Wednesday, September 27, 2017

                                       Four Down 8 More To Go 

The 2017 SCHOOL YEAR has brought many new changes to our home, I'm still a mom of 12, I'm still starting off my day with coffee then teaching, and I'm still rocking my early morning mama bun...But this year we have graduated two and began our journey with two away at college. 12 is still our lucky number, it's the number of times I've had to remind my children to do something, it's the number of times I've probably reheated my meal in one sitting and also my coffee in one morning, it's the number of years I've also homeschooled my children. Now with 8 at home, some empty seats at our table and even two empty beds, the number seems so small to me, maybe alittle easier to manage, juggle, or balance depending on which day of the week we are talking about. Our days are still full of piano lessons, writing labs, Thursday Swim and Gym, and a season of basketball just to spice things up for the next 6 months. Why Not, Right!!!!!

 Like any seasoned homeschool mom , juggling many different learning styles, we have embarked on many new journey's this year... changed up things but also keeping what has worked thus far. Last year I was the mom finding any and every incentive to get my 5 and 3 year old to sit and focus for 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 minutes at least.... Boys !!!!!!! 2 minutes was their attention span, and with 7 boys and 5 girls I know this was a tall order , I've been through this before....So with little effort on my part, maybe a day or 2 , LOL, I knew this year was going to be different a year later and those two little boys are fired up and ready to go every morning. Now 6 and 4 they challenge each other in their time frames, and now our 2, 3, 4, and 5 minutes last year has taken this mom of 12 to 30 and 40 minute teachings, while my 2 year old is on the side lines doing everything in his power to distract my Double Duo...

Today I'm teaching all ages and all grades: Highschool, Middle , Elementary, and Preschool....That has been our typical for many years. Each one of our children Elementary age through Preschool start each morning with a Rise and Shine Binder, each consists of Calender's, Copy Work, Number of the day. We are early risers at 7:00 a.m. leaving our 6, 4, and 2 year old to sleep till 8, giving us an hour to get ahead of our day, 7:30 we are off to breakfast, and by 8 the house is raring to go... The little's are up for their breakfast, and the 7 a.m. risers are on to their chores. Our chore chart is simply a calendar I print off from Every morning each child goes to the chore chart and look at the number next to their initial. Everyday our children are on a new chore and by the 4th day they are back to the same chore, since 4 children rotate, leaving the little's to come alongside the older kids and train them up in what it means to work as a team....

Here's where the magic happens: I watch , monitor, supervise, and encourage, and train. I'm raising independent children who one day need to be independent adults and everyday counts.....

A typical day for us would look like this:

7 A.M. - 11 A.M.                                                        
Rise & Shine/Devotions                                                                                  
Spelling/ Phonics
LUNCH 11-12
12 P.M. - 3 P.M.
English / Word of the Day
Quiet Reading / Comp
Science - Tues/ Thurs
Health- Tues/ Thurs
History- Mon/ Wed
Keyboarding - Mon/ Fri ONLY

Basketball & Swim & Gym -Mon/Thurs                                          
Writing Lab- Wed
Piano - Thurs

But for a mom of many on a tight budge I try and find curriculum that I can use with all ages, and if all else fails I just hodge - podge online printable worksheets or use multiple books of the same subject and combine as one , most times I end up liking my version of a curriculum more so then one I'd find anyway.

I've had years where I tried to buy all our curriculum from Abeka or Somlight but it simply didn't work for all of our children. Unique in their learning means I need to be Unique /Creative in my selection. My children are excelling and being challenged daily, they are stronger in some subjects and others they have to think outside of their comfort zone but we try to give them a healthy balance of textbook, online and computer work to keep things balanced.

