In the current economic situation for our country the thought of providing a well-rounded home education can be overwhelming and even stressful. Two income families are struggling, and those of us on single incomes are struggling even more.
But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 1And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:18-19 NASB
As a farm family, our finances are never what I would call stable. Every year they can fluctuate thousands of dollars one way or another. If I tried to live by a budget, it would literally drive me batty, as we never really know when the fluctuations will take place each year. I have had to learn to just be wise in all purchases. When we have a little to spend, I talk to my husband about what needs I have around the house and homeschool. We pray over our needs and try to make wise decisions.
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Luke 14:28-30 NASB
How to Handle Financial Struggles
Having lived through various financial struggles, I have learned ways to cut out expenses and still be able to eat healthy; provide a well-rounded home education for our six children and be able to stay home with them.
- Be prepared
- Don’t Panic
- Know that God will provide
- Make a plan
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NASB
Ways to provide a well-rounded home education:
- eBooks many times these can be shared from child to child by printing for each child
- Purchase items that can be easily used with more than one child.
- Do as many subjects as a family as you can. Bible, science, geography, history, etc. (this helps you to only need to buy one resource or group of resources per year. )
- Buy used books, from friends, eBay, Used Book Sales, HSLDA, and more
- Use Free Homeschool Deals to find freebies every day!!
- Stalk Pinterest for ideas.
- Use a Literature Based Education, most libraries are free. (as long as you don’t rack up a ton of fines)
- Don’t neglect to look at real life opportunities as ways to educate your children. (Fixing plumbing, electrical, chopping wood, raising animals, gardening etc. )
- Hands on in the kitchen to teach math and science
- Keep a list of free field trips opportunities. Post office, bank, veterinary clinic, bakery, state parks, and many more. Look up local attractions, and much time there are lists of free places to visit. ;)
- Check copyrights on your books, and see if it is ok to, copy the book for your family’s use, have child write answers in a notebook, use product orally.
Copyrights are written in a confusing manner many times. I urge you to ask the publisher if you have any questions. I have actually recently learned that many workbooks are not to be resold, once you have purchased them, whether or not you have used them.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. Titus 3:1-2 NASB
Some Curriculum Companies I recommend to be able to use with more than one child are:
- TruthQuest History
- Bright Ideas Press
- Teaching Textbooks
- Geography Matters
- Beautiful Feet Books
- Answers in Genesis
- Notebooking Pages
- There are many more, but this will give you a start.
Ways to save around the home:
- Eat a whole foods diet. It saves on healthcare, as you are eating much healthier. My children also eat a lot less, when eating a whole foods diet. Cook from scratch, and teach your children how, so they can help you.
- Make your own soaps, laundry soap, and dishwasher soap. Saves us hundreds of dollars a year.
- Make your own cream soups. I just take my broth and add milk/flour mixture like I do gravy, only make it thicker.
- Plant a garden and preserve all that you can.
- Butcher a beef with another family. We have 500 lb. of meat for less than $2.00 a pound. Granted this is one we raised, but it includes steaks, roasts, ground beef, and is all grass fed. Here just the ground beef would be $6.50 a pound for the grass fed stuff. ;)
- Gift ideas, make friends, moms, and sisters a birthday cake, and craft as many gifts as you can. Make bachelors and widowed men baked goods or a home cooked meal.
- Sew, and use it for school. Make clothes, and cloth diapers. Curtains, table clothes and more can be made easily, while teaching your children valuable skills.
- Watch YouTube videos for home repairs. We have fixed our washer four or five times, by ordering parts online and fixing ourselves, saving us $500 total in repair bills.
- We never go to the movies. We use Netflix, and Amazon Prime for our movie needs.
- My thoughts on coupons for the most part. We don’t use many at all. Most of the food coupons are for junk or convenience food that is not healthy. The same foods that you will eat more of, to reach your bodies nutritional needs. Most cleaners are full of harsh chemicals and toxins.
- Make household cleaners using vinegar, essential oils, and such.
- Healthcare options…Samaritan’s Ministries has saved us over $12,000 a year. When we switched, our healthcare needs actually became less frequent.
Living On One Income
Much of the strategy of living on a single income, during an economic downfall, is just being content with where God has you during this time. Repairing what you have, instead of replacing it. I am blessed to have a husband that is able to fix many things most of the time.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13 NASB
Home educating any time is not going to be easy. Satan is looking for a way to stop you, and will use finances as a way. Stand firm, pray and be creative in every need your family has to help cut cost, and be able to provide a well-rounded home education.
Betty Eisenhour lives life in the fast lane—although it’s at their family farm, Peace Creek on the Prairie. Organization and perspective keep her world as a stay at home homeschooling mother, Christian, farmer’s wife, cook, child of God, nurse, teacher, woodworker, and a farmer (yep, she drives tractors, pick up hay bales, and other farm duties) peaceful. As real as it gets, she readily admits “There are days I struggle, there are days I am on a high that only God can give. There are days I am so low, only God can pull me through.” So, pull up a chair, grab some chocolate, and a cup of cappuccino as Betty shares her secrets to homeschooling and life on the prairie. You can hear Betty speak at Teach Them Diligently in Omaha.