Country Living Series

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Homeschooling on one income

I just received a comment as follows:

"Patrice: Slightly off topic -- can a family of six homeschool with one parent staying home on a $35K a year income? Thank you for your reply."

Of course they can. However I'm having a busy streak at the moment (getting ready for the preparedness expo, expecting visitors, writing deadlines, etc.), so I'm going to open this up for discussion and invite readers to give their thoughts.

C'mon, folks, let's help her out. How best can a large single-income family homeschool on $35K a year?

69 comments:

  1. Make extensive use of the library in your area. Some have home schooling sections to aid in teaching approaches, age/grade education standards, etc. But the information on virtually every topic is there for the asking as are countless documentaries, classical music CD, and often free meet ups with other homeschooling families.

    God bless you for trying and reward you with success!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Any ideas where that would be?

      Delete
    2. I'm having trouble logging in so I'm sorry if this is a double post.

      Cheap is relative. My family and I moved from Long Island to Western NY. For us, the difference in the cost of living made a significant difference. It's still tight, but do-able.

      Delete
    3. I live in Oklahoma, and we have a low cost of living and homeschool-friendly laws.

      Delete
    4. Before moving I'd strongly suggest considering a state's 'retreat ratings'. James Wesley Rawles' ratings really helped us. Mr. Rawles used home schooling regulation as one of the factors in his ratings. Go to: http://survivalblog.com/retreatareas/
      Montana Guy

      Delete
    5. I'll second Montana Guy. We are from MO originally, but the last place we lived before moving to Montana was Silicon Valley. Just moving dropped our total cost of living by more than half. We can live here on what we were paing for rent in Silly Valley...and that's with making payments on 40 acres! Laws here are homeschooler friendly, and homeschooled kids can be involved with public school extracurriculars.

      Delete
  3. First and formost you must start changing your paradigm as to how to live everyday life. Become more self sufficient minded. Changing mindset is the first and most important step. Instead of buying every convenience you will make what you need. You will buy stables in bulk and cook from scratch. Look into food co-ops and food buying clubs or start your own. You will make your own laundry soap, body wash, shampoo and other skin care. items. You will start a garden, if you don't have much of a yard then learn to grow edibles in containers. Grow herbs and learn to be the family doctor. Keep chickens for eggs and meat. Quail are small, quiet and prolific egg layers if you are short on space. Be your own car mechanic. Make clothes for your family. Keep goats if you can. They supple alot of milk and the care and feeds is almost free. They can also supply you with meat. Hang your clothes out on the line. Learn to wash clothes by hand. Learn to make your own shoes. Learn to preserve the food you grow. Teach these skills to your childrens so they can participate. The more you do for yourselves as a family the less money you will spend.
    Re-think your heating and cooling for your home. Be open to cooking on a firepit or a homemade solar cooker from time to time. Learn to knit so you will have warm clothes in the winter. If you don't have a fireplace or wood stove you may consider having the heat set no higher then 60 degrees. In the summer set the AC at 80. use fans and not the AC when possible. Just heat or cool just one room. Make alot of candles, get some oil lamps and stock lamp oil. Lamps and candles will provide heat as well as light.

    The goal is to be as self reliant as possible, then you will not need much money at all. Much of the money people spend is to pay others to provide and do things for them, like buying a $5 cup of coffee!

    Stay out of popular culture. I could write a whole dissertation on this but it is beyond the scope of this comment.

    Don't eat out. The food that you will provide at home is far healthier and a whole lot cheaper. Find free ways to entertain the family, like reading to each other. Playing games together, putting on family plays, etc.

    Collect old how to books and cookbooks. They are cheap and filled with excellent information. I find alot of books for a penny on-line with $3.99 shipping. Thrift stores are terrific places for all kinds of goods including books for as little as 10 cents. Old cookbooks are important to have in your library. You can also find free cookbooks from the 1800's on line which are excellent because they are pre-electricity cooking instructions.

