Interview with Kelly Rummel

Age: 36
Ages/Grades of Children:
10yo son (5th grade),
8yo son (3rd grade),
2yo daughter
Location: Michigan

Why and when did you decide to homeschool your children? 

Homeschooling was never anything on our radar. My husband and I are both public school teachers so sending our children to school was always “the plan,” but sometimes God messes with your plans.

Our oldest was in the first grade at our local public school when I began feeling that God was really calling us to homeschool. I didn’t like many of the changes I saw happening in education, but I loved my son’s teachers! My husband and I wrestled with the idea for a good 6 months before we finally decided that we would begin homeschooling the next school year, but we were very scared and only committed to doing it for a year. Right after we committed to homeschooling I found out I was pregnant!

I didn’t know any other family or friends that homeschooled so I was scared and confused as to why God was calling us to homeschool. I prayed and prayed God would lead me to a community because I knew I couldn’t do this on my own and without support.

A month later I connected with a woman, who was a director with a local Classical Conversations Community, who graciously met me for coffee and explained their program, and homeschooling in general. She completely put my mind at ease. I signed up really not knowing what I was getting us into, but it turned out to be the most amazing blessing for us! I couldn’t love the program or community more.

That school year was a whirlwind with me resigning from my teaching position, homeschooling beginning in August, and a new baby in January. God showed us so many benefits and the blessings of homeschooling that year that we agreed to continue homeschooling beyond that first year. We are now starting our fourth year!

How do you balance homeschooling and finding time for yourself?

In the beginning I would feel so guilty for ever taking a moment to myself. I have an amazing husband who could see that. When I couldn’t or wouldn’t take time for me, he would make me. He would come home from work with a mocha in hand for me and shove me out the door and tell me to go shopping or go to the bookstore. He’s amazing, right?! We also lived near grandparents who would take the kids for a few hours once a week so we could go out on a date. I’ve now learned that I’m a much better wife, mommy, and teacher when I take care of me. That includes finding time for me to pursue my own hobbies and interests. My advice to other homeschooling moms is to schedule in your time. Make it a non-negotiable, like work! Even when you don’t feel you need it, do it anyway!!

What’s the best homeschooling advice you’ve ever received?

Someone once told me that the first thing I should do is to teach character traits first, and now I highly recommend the same things to other homeschool moms.

Most issues that arise in your homeschool is a heart issue and it really is a gift that we have the time to focus on training up our children in the way they should go. Above academics this is my top priority!

How has your homeschooling approach changed since you began?

The only thing I knew was how to teach like a teacher. I had taught kindergarten for many years so I tried to recreate a classroom at home for my kindergartener. I laugh about it now. When I was in the classroom, I would have taught about something like a frog life cycle through books and then a cutesy worksheet and project. Now our learning is much more authentic. Now we go to the local nature center to hold frogs and toads, learn about their environment, go to the pond and catch tadpoles, etc. We have done this yearly and because of that my boys have learned something new about frogs and toads each time we go and they just keep building their knowledge.

What was your biggest misconception about homeschooling prior to becoming a home educator?

Don’t I need a denim jumper and 5 kids to homeschool? Aren’t my kids going to end up socially inept? …..Yeah, I was one of those who bought into all the stereotypes.

Which resources or curricula have been most beneficial to your homeschool? 

Classical Conversations
All About Reading/Spelling
Story of the World

What would you say to someone who may be contemplating homeschooling?

Just do it! The scariest part is making that initial decision. It’s such an awesome adventure!

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