam.

Marielle became a proud mom of twins, but everything changed when her eleven-month-old daughter unexpectedly died. With a completely changed outlook on life, she moved with her husband and one year old son to Dubai, put her career on ice, became a full-time mom and had two more children.


It was not until her eldest son turned four that she started considering homeschooling. The consideration was driven by a lifestyle of freedom with lots of calendar flexibility and the strong belief that four is way too young for a child to start the rat race. Her Finnish husband couldn’t agree more (first grade in Finland Schools starts at the age of seven) and what started as an experiment for a year or two turned into a seven-year home or boat schooling adventure.

At present she lives with her family in a (fun) house in Portugal where her children attend (an amazing) school. In the process of adjusting to a more conventional life and getting used to the void of not being a homeschool mom anymore she finished two Half Ironmans and spent three years as Board President of her kids´ International Swim Team. Meanwhile she caught up again with the world of Training & Coaching and further deepened her understanding of Healthy Lifestyle Living.

Home Learning Lab

Having been pretty private about her personal and family life before, this past Covid year started changing that. With so much disruption and so much of life moving online, many people approached her to seek advice on issues of home learning and it dawned on her how much valuable experience she has to share. She decided to start Home Learning Lab, through which she aims to help and inspire parents to look beyond the obvious in home learning and lifestyle.

Whether parents are confronted with home learning due to lockdown, catching up and getting their kids back on track after lockdown, or actually looking to continue or start with home learning in the future after Covid and lockdown have passed, Marielle aims to build a platform where parents can meet, gain and share knowledge, experience, concerns, thoughts and ideas.

Helping parents to find a suitable curriculum, program, or design their own using alternative tools and resources that suit their situation and outlook on life are key initial steps in this process. Assisting them to find their way with teaching ideas, lesson plans and activities is next. More than anything she wishes to contribute towards developing confidence and the right mindset to make the home learning adventure successful, rewarding and with the right commitment and energy in place, the journey of a lifetime.