    This will be a dramatic change but well worth the effort. Your families life will be the richer for it. May God bless you and keep you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This woman has a family of 9, an they live on that much. She is amazing an has tons of tips:
      http://theprudenthomemakerblog.blogspot.com/

      Delete
    2. When beginning to homeschool is NOT the time to also begin gardening and keeping animals, unless you grew up on a farm and know how to do all that. Concentrate on teaching your children both academically and what I always called "domestic science" (cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.) We lived on my husband's enlisted military pay, shopping at thrift stores and cooking from scratch, but time-wise I didn't do all that other self-sufficiency stuff as I'm not wonder woman and having babies, homemaking, and preparing school for five children was about all I could do. Let's not overwhelm the poor woman!

      Delete
    3. I check in on that blog often and I'm not aware that they keep animals. Some really helpful info available from that family. I don't come close to doing even a fraction of what that family does to save money but some really good ideas. Pick and choose.

      Delete
    4. Thank you Rozy Lass! When we first started homeschooling, I tried to do it all and burnt out quickly. I agree that we are not Wonder Woman and should focus on making sure the children are educated. That is critical.

      Delete
  4. hi my husband and I homeschool are 5 kids age 11-6 on about 40,000 a year. we live inside our means we buy used clothing I have a big garden even though we live in town and don't have a big yard. I think if you want something bad you will find away to do it it is not always easy we have hard times some times scratch our heads to figure out how we are going to make to the next check but I would not change a thing staying at home with my kids and being with them all the time is the best.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We are a family of 6 with the same income. We have a low mortgage payment and that helps a LOT.

    I have one graduating this year, a 16 year old, a 13 year old and a 7 year old.

    My biggest piece of advice is not to get trapped into the idea of the perfect curriculum. The Lord will equip YOU as their teacher. We "make do" with abeka hand me downs, but I do spend the $$ for saxon math and the dive cd's that can be used multiple times, so they are a one time investment. Read books. Classics. Exodus books has a pretty good reading list.

    I see mom's spending close to 1,000.00 on one kid for my fathers world. And then selling it later because they hear of something else.

    God Bless you in your endeavors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EXCELLENT advice on not getting trapped by the 'right' curriculum. It is a futile and costly search that usually leads one back to discovering the perfection of 'what works' for you and your children.

      Delete
  6. Network with other families, Often, one can borrow materials as their child has progressed and no longer needs them. Make access to internet for resources and materials. A wealth of information is free and available to be printed.

    One also can resource international news sources to gain other perspectives.

    Read this blog many tips on frugal living are put forth here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Here are a few ways we have cut back, we use craigslist extensively, and also the local "facebook" community resale pages. Dump the television, if you can't cold turkey, try a service like netflix, easily monitored, cheap (about 8 bucks a month), and no commercials! We noticed a HUGE difference in the children when not exposed to commercials, far less greed and whining, and better attention spans. As above, utilize your library, toss magazine subscriptions, read them there. And the number one way to save money, cook and eat at home. It may cost a little to stock up on staples, but this is where we have saved the most, and you will be healthier as a bonus. Read and find blogs, sites and such (you are on a good one) that give you ideas for homemade cleaners, reusing old instead of buying new, etc. At first it's a pain, but it will soon become habit, and you can be trendy and call yourself "green"!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well I know this won't be a popular opinion. But many states do offer free public schooling online where parents just have to buy or borrow the books from a school and assignments are assigned and submitted on the computer. I know several parents that do that and it hardly costs them anything a year and then they also supplement outside material as well to make the education more well rounded. For other ideas there are groups online of homeschooling parents that swap books and other educational materials back and forth to help save money. And for the most part if you buy the stuff for the oldest kid you can keep using it for all of the kids, so it isn't such a huge expense to buy the additional workbooks, etc.

