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5 adjustments we made to become a homeschool family

Updated on June 4, 2013

1. One-income budgeting

Coupon clipping, meal planning, writing and monthly revising our budget are now new topics of interest for me. Survival skills really.

I do all I can to try to make extra money. I'm glad I have a degree because I can not only substitute teach when my husband has Mondays off during the week, but I can tutor kids in the evenings and during the summer breaks. My time is as valuable as I make it. If I have a productive day cleaning the house in between lessons, that is valuable. If we get out and serve the community- valuable. If we exercise- valuable. I had a hard time with not contributing a paycheck to our family at first, but with encouragement and appreciation from my husband I feel more valuable than ever to my family (just less to the world around me).

Budgeting was really hard at first. I read lots of tips, but the book that helped me most was Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. Common sense tips that were hard to implement and follow at first, and getting easier now. We tithe, we don't use credit cards, we save money for yearly bills and budget for monthly bills. We have emergency savings accounts. Now we are working on budgeting with our future in mind. I keep thinking of it as a financial diet (even though that word alone will discourage people). We just keep adding small goals that make us live healthier until we've changed the way we live.

2. Reaffirming our decision

At first I asked my husband almost weekly (sometimes more often than that even) if we were making the right choice for our child when deciding to homeschool. I ask him this question less and less, but it still comes up. That's normal and ok. It's not a decision to take lightly.

3. New friends

We began seeking out people who had experience and knowledge of homeschooling. Since both my husband and I were educated in public schools (as well as all of our family members) we needed to know more. And there were a lot more people out there than I expected to find. It is important to have a supportive community of people for encouragement, collaboration, and resources.

4. Organization

This may sound silly but I love that our living room is now our school! I love to search online to see how others have set up their learning areas at home and in classrooms. In our education programs in college I was taught environment does impact learning. (Just the other day a friend of mine chose her son's kindergarten teacher based on walking into the classroom).To be surrounded by learning material is this teacher's dream for her children. Not sure my husband enjoys it as much, but he's so supportive of us, proud of his kids, and he values learning too.

5. Answering the big question: Why?

In the beginning, I was mostly defensive about people asking me why we were choosing to homeschool. Maybe it was because I didn't have an articulate, intelligent response figured out yet. Maybe it was because I worried I was making the wrong decision. Maybe I felt insecure about my ability in parenting by making such counter-culture choices. It was probably all of the above and a few I'm still not aware of yet. But I do know, as my knowledge of homeschooling increase so did my confidence in my choice. Now that we have a little over a year of experience under our belts I'm much happier to share why we are homeschooling. A friend of mine said not to worry about defending your decision to homeschool, the end result will prove it was a good choice. Until then those who are curious will just have to watch and see, and listen to all the latest encouraging examples I've learned about or experienced. God led us to this decision. Sometimes that makes people uneasy. I need to trust him. My faith proved weak as I began to follow him in this direction for my kids, but it is growing stronger with each step as I see his will.

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    • daybydaymom profile image

      Lisa 4 years ago from Oregon

      Thank you Karen :). I'm so blessed to have such support at home, I don't think I could do it without my husband backing me. I'm still seeking out homeschooling groups, but I just found out quite a few families from our church with young kids are planning to homeschool now too. I'm really excited to learn more, there is so much out there about homeschooling that I never knew about. The internet resources available help a lot too. Thank you for your encouragement. Also, I enjoyed reading your hubs. You're a very good writer on a great variety of topics! I'll work on a review of the Dave Ramsey book, good idea thank you. God bless you and yours as well.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Good for you on making the choice to home school your children. I always wanted to but my then husband wouldn't hear of it. He always said, "What was good enough for us is good enough for our kids." Ugh...I never wanted good enough for our kids...I wanted the best, but I didn't win that argument. You ARE doing the right thing. Is there a home school group in your area? Here in CT there's a group of home schoolers who get together to do field trips, athletic days, etc. and it's good socialization for the kids as well as the moms. Nice to see you here on HubPages. I would love to read a book review of that Dave Ramsey book if you care to write a review as a hub? Wishing you strength in your decision and may God continue to bless you and your family!