Homeschooling is comfortable, and others sometimes see it with jealous eyes. Some people look at homeschooling families with a view that the children (and the mother or father, whoever serves as the “teacher”) are pampered and maybe even spoiled. Well, yes, that’s true actually. But, it’s also very untrue. It depends on how you look at it. My family is both – and also neither.The Webster’s dictionary defines the terms pampered and spoiled in this way:pamper to cram with rich food; to treat with extreme or excessive care and attentionspoil to impair the disposition or character of by overindulgence or excessive praise; to pamper excessively I homeschool because yes, it is comfortable, for me and my daughter. It’s really nice to not have to set the alarm clock in the morning and to wake up on our own time. It’s great not to have to rush out the door to get Laynie to preschool on time. (Can you tell I’m not a morning person?) It is kinda spoiling to not have to worry too much about getting laundry done on a regular basis just so your kid has matching outfits to wear – who cares if you can’t find a matching pair of socks first thing in the morning? In addition, no one minds if we stay in our pajamas until noon one day, or that I don’t shower until 5:00 in the evening (ok, that sounds awful – but it’s true – sometimes I don’t!). It doesn’t matter too much if Laynie stays up until 10:00 pm, she can just sleep a little later in the morning to make up for it. Homeschooling is comfortable, because it’s laid back in those ways. I do consider myself extremely spoiled in that way, and I’m very grateful for those things that I realize that other moms don’t have.I homeschool because yes, I treat my daughter with “extreme or excessive” care and attention. I choose not to send her to public or private school, as most parents do – that could be deemed as an extreme or excessive measure by some people. So, yep, I guess Laynie’s technically pampered. But at the same time, I feel like that is what my God has called me to do. By homeschooling her, I can’t deny that I am giving her undivided attention and personalized education. But at the same time, I personally don’t believe it is extreme or excessive, because I believe it’s simply what God has asked me to do. Excessive praise? Why yes, of course I give it, and I’m not ashamed that I do! Pampered excessively, though? Not one bit. Just ask Laynie how many times I tell her “no” each day. And I would never give her unwarranted praise or rewards, and overindulgence is not even a possibility with our tight budget, not to mention our personal beliefs on how to raise responsible and respectful children.Some families that homeschool are blessed monetarily, and that’s not a bad thing – good for them! They have the luxury of a little bit of freedom with their money. They eat Kashi waffles for breakfast with real Vermont maple syrup and slices of convenient “ready to eat” bacon on the side with a tall glass of Organic orange juice and some freshly brewed Starbucks coffee for breakfast, while their kids munch on fresh blueberry muffins from the grocer’s deli bakery and fresh cantaloupe and sip on Danimals smoothies, in their sunny breakfast nook off the side of their spacious kitchen, just before heading upstairs to the “school room” complete with a laptop and desk for each kid to use while working, brightly painted walls and educational toys, books and games galore (No, I’m really not jealous, ok, yes I kinda am, because boy all that sure sounds pretty nice). To me, that is “pampered.” But I wouldn’t consider it “spoiled” – at least not in the case of the families I personally know who can afford such things. These families are well aware of how blessed they are, and often teach their children to appreciate these things and to share and give to others in appreciation of what they’ve been granted. I personally don’t know one “spoiled” homeschooling family, although I do know lots of “pampered” ones who enjoy not having to worry about money.But, I definitely don’t homeschool because I’m pampered or spoiled, nor is my daughter. If you believe that all homeschooling families are pampered and spoiled, just come spend a day in our house and you’d surely see what I mean! We’ve made some very hard decisions in regards to our budget in order to follow our calling to homeschool, and it’s a conscious effort in our case. But it’s certainly not a decision that we regret at all, let me make sure to add – in spite of the fact that it’s obvious that I do secretly envy those things I mentioned above. Here at The Frugal Homeschooling Mom’s house, we can’t afford luxuries like multiple field trips or outings, or delicious brand-name convenience foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner (unless I buy them with coupons!), or fancy markers or paints, or high-priced brand-new curriculum, or multiple “special interest classes or events” like “Classical Conversations” classes, horseback riding, karate, gymnastics, music lessons and any other things that cost fees to join. We have “school” at our kitchen table, since our home is small and we can’t create a formal “classroom” environment for our “school.” We go to museums on discount nights or “free visit” days, and we eat plain old generic Cheerios and Krispy Rice cereal for breakfast, and bologna sandwiches or $.39 cent Aldi brand mac & cheese for lunch. We use second-, third-, or seventh-hand curriculum materials with missing pages and I supplement when necessary with things I make up myself, and Laynie attends only one dance class per week, at the cheapest studio we could find. Overindulgence? Nope, not a shred of a chance of that happening here! Low income leads to choices made specifically to reduce expenses, which also leads to a simpler life. I’ll explain later why we feel a “simpler” life is what we’re aiming for anyway.And all the while, we don’t feel like we’re missing out on any of the important things in life, and we feel blessed beyond measure. So in a way, yes, we ARE spoiled and pampered, but not in the usual definitions of those terms, and not in the way that people who would judge us as such would expect. We’re happy, and we’re living an abundant life, and it doesn’t matter what the world thinks we’re experiencing. We’re perfectly comfortable (Webster’s definition = affording or enjoying contentment and security; free from vexation or doubt).This is not the only reason why we homeschool. If you haven’t already, feel free to read the rest of my reasons for homeschooling.