    Some other ideas on keeping expenses down are growing a huge garden if possible and canning/drying/freezing veggies for the winter months and try to find people giving away fruit and then preserve that as well. If you live in the country buy some livestock that you can butcher. If you live in town buy 1/2-whole cow when needed, you can save money that way and shop the sales. Also when grocery shopping, seriously doing 1 big trip once a month really saves money since you won't be going shopping a lot and doing impulse buying. Also buy in bulk, in the west I love the WinCo bulk bins and buy much of my essentials in bulk. Cook everything from scratch. Make your own laundry soap and line dry clothes either inside or outside. And buy used whatever you can. Many thrift stores have $0.25 days where all clothes are $0.25 and you can stock up then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did the public school from home thing for 1/2 the year this year. It was terrible. No support structure, no guidance and when assistance was needed my son was just provided with the answers so he could pass the test - not explanations as to how things were done.
      Not acceptable.
      He is in public school again now (different district) and at least in that venue he is able to pin down teachers (not literally) to get answers and guidance.

      Delete
  9. This is our first year of homeschooling and we went to one income to pull it off. Check out home school buyers co-op. Some things are still expensive but you can get deals if you watch and wait. Do not feel like you need curriculum for every subject on the first day of school. Take your time and search out what works for you. Take advantage of free trials, the co-op is good for this. Also check out project based homeschooling, where your kids direct their learning. I am pretty tough on the 3 R's and let them direct in other areas. A lot of our history starts with a child's question and we pull out resources and learn more than if I stuffed facts down their throats.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Libraries often have discard shelves.I'v found lots of different books that would be great for home schooling.Laminate any worksheets you get so they can be used over again.Don't by paper with the large lines that are used for learning to write letters.The have dry erase boards that have those lines.Dry erase board or small chalk boards are cheaper in the long run,because they can be used over again.I also find good homeschooling items at thrift stores.If you need a computer,check for college surplus sales.I have bought complete desktops for a little as $40,and printers for $5.They also have laptops available,but they cost a little more.They also have older text books available.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You could check out the k12 program online.Its free.The Ron Paul curriculum is free for kindergaten-5th grade.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think the key is if you are staying home you will have time to cook from scratch. Buy potatoes, or grow some, instead of potato chips. Have the older kids help teach the youngers while you are cooking. Have the kids help cook as part of their education. When you are not spending 9-10 hours away from the home all sorts of cheaper alternatives open up. Make your own laundry soap for $2 per gallon using washing soda, borax, and Zote soap. works just about as good as the $10 stuff and it just takes 30 min to make. Turn off the TV and leave it off all day. Listen to the radio while you do house chores and if it is good music it will enrich your childrens minds as well. It can be done and from what I see around here the homeschooled kids are much farther along than the public school kids. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We home schooled. Our six children are now adults and have done well. We always lived within/below our means, doing things that others consider a waste of time. We both have large skill bases that has saved us *a lot* of money over the years. Putting up as much food as possible is important to us even now! If we didn't, we wouldn't be currently eating!

    Finances need not be a factor in home school. There are resources that you can use that would reduce expenses considerably. Ray Bradbury, and I am not a fan of this author, says that he got a college education through the daily use of the library. Kids need to be taught to be autodidacts! The state you live in, however, has an effect upon your approach. For example, we live in the worse state in country for many things, except for home school. This gave us the freedom to explore many other aspects of "education" that allowed our children to not only have a good academic background, but also explore skills to be well rounded. In our family, a skill base is just as important as the degree/profession.

    The state near us is quite the opposite They control every aspect of the learning years requiring yearly assessments (approx $40) and testing different years. It is not impossible, however, to fit your model of learning into those requirements.

    I have had experiences with several educational models. I taught science in the public school, some of my children went to a small "Christian Academy," two went to a public high school (Our options were very limited at that point. That was then, this is now), and four were home schooled.

    My conclusion is that a poorly executed home school (not the norm for sure) far exceeds the education that your children will receive in **any** institutional setting!! I am a strong advocate of home school only!

