As homeschoolers we’re already doing things different from many families. Creative thinking and ingenuity go along with the territory. But as you take the homeschool plunge you may wonder how homeschooling families make it all work. Several of the questions that I’ve received deal with this underlying theme:
How to Cope Financially While Homeschooling
Some young mothers want to know if it’s possible to work and homeschool. It takes a ton of determination, but it is possible. You have to begin where you are, and make the most out of your situation. I know mothers who currently work outside the home and homeschool successfully.
Would many of them like to be home full-time?
Are they giving up on their homeschool vision because they are in a season of working?
They’re pressing on and keeping the faith. I worked full-time and homeschooled for 3-years. There are increasingly many inspiring single moms who both work and homeschool too.
With God all things are possible…
How we made it work:
- As a nurse I had a lot of schedule flexibility. I could pick my own hours, pick up bonus shifts, and work my schedule around my husbands. I usually worked 40-hours within a 3-day period. It was not ideal, but we made it work.
- My mom lived a few miles away. She could fill in the child care gap if we had a schedule overlaps.
- We homeschooled year round (still do). This gave us lots of schedule flexibility.
I want to say to the moms who are working and want to homeschool, please prayerfully consider homeschooling. It is worth the plate spinning and extra juggling. If your husband is behind you, or if you’re a single mom, God can help you do this.
In my experience it became clear that God had put his finger on my working. I wrote a series about it last summer called Choosing Home. I knew in my heart that God wanted me to trust Him and my husband and truly come home.
We didn’t have years to plot and plan the logistics of how I would be able to stay home with the children. Our big planned out formula for me to become a stay-at-home mom was…we just jumped. I felt God say quit, so I did.
Leap…it was a leap of faith!
And God has kept me home.
Our finances are actually more peace-filled now then they were when we had two-incomes. This is because we honored God’s leading for our family. We trusted Him to care for us; He has and He will.
We don’t have two-incomes. But we also no longer have:
- Child care pressure.
- New vehicle expense.
- Higher car insurance.
- Extra expenses of my uniforms, shoes, lunches/dinners.
- Not enough family time: My husband and I were always two people passing by.
- Out of control grocery spending.
- Additional gas expense.
- Out of control cell phone bills.
- And lots of other headaches that were caused by my working outside of the home.
When I asked on facebook “How do you cope financially while homeschooling?” I received a slew of heartfelt answers. Here are a few of the inspirational thoughts:
“We continue to tithe and to stand on Gods word. A lot of times when it gets hard financially the first thing many will do is hold back the tithe and offering. My husband and I are at the point where in order to make it and have every need met we must tithe a rebuke the lies of the enemy. We just trust and completely walk by faith with our finances and let me say, every month God goes above and beyond what we asked for. :)”
“I babysit fulltime for a single mom. It adds one more child to the mixture but he has easily become a part of our growing family. He is now like a son to my husband and I and a brother to my other children and I get paid for having him with us!”
“I buy a lot of material I know can be passed down to all the kids. I have also been blessed with family who buys for my kids, I would rather them buy homeschool supplies then a bunch of junk. My kids also get special things like learning games etc for Christmas, Birthdays and occasionally when they earn them.”
Additional ways that our family copes financially while homeschooling:
- We trust God. And not because we’re super holy. We trust God because he has continuously provided for us. In the big things and little things, he is faithful. This is the journey He has our family on, therefore He is going to provide.
- We tithe and we give. God does the rest.
- My husband handles the finances. I know that Dave Ramsey suggests both the husband and wife do this together. And while I’m not a financial adviser, and I’m certainly not Dave Ramsey, my experience has been that the Lord created my husband to bear the weight of our financial responsibility. I make phone calls or mail checks if he needs me too, but only under his direction. He thrives having a clear vision of what is needed for our family.
- We reuse and re-purpose as many items as possible. Old tea towels become napkins, empty ice-cream buckets become our storage containers, zip lock bags are rinsed and reused. Here are the top ten ways I save my large family money.
- We no longer run from thing-to-thing. We enjoy our home as the center of our life. We don’t waste gas by seeking entertainment away from home.
- When we do go out we pack as much into our time away as possible. If we’re going shopping we also throw in a run to the library.
- For homeschool we use our Bibles, internet, library and a wealth of other materials that we’ve picked up over the years. We snag up items at our homeschool group and thrift stores. At one point we really needed a globe for our school room. We prayed about it and within a few days we had a brand new globe. God even cares about the school supplies.
- What we do buy for our homeschool are non-consumables; books and learning tools that can be used by more than one child for years to come. We also use refillable ink cartridges and stacks of cheap printer paper.
- We cast our care and do what we can do. We save and we make plans. We have a vision and goals. But overall our ways are in the hands of the Lord.
What are ways that you cut costs and make finances work while homeschool? We’d love to hear from you!