Kirsten KerncMentor Mom

    BACKGROUND
    I grew up a Navy brat—moving often as a child and landing in San Diego for my last year of high school. I attended the University of California Santa Barbara (who wouldn’t want to go to school on the beach?), where I majored in Theatre Arts and minored in Education. I met the love of my life and best friend, Tim, in ’92, when he came into the the burger joint where I worked as a server. We married 11 months later and are still going strong after 27 years.
    We relocated in 1996 from California to beautiful Colorado. We have been blessed with 5 children (and one soon-to-be son-in-law) currently ranging in age from 9 to 24 years, which provides great variety and challenges in daily parenting. We have graduated 3 children and currently homeschool two boys ages 16 and 9 years old. I am grateful that all my children still reside in the Centennial State and am looking forward to grand-kiddos in the future.

    INTERESTS
    Walk-n-Talks, Date Nights, and romantic getaways with my hubby.
    Spending time with family and friends.
    Fighting the effects of gravity by walking, running, skiing, ice skating, etc.
    Developing new hobbies (beekeeping, raising chickens, a short film project).
    Nurturing long-held interests (community service, prayer time, American history, repurposing treasures).
    Staying connected with our 3 adult “children” and caring for our 2 homeschooled sons..

    HOW I LANDED IN HOMESCHOOLING
    Having had a typical public-school education and college career, homeschooling was NEVER part of my child-rearing plans. Flashforward to 2001 when our oldest son entered the 1st grade. A very active, distracted boy who loved to talk and tinker, he had been cocooned and sheltered in our church’s tiny kindergarten class. As I embarked to find a school where he could continue his elementary education, I realized that most local schools (public or private) had either neatly arranged desks requiring a lot of sitting for 7-8 hours per day (bad idea), or they all faced each other creating temptation and chaos ALL DAY LONG (worse idea!). Additionally, I began to hear a small voice whispering, “homeschool.” I ignored this voice for months, but Providence and an abundance of “signs” eventually raised the whisper to a shout. After finding the courage to suggest this crazy homeschool notion to my husband, he graciously, but skeptically, allowed me to give it a go. Undoubtedly, he thought it a passing phase that I would eventually tire of. Not knowing a soul who homeschooled in my area, I began to search for help and answers. Thankfully, God led me to several wise homeschool veterans and mentors (I couldn’t imagine where I’d be today without them!). Eighteen+ years later, I’m still traversing the homeschool path. It has been a rocky road filled with some successes and many failures. Every year is different. I NEVER feel like I’ve mastered it. But by God’s grace, and my husband’s endless forgiveness, I stumble along. As a homeschool veteran (ugh, I am that old now), I hope to use my own stumbles, lessons, and experiences to bring a sense of peace, direction, and counsel to families who are considering or committing to the homeschool adventure.

    HOMESCHOOL STYLE & EXPERIENCE
    There is no “one-size-fits-all” way to homeschool. Overall, I’m an eclectic homeschooler. I lean toward Classical or Charlotte Mason education but dabble in many different methods. I’m very familiar with “boxed” curriculum (i.e. Sonlight) which makes homeschooling straightforward; however, my strength is the ability to combine various curriculums (i.e. Beautiful Feet, My Father’s World, Bright Ideas Press) into a single course. Whether tried-and-true or avant-garde, I love to pick and choose from the best of the best curriculums in order to meet the unique needs and learning styles of each child. I have a tendency, however, to become obsessed with details and build a lot into one class. Thus, a system of checks-and-balances is a must. By formulating a strong family mission statement, creating a comprehensive daily/yearly plan, and maintaining a big-picture perspective, I have learned how to avoid the pitfalls of overloading my children/students with too much curriculum. LOTS of prayer helps too!
    Over the years, I’ve run the gamut of homeschooling methods from solo-schooling to Co-Op’s to Dual Credit programs. Outside our family, I’ve had the pleasure to work with a wide range of students and ages through informal co-ops and structured enrichment programs. I have interacted with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexic, Down syndrome, and physically disabled students—sometimes in a teaching capacity, sometimes as an encouraging volunteer.

    FINAL THOUGHTS
    Flexibility is one of the keys to homeschooling. Change is inevitable. I try to prioritize the uniqueness of each child by encouraging individual talents alongside family schooling. Homeschooling is not just about academic education. It’s about life education. It took me a long time to learn this, and I’m still not very good at it. The goal for our family is “lifeschooling”. We want our children to grow into compassionate contributors to the world using their individual, God-given talents and interests, as well as their academic education. Lifeschooling should begin with the character and heart of each child and center on family love and encouragement; the academic piece is the easy part. (I got this wrong in the beginning). I wish I could say that my daily homeschool life perfectly reflects this mission every single day. But there are good days and bad. We press through it together as a family— the good, the bad, and the ugly— and that is the greatest blessing.
    Through lifeschooling, I continue to discover the best and worst of myself as a person, a wife, a mother, a teacher and a friend. Although some days are difficult, I thank Jesus for the blessings and opportunity to grow through this lifeschooling journey.

     

    To schedule an appointment with me, click here. All appointment times are in Mountain Standard Time.

    All services must be paid for at time of booking. We will make reasonable accommodations for emergencies that result in the need to reschedule. We request 24 hour notice for rescheduling requests. Refunds will not be given for missed appointments without 24 hour notice.

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