    The aspect of education that most people forget about is the example they set for their children. Through dinner discussions, they were taught how to evaluate good and bad decisions based on our Biblical standards. They were expected to develop a good skill base,through our examples. They were expected to further their education for a trade or specific career; the girls were to encouraged to choose a career that would enhance their mothering/home arts skills, and they did.

    Kids learn by example and expectations. They are all adults now with families of their own, save the youngest. Quite frankly, by the Grace of God, they have exceeded our expectations. God is Gracious!





    ReplyDelete
  14. Your local 4-H Clubs are the homeschooler's best kept secret. The county extension office in your area has a wealth of curriculum free to you and it is not just agriculture stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true!! This is a great reminder! Thanks!

      Delete
  15. Remember that the library is your best friend when you are on a budget! Lots of what you need can be purchased used or even borrowed from a friend for a year. Keep it in good condition and then your friend can sell it when you return it. Sell off everything that you know you won't need again and use those pennies to buy what you will need in the future. Avail yourself of every free field trip you can find. Much local history can be learned by reading markers on the side of the road. If you can afford internet access, much can be found online for free. Good luck. My oldest is graduating from homeschool this year and my youngest is starting dual enrollment at the local college next year. It CAN be done!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You may also find this book helpful:

    http://www.amazon.com/Homeschooling-Shoestring-Jam-packed-Melissa-Morgan/dp/087788546X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398878994&sr=1-1&keywords=homeschooling+on+a+shoestring

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree with the above comments, take a page from the Duggars life and buy used, thrift stores are a lifesaver, try to have very little expenses such as cell phones, cable and such like. The internet is somewhat important, however even that can be accessed at most libraries nowadays. We went almost 3 years using free wifi from the library for our internet needs until we could afford to get wifi for the home. For older kids it may be more important to have the internet for the homeschooling needs although once again the Duggar family doesn't seem to need it over much.
    Hope this helps out.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello! We homeschool on a similar income and have homeschooled on a smaller income as well. Everyone's situation is different, but here are a couple of things we have done to keep this possible:

    1) We buckled down and paid off everything we could (cars, etc.). I admit that it took us a long time. We still have a mortgage that is higher that we would like, but with everything else paid off, it is possible to swing it.

    2) We cut out unnecessary expenses. For example, we do not get cable or satellite (never have), we have one cell phone, we have no house phone, we try to streamline our trips to town to save on fuel, etc.

    3) For school, we almost always buy books one time only (we have splurged a couple of times). Even with workbooks, our children write their answers on a separate sheet of paper to keep the book usable for the next sibling. We have also bought used books and have accepted unwanted castoffs from other homeschool families. We use the library, too.

    4) We try to be frugal with our monthly budget. In order to better stick to my grocery budget, I take out the grocery budget in cash when we get paid. This way I always know exactly how much is left. I used to write everything down and keep a tally, but this works just as well for me. We purchase groceries when things are on sale and buy an extra one or two if we can to put in the pantry or freezer. We buy in bulk and we make as much of our food as we can from scratch. A garden would be enormously helpful, and we used to do that and then can our produce, but I also work part-time now helping with our business and between homeschool and work, I have not been able to make it happen. We have been blessed with hand-me-downs for clothing and when in need for clothing, we shop the second hand stores.

    I am sure you already do many of these things and will get fantastic advice from others. Just know there are many of us out there who make it work. It is not easy, but be encouraged - it is possible and the time making sure our children are well-educated is priceless! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. We did not home school, but decided that I should stay home with our second child, as he was a premie. Anyone can do it, they just need to set the priorities. We did NOT eat out, no pizza, food was all prepared at home. We did without. I just depends on how badly you want it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point - if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen. Many people have dreams but won't push to make them happen.