In the 10th grade our children start taking Dual Credit classes where they are earning a highschool and college credit at the same time at our local college. I believe there are loop holes in homeschooling. I believe kids get bored , and stale in their learning , feeling at times not challenged and may lack in their overall performance since their peers are their siblings, so taking the PSAT or SAT's or simply taking a coop class where they will be challenged by other teachers whether it's online or in a class room setting. Another possibility is if a subject is taught by another homeschool mother, maybe it's joining a club or taking lessons, either way break up their day, break up their teaching, they will come to appreciate they variety you are offering them and also see how your teaching style and their learning styles need to be adaptable. Maybe looking into a baby sitting course at your local hospital or a CPR class, or sitting at youth group listening to the leaders teach or simply sitting in your pew at church under your pastors teaching instead of going into your class. I'm always looking for ways to engage my children in learning, if I become stale in my teaching or my techniques they too will become stale in their learning and their approach. Home Educating demands alot from moms, not any more or any less then being a mom yourself, alot goes into planning, interacting , investing , but just as being a mom is the most rewarding job, so is hearing your child read for the first time or finishing that math curriculum they have worked so hard on, finishing it proud , accomplished and successful and sometimes on time.


I have many, many, many ,more years of this role in my life as mom, educator, micro manager, leader, and consoler, I too want to finish strong and leave a legacy for my children, that we can embark on this journey together, and reminding my children where many are gathered there is lots to share...

Monday, July 17, 2017

                           Round Two of College  
                                                Freshmen & Sophomore Brothers
                                        A Daughter making her way in this world 

 Oh, this journey!!!!! Rewarding and Exhausting........I am reminded of the day I looked at Christian and said " You know you don't have to go to college, pray about it." I could tell by his facial expression and the next few words he spoke that his mind was already made up. My heart sank at the thought of what college life would look like for him, and where would he go, could he handle it , could I even counsel him through it, did I do a good job preparing him as his teacher, counselor , adviser. As you could imagine the thoughts never stopped, morning and night, several colleges had accepted our transcript , so that was a bonus and gave us a little boost in our confidence as you can imagine.

I think as parents we always have doubts, in our parenting, in our faith, in life in general, but I set the bar high in educating my children at home, we stay super structured, disciplined and are always changing things up to keep them fresh and excited about what homeschooling looks like. With 12, I just have to be.....

Finally graduation day came , and his power point was ready, his bio of his 18 years of life was done, rehearsal was over, senior pictures were a success, money was saved after a summer working three exhausting jobs, college applications done, and still the decision hung in the balance, then the Lord revealed his answer to him. Grace Seminary School

We were relieved to see he had made a decision after many months sitting at the table crunching numbers and comparing, debating, and remembering that he was born to do this, determined to make it work and this is what homeschooling was all about, guiding him through, supporting him and seeing things to the end. Those 18 years went so fast, so many great memories, ups and downs, so many times the Lord revealed to me personally that where I may be lacking in my teaching HE will be there to fill in those gaps, Do Not Doubt His Ability to Supply in Abundance. I to assured all our children this very thing, in life. So how could I back down now, and not live by the very words I spoke to them, I constantly reminded them of and repeatedly had to say to myself. I struggled with letting go only because of my own selfishness. Whether you have 1 child or in our case 12, you know those children are your life, you devote all to them and you give up on many things you were passionate about, maybe not all, but some. Each of our children add something special to the dynamics of our house and I wasn't prepared to let those dynamics change. I knew what that meant and what it felt like, after our oldest had joined a wife at 18. Even in his successful marriage 3 years later we value that time so much when we are all back together in one house. Like old times.

 I didn't necessarily fear what he would experience in college, I knew his standards were high, and I was confident that he had been exposed to life and the curve balls life can throw at a person. He was at peace with his decision and everything fell into place. We knew God was in control.

Today life in our home is very fast paced still, summer is here, our college student is home, another son
( Tyler ) is graduated along with our daughter (Angelina). Graduating two at one time was a very new experience but we managed and came through on the other side.  Very different approaches to life and independence but grateful that God is using them both differently. For His Glory, His purpose. Our son Tyler will be also going to Grace and rooming with Christian, one a Freshman then other a Sophomore. 2017 has been a busy year, a trip to Wisconsin, a Trip to Nashville, seeing our International Student Sandy, off after graduation from College with a Business major, now in California. Overjoyed at our adult children seeking Gods hand in relationships, re-cooperating after open houses. Another cap and gown worn and hung and a little gap before our next one.

