Saturday, September 14, 2013

Room for 15 and School for 13

"Where are you going to put everyone?"

It's a question we often get, and I guess it is a reasonable question...considering.

So, here are the arrangements. (A special thanks to Teresa and Kim who helped provide some of the children's comforters. Thanks to Sam, Megan, and Shannan for helping provide us with extra twin sheets. And, thank you for Ashley and Shannan for the donation of a mattress! We now have all the bedrooms complete...Alleluia).

Dustin and I have moved out onto the family Sunroom (closed in porch) as our bedroom to allow more room for the children. We did this because it just made the most sense. The room isn't that big, but it has beautiful natural light, and it's a lot like being outside (only with heat and AC). Hearing the birds serenade us in the morning, the squirrels chattering, and the rooster crowing are all peaceful ways to wake up in the morning. Plus, the early sun rays give just enough light to be able to read our Bibles in bed without even turning on the light.  It's the perfect bedroom for us, and we love it. There is a love seat at the foot of our bed that the kids use during school days to have a quiet place to read. We also have the sewing machine and keyboard in our room behind where the picture is taken (maximizing space usage).

The 6 boys (ranging from ages 7-12yrs) will be in what was designed as the master bedroom (pictured below). It is a large room that is very open, and it still has plenty of room even after 3 bunk beds were put in there. There are 3 adjoining closets which works out perfect (and they are full of clothes, thanks to Kathy, Megan, Teresa, and Cheryl). It is also has a full bathroom attached to this room which will be the boy's bathroom.

The younger 4 girls (ranging in ages from 5-8yrs) will be sharing one room (pictured below). They have a good amount of clothes in their closets too (thanks to Kim and John). The younger girls will share a bathroom with Dustin and I downstairs.

The older 3 girls (ranging in ages from 13-15yrs) will be sharing one room (pictured below). The older girls have a decent amount of clothing (though I am pretty sure teenager girls can never have too many clothes...haha). Special thanks to Megan and Christy who have donated clothing for the girls). The older girls will have their own girl's bathroom.

PERFECT FIT! This house is laid out wonderfully to accommodate everyone.

We homeschool as well. So, many people have asked, "How will you do that with 13 children?"

Hey, it's not much different than the old one-room school house approach of early Americans, right? My answer when I get that question is that we are relying on "God's grace." Obviously, I can organize and plan all I want, but I cannot do it alone; we will need His help. We will continue to pray and ask God to provide wisdom, peace, and joy in the process of educating all of our children. We recognize that it will be difficult and challenging at time, but we know the rewards and bonding are worth it. (That being said, we are not opposed to getting help from outside sources, and have already talked with the local public school system about help for one of our children in our home that may need some additional help).

We will work together; the older kids will help the younger kids (this helps the older kids to master information when they are having to explain it to someone else). We also have schedules and computer programs to help teach, drill, and track grades.

Plus, we are involved in 2 co-ops (one that meets weekly for a full day of Literature, Writing, World View, History, Grammar, Memory work, and electives, and one that meets biweekly at our farm and covers Science and P.E.). These co-ops definitely help us with our schooling efforts, and we are so thankful for all the people involved in them. In addition, we have an awesome tutor, Marlo, that is coming out twice a week to help us (and more in the future if necessary). We are thankful to God for all the wonderful people He has placed in our life!

For our school areas, we have a study which we use to keep all our home school curriculum. This room is designed to have about 6 kids in it working quietly at different stations/computers/desks. It is to be a quiet place to work on schoolwork, though we also utilize the beautiful dinning room table Larry made as part of our school for group lessons and individual work. (to see the beautiful dinning room table click here).

We also have these sturdy organizers we got at Costco that we are using for each of the children's individual school books and supplies. Each child will have their own bin with their name on it.

Did I tell you that Dustin and I were both logisticians in the Marine Corps? Yes, and it is a good thing that we learned how to organize "gear" efficiently and make the best use of space, because that has helped us a great deal in preparing our house for a large family.

I love to look back at things like that where God has prepared us in one way or another for things in the future that at the time we have no idea how He would utilize them until years to come. I love how the Lord is omniscient.

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