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Kirsten Kernc

Homeschool Coach

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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 30 years. He is my biggest fan and champion, and I am endlessly grateful for his love and tireless support.

Tim and I relocated in 1996 from California to beautiful Colorado and have been blessed with 5 children, 1 son-in-law, and one soon-to-be daughter-in-law currently ranging in age from 10 to 26 years. Such a span of ages provides great variety, joys, and challenges in daily parenting. We have graduated 4 children and currently homeschool our youngest son. I am exceedingly grateful that all my children still reside in the Centennial State, and we anxiously look forward to grand-kiddos in the near future.


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!).


20+ 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.


There is no “one-size-fits-all” way to homeschool. Overall, I’m an eclectic homeschooler. 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, Dyslexia, Down syndrome, and physically disabled students—sometimes in a teaching capacity, sometimes as an encouraging volunteer.


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. The goal for our family is “life-schooling”.


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. Life-schooling 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 life-schooling, 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

life-schooling journey.

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