Life and it's choas!!!! Find the joy in those little moments, capture them, cling to those times together while learning to let go little by little. God has used those moments to teach me, AS MOM, so much. Even when I thought I couldn't possible know my children any more then I do, I am so taken back by their strength, their faith, and desire to experience life, sometimes test the waters and bounce back from their mistakes. It's not easy, to let the grip go, watch, counsel a little, and then wait but even in this faze of our life, 4 adult children, graduated, moving on, God showed me again, "Angel, dear child of mine , I got this, I entrusted these children to you, you have done a job worthy of my calling, now you are releasing them to me once again, and I will fill in those gaps for you, I will watch over them and see MY job through, because I too have a plan for them." Thank you, LORD Jesus........

A Mother's Journey of 12 in 2017

                    A Mother's Journey of 12
Kuhn Family 2017 ( Missing Miss Ava ) 

Kuhn Family 2014

               I thought a smaller family was the best alternative for us.
                             BUT God had a different plan !!! 

Our faith opened my heart and allowed us opportunities that would have never been possible if I hadn't continued living a role as a mother and wife. Soon after the vasectomy our faith brought about hope, despair, failures and most of all perseverance. My maternal instincts were telling me that I desired what any mother of 4 boys would want and that was a DAUGHTER!!!! This was the first time in my life I was content and my saving grace was right there with me, walking the walk of obedience and stepping out in my faith. We were called to homeschool and become active members of our church and disciplining our children day to day in love and grace was priority. (But never claiming to have it all figured out, of course) After some prompting and research we found that reversing my husbands vasectomy was in our favor, with timing and good male genes, and the birth of our children prior, we had thought the surgery would be a success. Our hope was in the Lord.

FAILED ATTEMPTS: After the surgery we went through a series of tests that revealed the procedure did not work, and once again we had felt angry, a little bitter, resentful, hurt and needless to say broke financially. But we knew that where the Lord closes a door another will be opened and that giving up wasn't an option. We knew there were other alternatives, like fostering to adopt. We decided to be obedient in our walk of faith and seek out a sibling group that would be a great fit to our family of 4. Soon after receiving our license we were blessed to adopt three little girls ages 7, 4, and almost 2. The journey to get here was emotional and yet over joyed to be able to embrace these beautiful girls and offer them more then life had.
MIRACLE#1 Daily I devoted my time to my family but my heart still ached for us to be able to grow our family into yet more then what we were blessed with. I felt we had so much to offer, and prior to the adoption I had felt cheated and so I pleaded, cried, begged for the Lord to seek my heart and to fill the void that was placed there.

You may ask how could I have gone from a mother who only desired 4 could now possible ache for her own biological children and the only answer I can come up with is my willingness to surrender all in Hopes Of More. Our miracle came on December 1st 2006, a daughter named Jessah Rene. God had proven time and time again that his faithfulness to my prayers was so evident.

Thankfully our daughter was healthy and the echos of cooing rang in our home once again. It was a bitter sweet time for us. We were in the faze of potty training other children and our lives were to say the least , Wonderful Chaoes!!!

MIRACLE #2 Our family continued to grow shortly after Jessah was born, we were blessed with another daughter on January 6th, Ava Lynn and the boys were out numbered 5 to 4. You can only image how that went over, to them this simply could not be.
Miracle #3 & #4 #5 To our surprise the boys wish did come true three fold and we gave birth to 3 more boys. Currently they are 5 and 4 and 2 and everything we thought we had known about being a parent has been thrown out the window when it comes to these little boys. Of course, I'm not speaking literally but they truly are active in every sense of the word.



A LIFE With 12: My title in life now is still MOM of course, still taxi driver, meal planner, time investor, budget cruncher, college adviser, a relationship chaperone and sometimes a shoulder to cry on but I've also taken on becoming a mother in law and possible one day a grandmother. We are still in the potty training days, diapers, and the over run with munchkins faze but daily I'm reminded that with the healthy balance of older to younger, this is exactly where we have prayed to be. Soon three more of our children will be experiencing their independence going to college , balancing full time jobs and relationships, while homeschooling our 10th, 8th, 7th, 4th, 1st, K, and yes, preschool, the echoes may sound different and yet all so familiar. The path of the last 11 years has been rough, rewarding and at times tiring, but if it took going through the trenches of life to get us where we are today it has been worth every investment.