      Delete
  20. Just curious, are there any families that Dad stays home to do the schooling and Mom works?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have friends who homeschooled their two children that way. Mom worked and Dad stayed home with the kids. The son is now majoring in international relations and the daughter finished up her education as a classical ballet dancer. The parents then adopted two more children that they are now schooling through high school.

      I stayed home and cooked everything from scratch. I also bought clothes for all of us at thrift stores. Look into homeschool co-ops, and take a turn teaching. Even look into barter for classes or curriculum. The library has had almost all my son's required history texts this year - we didn't have to buy anything. Build up your own library at home through thrift stores and library sales. Go online and see what is happening in your state to visit/learn from that is very low-cost or free. There are free websites with learning games and vocabulary or geography tests done in a fun way. It can be done but takes time and effort to find what you need. Most of all, let your children see that you are still reading/learning/researching and they will see this as a normal way to live!

      Delete
    2. Yes, that is our situation for now. My husband was out of work when we got fed up with the public school district our daughter was in. So he took on the task. In 13 more months I will retire. We will be living on an income of about $36,000 annually than.

      Delete
  21. It would probably surprise y'all to know how much time is wasted at school in the younger grades on things such as announcements, roll call, lining up, getting the attention of the class, getting the correct book out, getting paper and pencils out, getting the class on the same page, etc. Inevitably somebody will need the bathroom, or a drink, and when they get back, they'll have to find their place all over again.

    The older grades can take quite some time to settle down, too. They have to come into the class, unpack their backpack, find their correct books, find paper, find a pencil or borrow one, locate any homework, write down assignments, locate their place in the book, have papers passed out, interrupt the teacher, listen to the lecture, ask questions, get started, ask to use the restroom or get a drink, and it is time to pack up to leave.

    I guarantee parents that if they spend four hours per day assisting their children in learning activities (I'm a big believer in learning by doing rather than by talking about it), it will be waaaaay more instruction than they get in school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true!!! We had school between breakfast and lunch for elementary grades and that was plenty of time for everything. The older grades took a little longer but nowhere near the time in public school. Plus, most everything we did was a learning experience.

      Delete
  22. +

    I am, unfortunately, a single divorced mom who makes less than $35K per year. And I home school. Of course, it is possible! I wish I had a committed husband to help.

    You have be sacrificial, creative, and committed. And you have to realize that that home school kids can learn much more in much,much less time than they can in an institutional setting.

    You get to know your kids and how they learn. And after that first year, it gets easier. Remember, it is a PROCESS. Do not fall victim to standards that say each kid has to meet every benchmark at a certain time. They learn constantly. They absorb. Keep your home a place where what they absorb is good, true or beautiful... and something they can always build upon.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am finishing my 28th year of homeschooling this year. I have been a stay at home mom all the years I have home schooled. I also have friends who have from 1-13 children, all stay at home mom's and all homeschooling. I will not say it is always easy. You sacrifice and make choices. We rarely eat out. We make our own clothes. A lot of our friends buy used or get hand me down clothes. We do mostly scratch cooking, we have a garden and chickens and will soon be getting cows and pigs. We decided what was most important to us and found that we can do without a lot so our children can have the best education possible. You CAN do it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Only own ONE vehicle.
    Do NOT subscribe to CableTV, Netflix, etc.
    Buy all clothing second-hand.
    Forsake expensive hobbies.
    Rarely (if ever) dine out.

    We have been raising 5 children, ages 4 - 17 (with one more due any day now) on less than $30k for three years now. We live in NW MT.

    No excuses. You can do it if you really want to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And may I add that food in NW Montana is expensive
      Succotash Rose

      Delete
  25. Easy Peasy homeschool curriculum is online, free, and seems to be quite self directed. I believe it was created by a homeschool mom for her kids. I have a friend using the 'science' subject & they are very happy with it. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  26. You might check out the 99 cent only store if you have one in your area. I buy all my cleaning supplies there. The "Awsome " products are just that.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yes, Anonymous 1:18, of course there are households where the husband stays home with the children while the wife works outside the home.

