A Priceless Education for Pennies Makes Sense

homeschooling on a dime

Robin Bobbyshots on Flickr

How to plan a wonderful year of learning on the cheap!

I’m here to encourage you to not let anyone make you feel inadequate because you’re unable to, or choose not to, spend a lot of money on your homeschool. Home education goes beyond the price tag.  I see the Holy Spirit leading me through the same process every year. It goes like this:

Praying for wisdom, listening to my children’s interest, making sure we have the basics covered, and accessing what resources I have available to me. Then I lay it all out, and am willing to let the Lord adjust the plan as needed–because it’s His plan we want.

I may feel like I don’t have a lot to work with at times, but once my plan is written out–I’m amazed at how much learning the Holy Spirit is weaving into our lives.

Ask God for Help.

God knows your children.   You’ve been entrusted with them for this short yet sweet season. He knows what they need and what you need to do this job. Yes, the government sets up, through the public education system, a standard. The world’s standard. Nevertheless, don’t let the worlds standard put your God ordained creativity as parents in a box. Your home education doesn’t need to look like a public school classroom. I had to be broken of what I thought education was. I had to let go of our homeschool and let God redesign it. The fact that you are, or desire to, home educate your children shows that you’re anointed to meet this challenge. Trust him to direct your homeschooling journey.

“13-I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Philippians 4:13 (Amplified Bible)

Listen to your children.

Imagination and curiosity are gifts from the Lord. Our children are naturally inquisitive about the world around them because God’s creation calls to us all. Listening to my children, listening to hear their hearts, I will hear of things they’re interested in learning about. Many times those interest are the “topics” we dive in to. It could be during simple activities like catching lighting bugs on a summer night, listening to the bullfrog’s song, and examining a crayfish exoskeleton. All of these lend a hand in discovering my children’s interest.

If they have an interest in a subject then they will devour any information I feed them on it. I’ve seen this again with our Creation Studies this year. I had a nice, neat little plan, to do an Intro Creation Unit that would last approximately 8-weeks in Fall 2010. God and my children had other plans. My 8-week plan took over our entire year and has now taken the forefront in our new school year as well. I love it.

Start with the Basics.

If you’re not sure where to start, then I suggest you start with the basics. Don’t overwhelm yourself with extracurricular and outside commitments. Focus first on math, reading and writing, and then go from there. When I lay out our year I focus on these core subjects, then I branch out. A book that helped me greatly is “The three-R’s” by Dr. Ruth Beechick {actually, every book of her’s has helped me greatly.} Another book that helps me keep my focus and offers priceless information is “Educating the WholeHearted Child,” by Clay and Sally Clarkson.

Asses what you do have.

Take inventory of what materials you already have. Are there dusty books on your shelves? Did you buy the wonder-curriculum-in-a-box a few years ago and never really get into it? Could you now take your favorite aspects of that purchase and reuse it in a different way? I always use the reading list from my favorite curriculum catalogs to inspire our reading list for the upcoming year. I’ve also found wonderful websites, like Robin Sampson’s The Heart of Wisdom, in which she offers many free materials as well.

No Condemnation.

Your homeschool will not look like “Suzie-Super-Homeschooler” down the road. You may not be able to have your kids on the swim team, playing violin or speaking German {then again you may}. Remember, your home education is exclusively your family’s and divinely orchestrated to lead your children in Gods plan for their lives.

“THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.(A)” Romans 8:1 (Amplified Bible)

Make a list of what items you want and be willing to prune.

List making is healthy. I make a list of what I’d like to have. It’s encouraging for me to find that after I’ve made my list and let it sit, I find I really didn’t need what I thought I had-to-have. After I let my list sit awhile I may consider any items that still scream at me.   The year my husband lost his job, and I had to return to work for a season, we ended up only spending $50 on “homeschooling” expenses. We used the Bible, free online resources, and the library.  From learning to use what I had available during that season, this past year when I could have spent more, we still come in under $100.

Break it down-Have a plan-Set goals.

Sometimes when I share about the Holy Spirit leading our homeschool, and taking advantage of natural learning that erupts daily, people think I’m talking about “winging it,“ and not having a plan. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I prayerfully lay out a plan. “The plan” however is written in mechincial pencil and I find readjustments are a good thing.  I label a MS Word Document with the subjects we’re covering. Then I fill in under our subjects the resources we’ll be using. I also go back and add-in any rabbit trails we find ourselves on. I find by the end of the year we have pages of documented learning. Personally, I received great inspiration from Vicki Bentley {homeschool-veteran-rock-star}, who several years ago inspired me to try a year round schedule.

 

Pray for the Lord to give you the best system for your homeschool.

However he leads you, if you trust in his direction, he will unfold an amazing year for your family.

 

 

Jamerrill (21 Posts)

Jamerrill Stewart is the creator and owner of Free Homeschool Deals; an exciting online deal site providing daily homeschool deals, bargains, goodies and free stuff to bless the homeschool family. She shares extensively about living the life of faith as a Christian woman, wife, mother-of-many, household manager and home educator on her lifestyle blog Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling. She was once a Homeschool Post Team Member. If you would like to read more from Jamerrill at the Post click here.


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Comments

  1. What wise encouragement! I am always encouraged and inspired by your blog posts, Jamerrill. Thanks for being practical and transparent.

  2. It can all seem so overwhelming, thank you for this post!

  3. Thank you Vicki {hope you don’t mind me calling you a “Rock Star,” lol} I want to be like you when I grow UP! :D

  4. Love the Beechick books. I was just telling my oldest daughter, who was homeschooled and is now homeschooling my grandchildren, to break out those 3 little Beechick books and use them instead of buying an expensive math program. You really can homeschool K-3 with those $10 books alone (and a good library close by…)
    I’ve always liked the saying “Do what you can. Use what you have. Leave the results to God.”
    Great post.

  5. Love this. So very practical and encouraging! And I agree Vicki is a homeschool rock star :)

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