When I quit my job as a public school teacher to be a stay-at-home mom back in 2008, my husband and I knew what a huge financial risk it was for our family. Yet we both felt it was what God wanted us to do. We had faith that with His blessing on our lives, we would be okay. I had been earning slightly more money annually than my husband, so we instantly lost over half our income when I quit working. Fast forward eight years and now we are a homeschooling family of five. We are still barely scraping by on an income that is about half of what other families say they can’t even survive on. Yet I stay at home, and we homeschool. This is why and how we do it.
Our choice to homeschool has made a huge impact on our finances, and has required us to live very differently than most families, even other homeschooling ones. So why do we homeschool, when we can barely afford it?
There have been times since we began this journey that we have wondered from where our next meal would come. We’ve been discouraged and yes, scared. Just then, God would provide! We would be encouraged through prayer and reading His Word that we were still doing the right thing for our family, even though it was hard. During the worst times of hardship, we’ve been overwhelmed with an abundance of grace and mercy for which we have been so grateful to God. He has been so faithful to us, lavishly gifting us in response to our prayers during times of greatest need (which is why I believe in homeschooling families paying it forward).
Many who subscribe to the world’s view of abundance would look at our family and think we’re strange, or even foolish. We’ve invested so much into homeschooling and raising our children that we have no wiggle room left in the budget. But we have a calmness and peace that homeschooling is right for our family, and we are confident that our richness lies in things other than financial excess.
The abundance of blessings on our family is not limited to financial and material gifts we’ve received. We’ve seen God work in our lives and through the lives of others who have helped us during our times of financial strain. It has been amazing, something I would never have wanted to miss, and certainly nothing that I regret experiencing. It has made me so grateful, and has given me an intense desire to pay it forward and bless others as I have experienced (which is why I started Homeschool Curriculum Free for Shipping a couple of years ago). I will always smile and praise God for His faithfulness, grace, mercy, and abundance of blessings to us during those times.
Following God’s call on our hearts to homeschool our children has also abundantly enriched our lives in so many other ways. That’s why we do it, in spite of the fact that we can barely afford it. Our priorities lie in things that are unseen: Faith, love, hope, grace, and the eternal. We place a priority in our homeschool on the teachings and truth in God’s Word. The deep love and connections we have within our family are strong, built on daily interactions and bonding. We intentionally foster a positive, encouraging and uplifting spirit of hope and peace within our home. We learn with determination and tenacity, attempting to conquer trials, sometimes failing, but always with grace. We look longingly towards the future, knowing that the rewards for faithfulness to God’s calling on our lives are eternal, as we teach and raise our children.
I’ve found ways to help contribute to the budget, whether it be by side income, working from home (blogging), drastic couponing techniques, and free resources for homeschooling online. I share them with you here on my blog, so please follow by email or find me on Facebook!
Homeschooling is not for everyone, nor do I believe it should be. It’s just something I’m grateful for, and I treasure these days. It works for our family, for now anyways! I’m not saying that we will feel that homeschooling is best for us indefinitely, nor that it’s easy. All I’m saying is that we do it, and on the tightest budget ever. If we can do it, then so can you! I encourage anyone who feels like it might be right for their family to give it a try in spite of financial limitations, and I’m here to help you with free and frugal homeschooling resources along the way.
We homeschool, even when we can barely afford it, because our priorities are not of this world, but in His Word. Keeping our focus on that is what makes it all worth it.