    I knew one. (Though the dad didn't school them when they got to school age...they went to regular school.)

    It's all tied to that philosophy that lets people choose what's right for them, based on their own needs and wants, whether it falls into tradition or not. In this particular family, the husband was the more nurturing and the wife earned good money, too good to give up.

    Whatever works in a family to make it a happy one, I say!

    Just Me

    ReplyDelete
  28. 35k a year? I wish! I would consider that rolling in luxury, and so would half the nation (not to mention the world).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me Three (In my parts, that means I agree, too.)

      I was too afraid to say it.

      Just Me

      Delete
    2. I live in Alaska, and $35 K per year barely cuts it here.

      Delete
  29. We home-schooled our son for his 9th and part of his10th grade years. We ended up using a charter school for the rest because he needed more Math help than we could give him. Even though it didn't last long, it was a good experience. I got most of my formal curriculum from a swap.

    Now, my kids are grown and I went back to school and became a teacher. From what I have witnessed while substitute teaching, and now my own classroom. I am even more in favor of home-schooling that ever. I teach 8th-12th grades right now at a small charter school. Let me tell you, you are doing the right thing. These kids are incredibly disrespectful and most don't do the work they are asked to. I think it is kind of like a pack mentality as new kids that come in and do behave, change quickly.

    You can use online resources that are available now that weren't when my kids were younger. Khan academy videos can help fill in gaps, just don't view the comments, some are rude, or worse. You tube has great stuff too. Many teachers are posting their lectures so their classes can view them for the flipped classroom model. You would have to do some preview to make sure that they are appropriate, but there is much available for free.

    You can also incorporate the lessons into everyday tasks like gardening, cooking, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I taught school for ten years. That was ten years ago. You just explained why I quit teaching! Disrespectful kids, not wanting to do the work, etc. That is a generalization, and there are good kids out there, but not enough to make me ever want to go into the classroom again. Thankful that I don't have to.

      Delete
  30. Here is a book that talks about how to choose curriculum, how to work within a budget, etc. Great read for getting started and figuring out how you want to go about what's best for your family...

    http://www.amazon.com/Educating-WholeHearted-Child-Third-Edition/dp/1932012958/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1398923463&sr=8-3&keywords=homeschool+sally

    ReplyDelete
  31. Check out your local Amish community. Near us they have a bulk store that is way cheaper than anything else. And during the summer they have a produce auction open to the public. We were able to get beets at $4 a bushel, tomatoes at $2 a half bushel. We rent and can't have a big garden, so this is an answer to prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  32. When my 4 yr old grandaughter moved in with me permanently, I looked into homeschooling. I found homeschool play groups at the park, and spoke w parents (and grandparents) there. I went to the Homeschool Store and Used Homeschool Stuff sales and spoke with parents there. I went to home school meetings. One of the most awesome things I learned in my research, is that I was ALREADY homeschooling her, and had in fact, homeschooled my grown children (who graduated from gifted programs in public schools. I now say "they weren't particularly gifted, they were just homeschooled) Let me try to explain. When my 10 yr old public school student showed an interest in rocketry, we went to the library, the local airshow, built rockets in the living room and launched them from the nearest empty parking lot. Some would call this 'after-schooling" When my 4 yr old was interested in bugs, we went to the butterfly house nearby and made a cycle of life wheel out of construction paper and Elmers glue. In other words, Home School does not necessarily mean taking the public school home to a desk in your house. Its a new paradigm, and you may already be doing it. I would strongly suggest finding local home school meetups, and talking with parents. If your children play community sports there are probably home schooled kids on the team. Meet the parents and talk about it. Do a google s( earch 'home schooling in (your town)"
    I hope you go for it. Good luck and God BLESS!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Sally Clarkson's homeschooling book talks a lot about how silly & wrong it is to try and force the world's pagan public school model into the home. HOMEschooling is a whole different animal!

