Homeschooling on a Budget
Boy, do we ever understand homeschooling on a budget. For the last six years, as we’ve fought cancer, coped with a baby with a heart condition and more, all of our budgets have been of the shoestring variety. We’ve found limited finances can be a blessing in disguise, deep disguise maybe, but a blessing anyway! It’s made us more creative, and given us opportunities we might have forgotten to seek out.
For example, as we’ve struggled with finances, we’ve had to do things ourselves we might otherwise have hired out. What an opportunity to teach your boys life skills they’ll need when they’re starting out! Once our kitchen cabinets were getting very grubby-looking and Melanie was getting more and more sick of them. One of our sons, who was 12 or 13 stepped up and said, “I’d like to paint them for you!” Uh oh! What if he messed them up? Well, he’d be hard put to make them look actually worse than they already did and after all, paint can be, well, painted over. So, we said, “Sure, go ahead!” He took them off the hinges, sanded them down and did a quite respectable job painting them with a little direction. Any mistakes were easily fixed and the lessons of initiative and diligence were a lot longer lasting than paint!
To save money last year, Melanie pulled out a history curriculum she’d used many years ago with the older boys. We had all the books handy, so there would be nothing to buy, even if it wasn’t as jazzy as something new. What a blessing it turned out to be. Reading those same stories again brought back so many happy memories that sometimes the high schoolers would drop in just to hear them again. We all enjoyed it so much, and so much more than we would have something new and unfamiliar. It became a shared experience for the little children and the grown ones that we didn’t expect.
Those unexpected blessings have taught us to welcome our limitations. They humble us and they teach our children and prepare them for life. One of ours said, “I’m thankful we’ve had hard times. It’s taken away my fear of not being able to support a family. I know the Lord will provide in whatever circumstance I’m in.” Now that’s a lesson worth learning!
Hal & Melanie Young
This article was originally published in The Homeschool Minute.
Many thanks to sulfinawaz at Stock Exchange for the photo.