The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Tag: homeschooling (page 2 of 6)


I’ve been feeling really worn down lately. Less patience with the kids, more overwhelmed by the chaos. So, so, SO tired of the bickering…and wondering what in the world needs to change.

I’m not ready or willing to give up homeschooling, even though that would give me some much more peaceful hours during the day. I still can’t imagine sending them away. I LOVE what we’re able to do as a homeschooling family: learn together from a God-centered worldview, go at the correct pace for each child in core subjects, spend time together as a family, read together by the fireplace…Not to mention sleeping in and not having the need to rush through breakfast. It’s pretty great.

But I also know that I spent time in tears almost every day last week, feeling like I’m not an adequate parent, let alone teacher. I want (NEED) to get to the heart of my kids’ bickering and other sin issues, and I feel like I can talk with them (one of them in particular) until I have no more words, I can use other Biblical disciplinary measures (ahem, spanking), and still nothing changes. The Holy Spirit has to do the work of softening and changing their hearts, and I’m left to be consistent and wait. That’s hard.

In the meantime, I’m learning about myself. I love people, and I think I have a gift for hospitality. But I also treasure the quiet. I love having a weekend with girlfriends, but it’s not rejuvenating to me. I come home happy and exhausted. I also love being with our four crazy kids, but the chaos is exhausting to me.

Apparently I’m an introvert.

Knowing that should probably affect the way we operate around here, and I think it’s going to take some tweaking before we have a good solution. But I’m encouraged to have a name for my problem. At least now we can figure out a way to fix it.

Today a favorite mom blogger of mine posted about this very topic (which was obviously very timely for me).

Science: Phases of the Moon

We’re using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy this year, and we’re all loving it! So far, we’ve done a broad overview of the solar system, and then done more in-depth studies of the sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, and the moon. Next we’ll be on to Mars!

During our study of the moon, we discussed the phases of the moon, and I remembered this fun pin from my homeschooling board on Pinterest. It was easy AND tasty – always a plus!

MOH: Sui and Tang Dynasties

Last year in the Mystery of History (MOH), we learned about five Chinese dynasties (Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han), and this week we added two more: Sui and Tang.

In the midst of all this study, I realized that our kids really don’t know much about Chinese culture. Grace has a friend who is half Chinese at church, but that’s about all.

So, to give them a taste of the culture (pun intended), we took them out for a Chinese buffet that evening!

We all had egg drop soup, egg roll, spring roll, crab rangoon (one of my favorites!), and a whole bunch of different kinds of chicken. It was tasty, and we talked about the day’s lesson while we ate.

It was so touching and humbling when the owner brought our bill and explained that a couple that sat just a couple of tables away from us (who had already left the restaurant) had given $20 toward our meal. To be honest, we weren’t sure we should go out that evening, because it was a budget-buster. (I.e. It would exceed what was left in our budget for eating out for the month.) But God totally provided for us through a couple we didn’t even know! Praise Him! Jehovah Jireh strikes again! 🙂

Homeschooling: Activity Sticks

We have four major rules during school, complete with hand motions, which we recite at least daily.

  • Stay focused!
  • Be diligent!
  • Raise your hand to get out of your seat!
  • Keep your dear mother happy!

(My inspiration for this and a few other teaching techniques comes from this amazing woman. Love it!)

When our kiddos keep these rules, and we have successful learning happening here at the Rumley house, they are allowed to choose one popsicle stick from our activity jar (pictured above).

Don’t tell them, but here are all the activities listed on the sticks:

I haven’t told them what activities are in there. They’re just finding out as we go. I think they love the surprise.

Today, after a very productive morning, Grace drew “Have a dance party for 1 song,” so we all went downstairs and danced around. That was a great break for all of us (although I might have done more dancing than the kids). 😉

I can imagine that these activity sticks would be helpful for littles who aren’t in school yet, too. Let me know the outcome if any of you, my faithful readers, try them!

*Inspiration for these sticks came from this pin.*

Three students, one teacher, and one little distraction

We made it! Day ONE of the Rumley Family Homeschool 2012-13 is complete!

It went really smoothly, and if I can pry my tired body out of bed at 6:45 every morning, the smoothness might continue. Might.

Behind the smoothness of it all was this slightly panicky feeling that I was doing a juggling act and about to drop something.

But, you know. That’s motherhood and homeschooling for you.

I’m loving our new school room. It’s all set up, except for a pad I need to make for a bench…Which I’ll try to post about later, if I remember. 😉 We have more space, especially in the hugamongous closet, which is great for this mama who has tons of crafting supplies besides the actual school supplies!

Here are a couple of pictures of the school room…

Looking into the school room from the door

The view from the other end of the room…The door on the left is the big closet.

Our big ol’ whiteboard (Steelcase employee sales, I love you.)

Alrighty then, would you like to see pictures of all the kids on their first day of school? No? Well, it’s my blog, so I’m posting them anyway.

Our sweet third grader just keeps growing and growing…Where’d my little baby go?

Our silly first grader…Sorry for the blurry picture. I just couldn’t resist his mischievous smile in this one.

Our pretty little kindergarten girl…so excited to begin school!

And the 3-year-old who was only a little bit distracting today

Did you notice that the girls wore pretty dresses? They came down this morning with those on. I thought it was awfully sweet of them to dress up for our first day.


I’ll admit, it was a little tricky to juggle three kids’ educations. We do history, science, and read-alouds all together. But each of the kids needs separate math and spelling lessons, and Grace also does English lessons. It’s a little crazy!

But it’s also more convenient in a way to have Ava in school, because she stays in the school room the whole time, which means that Jaden sticks around the school room, too. In previous years, Ava and Jaden have played in another room while I did lessons with Grace and Caleb…and that translated into a lot of naughtiness.

So, more juggling and less naughtiness. I think I can handle that.

A fun dynamic of having three in school is “Buddy Time.” Today, while I was teaching Grace’s spelling lesson, Caleb helped Ava practice her phonograms…

And then while I was teaching Caleb’s spelling lesson, Grace helped Jaden learn some phonograms…

The older kids were so kind to the younger kids when they were “teaching” them. I think this is going to be a really good thing for the kids. The teaching role will help solidify concepts that the big kids have already learned, and, well, it’s always good for the littles to learn new things! Not to mention that it’s a huge help to me!

I was especially excited this afternoon to find that Grace’s handwriting has improved as she’s gotten older. She has beautiful cursive, don’t you think?

Grace’s diagnostic test for spelling…She’s spelling at a 3rd grade, 9th month level (i.e. almost 4th grade)…Not too bad. 🙂

And I was also happy that Ava FINALLY got to open her new math books and start learning. She’s been asking for so long…but we just didn’t have time with the move this summer. So, her happy day is finally here!

I know that we will have difficult school days where one or all of us feel like quitting…but today was a good day, and I’m praising God for that! Homeschooling is such a gift to our family!

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