      Delete
  33. I salute you all! I have no children to offer homeschooling advice about, but I do follow the Prudent Homemaker Blog. She homeschools seven on a very limited income. Her website provides some good info and her blog contains a weekly frugal tips post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to mention the Prudent Homemaker also! I love Brandi! I always find something new, and I've been at home with my kids for a long, long time. Don't forget to check out the Tightwad Gazette from your library. She takes thrift to an entirely new level!

      Delete
    2. I also follow One Hundred Dollars a Month, and the DeVries family. OneHundredDollarsaMonth is a website, she spends one hundred dollars a month on groceries, and gardens extensively. The DeVries family (I don't know if I'm spelling that right) I follow on Facebook. They grow enough produce in their suburban yard in Pasadena and have a produce stand on their front porch. They follow some pretty fantastic sustainable gardening practices. I also just discovered Keyhole Gardening... a pretty awesome practice for raising food in difficult environments. The idea was introduced in this country by Dr. Deb Tolman, who had seen it practiced in Africa. Patrice's tire gardens are very similar to the keyhole garden concept.

      Delete
    3. This is an amazing website. She walks you through her frugal and beautiful life step by step. Prudent Homemaker and Rural are my two favorite sites.

      Delete
    4. Check out Prudent Homemaker's Eat for 40 cents a day
      series. I've learned so much from those articles.

      Delete
  34. All of the comments thus far have failed to mention that kids can be an economic asset – yes, even the preschoolers. They can do household and garden and animal chores appropriate for their ages. Preschoolers can feed the chickens, gather eggs, pick tomatoes and kill garden pests. Grade schoolers can butcher chickens and rabbits and care for larger animals. High schoolers can do just about anything around the home and farmstead that adults can do. Kids of all ages can start learning cooking, cleaning, laundering, plumbing and electrical maintenance skills.

    I remember more than 50 years ago my mother-in-law becoming upset when my late wife “made” our oldest son, who was still in diapers, deposit the soiled diapers of his younger siblings in the diaper pail and carry the pail to the washing machine. He was very proud of his ability to help his mom. While still in grade school our oldest daughter was doing most of the laundry. Our youngest son, while in still in high school, was operating his own firewood cutting business. Kids can do much more than many folks think they can do. They can not only ease the work load of the parents (especially the mom) they can contribute to the family’s economic well-being.

    Hangtown Frank

    ReplyDelete
  35. We are thinking of doing this same thing. Public school is not working for our family. What are 5 things that we should stock up on or do while we have two incomes?
    My thoughts are:
    Pay off or pay down any debt, as much as possible.
    Fill up freezer with meats (as much as we can afford).
    Stockpile some fuel treated with Pre-G/Pre-D.
    Buy whatever curriculum / school supplies that will be needed.
    Put aside an emergency fund.
    Any other ideas? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check out Prudent Homemaker's Blog.

      Delete
  36. I stay at home and homeschool 5, while pregnant with my 6th. We also make 35k a year. Except I feel like I'm the queen. What I've come to realize that it's not about how much money you make but what you want. If you want the world, you're never going to have enough money, by default. Recently, I made a list of the things the world tells us we need. The hooks she has in our noses, so to speak.

    http://thebucketwoman.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/i-have-the-most-fun-when-im-being-bad/

    Then I went through and made sure none of them even touched me. In fact, it's not even a point of sacrifice. My heart is elsewhere. In any case, I think that's the dipstick you need to check first. Because you can't have it both ways. But once you're free, I think it's easy to find we have more than enough.

    *m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I needed to hear that!

