The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Break the Rules

My college education prepared me for an elementary classroom, where lots of little boys and girls would sit in desks and raise their hands and walk down the halls in straight, quiet lines.

While that education has not gone to waste, the Rumley Academy doesn’t exactly look like a typical classroom.

And that is one beautiful thing about homeschooling.

Early on, I thought I needed to provide “school at home,” mimicking a classroom setting. I didn’t realize at the time how much freedom and flexibility I was relinquishing by trying to give my child a classroom experience at home.

Here we are, nearly 10 years in, and I want to encourage any mamas who are newer at this…It’s NOT going to look like a classroom, and that is a beautiful thing.

You have the freedom to make your home an environment of learning, tailored to each of your kids’ needs.

My oldest is currently a freshman, and (PRAISE GOD!) she is quite independent this year. She does the vast majority of her schoolwork in her bedroom or the dining room table. She’s very self-motivated. Like me, she likes words. She’s a great writer.

My youngest school age child is completely different. I just love to see how his brain works. Truly, he thinks SO differently than I do, and it’s so cool.

These images were taken during his math quiz today.

It took me a while to realize this…but it’s absolutely fine if he writes his answers in the shape of a cartoon rather than numbered 1-24 down the left margin of a notebook paper. Why not?

He hates writing. Abhors it. Says it hurts his hand.

But he likes drawing, and he’s super creative and good at it. So, why not let him write his math quiz answers inside a silly drawing? In my opinion, it’s a win-win. He does math (which he doesn’t love) while practicing drawing (which he does love).

It’s these little things that I have come to love about homeschooling. Even if my child had a classroom teacher who recognized his strengths and weaknesses, she couldn’t possibly allow this sort of thing! (Can you imagine the nightmare of grading 25 math quizzes, with the answers hidden in different drawings?) But here at home, he can thrive. Learning can be fun.

Mamas, look for ways to give your kiddos freedoms that allow them to maximize their strengths. Try to break out of the box of typical classroom instruction. Breaking the rules of classroom etiquette can give your homeschool days extra life and freedom!

Tell me – have you experienced something similar in your homeschool journey?


  1. I love it when you blog. I love your family and every story you make with it. Your blog posts always make me smile.

    Yes, we’ve experienced many similar things. Our kids have spent weeks at the farm during the school year, not writing a single thing, whether math or letters. But they know how to care for a horse. And a duck. And a chicken and a dog and a cat and a llama and a goat.

    One summer they flew to 6 different cities with us, and learned how to navigate an airport, how to pack properly, how to deal with stern authorities who can’t afford to play because of the seriousness of their job.

    It’s so different, and so fun.

    • Thank you, Topher. You are so kind.

      Your family is inspiring with the creative ways you educate your girls! They are learning things that most kids don’t get the opportunity to learn!

  2. This is perfect! It took me a while at first to relinquish the “school room” homeschool, but like you I love that I finally did! I could do more, though. I know it and see it! I’ll keep learning my kiddos and their learning styles…and growing!

  3. This is beautiful and inspiring, Lacey! I still sort if do a “school room” homeschool, but I try to make the day (ahem, hour) active. So we don’t sit in one place for school… thats a recipe for anarchy with my boys! I’m still learning what my boys need to learn best.

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