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Suzanne Meadows, 48, cuddles with her youngest daughter, Lillian, 4, while doing Pilates. Suzanne is the mother of six children and home schools the five who are still at home. On a regular day, Suzanne juggles teaching lessons, cooking meals, doing laundry, and other tasks aroung the home. "I'm convinced my kids know how important they are to my husband and me," Suzanne says.

To love is to teach

story by Kelsea Hobbs

Five pair of feet move around the large, yellow home nestled on Copperas Hollow in Morehead. Some slap across the hardwood as children run from kitchen to living room with homework questions. Some swirl and jump around the carpeted floor in a little girl's bedroom. Others, laced up in tennis shoes, crunch across the gravel driveway as someone launches a basketball toward a goal. The sounds are generated by five of Suzanne and Troy Meadows' children.

Suzanne, 48, is the mother, teacher and caregiver of her family. With six children ranging in age from 21 to 4, she has molded her life around serving her family.

Suzanne and Troy, 52, adopted their first child, Noelle, now 21, in 1998. After adopting Noelle, Suzanne noticed that there was something lacking in her community. Thinking of Noelle's birth mother led her to found Hope Pregnancy Center, a place to provide care and support for expectant mothers in Morehead.

"I just thought to myself, 'If there was a place like this in Morehead, what would her mother have done?'" Suzanne says.

Over the years, the Meadows family continued to grow. "The only ones we planned were the ones we adopted," Suzanne jokes. She and Troy went from one adopted baby girl to three adopted children (Noelle,  Solomon, 18, and Celeste, 12) and three biological children (Cedric, 16, John-Harrison, 9, and Lillian, 4).

Wanting to do what was best for their family, they decided to home school.

"I love being involved in every aspect of their lives, and with home schooling I can tailor to their learning styles and the way they're wired," Suzanne says while taking a break from helping John-Harrison with history lessons.

As the family grew, Suzanne began to feel stretched between her work and home. Now, she works from home as a life coach and home schools the five youngest children. Noelle attends college.

"To be honest, a lot of people send [their children] away all day to school to be taught by someone who may have a different worldview than you, whereas I feel like I have a lot less catching up to do with regards to that," Suzanne says.

Being a woman of strong faith, Suzanne has one goal she hopes to achieve through spending most of her time with her children.

"I absolutely want to pass on my faith in God," she says. "I don't have to think about that for a second. Hopefully, I teach them by example."

Suzanne now begins her days with breakfast, chemistry, math and reading. She teaches, serves and loves on her children from morning to night and says she hasn't once regretted the ones she bore or the ones she chose. Suzanne stands in the kitchen putting together dinner for her family after a day of teaching, laundry and running after her youngest, Lillian.

"You're worth every second, aren't you," she says to Lillian, who smiles and nods in agreement.      


Lillian does push ups while Suzanne does Pilates after the school work for the day has been finished. Throughout the day, Lillian can be found wherever Suzanne is. "Do you know what I mean when I say to give Mommy her personal space?" Suzanne asks Lillian, who responds by shaking her head no.


Suzanne discusses home school lessons with children Lillian, Solomon, 18, and John-Harrison, 9. Suzanne moves throughout the house during the day to teach her children, going from science in the living room to chemistry upstairs to history in the kitchen. "In schools, if kids don't excel in one or more areas they tend to think you aren't smart, whereas with me, I can tailor to the needs of each of my kids and how they learn," she says.


Suzanne makes a shopping trip with three of her six children. "I always have one of the older kids come so they can be my runner," she says. "I have a lot of things I have to buy, so I tend to forget things and this way I can have them run and pick up whatever I missed."


Suzanne lies down with Lillian to read her a story at the end of the day. "Troy is the one who likes reading out loud," Suzanne says about her husband. "He's been reading out loud to the kids at night for, gosh, I don't even know how long. It's been so many years."


Lillian shows Suzanne her "tricks" on the stairs to avoid going to bed. "If you give her the attention, she'll just keep on performing. She won't stop until you walk away," Meadows says.


Suzanne checks her phone while Lillian runs through the house with her angel wings pretending to fly. "Everyone should have a 4-year-old in their home," Suzanne says. "It seriously is just the cutest."


Lillian launches herself into her dad, Troy Meadows, 52, after he arrives home from work. Troy is a professor at Morehead State University.


Suzanne and Troy embrace after a day of work and teaching before she leaves for a dinner with other home schooling mothers in her community. "I won't be out long, and then we can finally sit down and talk about our days," she says on her way out of the house.


Suzanne cleans up a spilled can of peaches on the kitchen floor with help from Troy. "I'm so out of it," Suzanne jokes. "I saw it about to happen and just didn't react fast enough."


Suzanne greets friends while attending a dinner for moms who home school their children. They meet once every few months.

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