      Delete
  37. We homeschooled our 2 children (now grown and married with kids of their own) sometimes on $12,000 a year. My husband was self employed so things were not always financially stable. Of course this was a few years ago but the principles are the same no matter what you bring in money wise. Be frugal, be frugal, be frugal. The kids and I did clean our church each week and on special occasions so we got a little extra money then. Our kids helped their daddy in his construction business when they got older and our son learned many skills from repairing motors to all stages of house construction. All through his high school years he did roofing sometimes employing his sister to hand him shingles :) Our daughter and I always did the final house cleaning after the house was built or remodeled. It surely can be done. Look for jobs you and your children can do together for a little extra money. We live on 5 acres so we had and still have chickens for meat and eggs and raise a large garden and can. A lot of learning goes on outside the books. The kids have enough free time to pursue their interests too. Both our kids were good in art so they took lessons from a lady and won prizes for their work. Another gal from our church taught them Japanese for their foreign language in high school. She had been a missionary in Japan and taught them a lot about the country and customs too. I would watch her 2 little boys in return. Be creative. And enjoy the years with your kids. It goes so fast. Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  38. We made a significant lifestyle change a few years ago. I think back on the person I was before and like myself so much better now. The light bulb for me, and I know this is probably obvious to everyone else, is that I need to stay home. I don't spend money and I get so much done when I just stay home. I've learned to love my home and have found taking care of my family to be such a satisfying career choice for me.

    ReplyDelete
  39. check out Christian Light Education for a workbook type subject approach. I use it for our math and for some of the children's language arts. About $35 per subject per year. www.clp.org worked well for my dyslexic son as we didn't have to copy math problems from book to page. (an extra step that was too much for him) He did well with it.

    Another good inexpensive curriculum is Rod and Staff out of Crockett, KY. They have the traditional textbooks. I use them for science. They recently revised the science series and it is awesome!

    both have free catalogs used books easy to find especially in the summer months on ebay, and used home school book sites onine

    We probably make less $$ than $35K Sure it is tough but life is tough. I just want to be there to raise my children. They are better off home schooled with Biblical values then in the public school. We have children that have been home schooled, Christian schooled and public schooled. Home school is the best choice.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have been a homeschool teacher (Mom) for 23 years, and homeschooling becomes less expensive every consecutive year. Although part of that has to do with passing down hand-me-down materials and curriculum, I have used less and less packaged curriculum every year.

    Free Internet resources weren't available to me early on, but now there is so much free information, lesson plans, etc. that a lot of my older curriculum has been sold to the local homeschool exchange store, and I am using more online materials. I have kept all the really good stuff, of course -all our Christian materials and reading resources (real books) and in-depth books for research.

    I now teach a science class to other homeschoolers and am able to get most of our ideas and information -and often times even whole lesson plans for units - from reliable sites online with lots of hands-on projects and craft ideas to reinforce ideas.

    I have not purchased a boring science textbook in the last five years! But what we have purchased has been found at used local and online booksellers and at our homeschool exchange store -oh, and lots of books at thrift stores across our local area.

    Invest in some construction paper, glue, and recyclable objects, and "oh the things you can think"!

    Not only can you do it, but you will have fun and know exactly what your children are learning -and that they ARE learning!

    God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  41. You can do it! If you're looking for curriculum ideas, try Homeschool Freebie of the Day (http://www.homeschoolfreebie.wholesomechildhood.com/ ). A variety of free programs show up on this site- old posts are kept for a while but not forever so download/save the ones you like. I found KISS grammar through them recently as well as some great science and history .pdfs.

    Math Mammoth is a great math program that isn't nearly as expensive as others- and there are sales (seems like August and January are the big ones).

    While the local library is a resource, see if any local churches have a library with homeschool materials. A bunch of our local churches have libraries with homeschool sections (including well known ones) available to check out. One has an enormous homeschool section because a local private school recently changed curriculum and donated all their old books to the church.

    Obviously you'll have to follow a lot of the ideas above with shopping at thrift stores (take a list with you) and cooking from home. I didn't see anyone mention the Hillbilly Housewife website, but it has a lot of useful money saving recipes (and other ideas). I get kicks out of finding the occasional free Kindle download too.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete