Saturday, August 21, 2010

Show me the Money!


The topic of this post is “affording homeschool.” Makes me think of the question I get asked quite often, “How do you afford all of those kids!?” Well the simple answer is I am a part of God’s backwards Kingdom. In His kingdom, He provides though it doesn’t always pencil out on paper and I can’t always plan for it! It’s called Faith!

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Besides faith alone, there are some things I do to make homeschooling more affordable. My favorite being “tax-time.” Way back at the beginning of my homeschool journey, when Mr. Taffy was making $15.00 an hour and I was home with three little ones I got frustrated with having to ask for money intermittently throughout the year. I also got a little tired of trying to explain every little thing I wanted to buy for the children and why. My husband has a short attention span and can’t spend very long listening to me go on and on about the curriculum and books I like. So I decided to make a homeschool proposal. Each year after Christmas I would start brainstorming and researching what and from where I was going to buy our books. After I figured it out, I would write it all up in a very “professional” looking document, complete with prices and totals. Then I would give it to Mr. Taffy to approve. You know what? He’s always approved! And since I made the proposal so early in the year, we were able to take that money out of our tax return and set it aside for the appropriate time to buy. I still do this! It’s also a great way to get through the mid-winter homeschool blues that sometimes sneaks into homeschool households after Christmas.

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You can find gently used books all over the internet: Craig’s List, Amazon, etc. Just Google it!

There are so many website with FREE stuff for homeschoolers. Some of my favorites are:

http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

http://www.filefolderfun.com/

http://www.donnayoung.org/

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/

These sites offer worksheets and lapbooks and unit studies all for free! Somebody else did the work of compiling the information and posting the links, all you have to do is click and print and reserve some books at the library!

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Most of my books came from used-curriculum sales, library sales, garage sales, and people who knew we homeschooled and had graduated their own homeschoolers!

Used-curriculum sales and library sales are a great source for learning materials. I would just warn you to plan on what you want to buy ahead of time, it’s so tempting to buy things you don’t really need at these places and use up the money you intended on using for core subjects! I’m speaking from experience here! :o)

garage sale treasures 001

I found all this stuff at a garage sale in my city. I paid $9.00 for the whole load!

And I can’t help but mention Faith again. Because honestly, there is a lot to this homeschool journey that is grounded in Faith. Knowing that you are doing what God wants you to do, He really will provide all your needs! I’m not saying “wants” though many times God does provide the wants as well. Our family went through a year and a half of joblessness, without government help. I still stayed home. We still homeschooled. We lived off of savings and God’s provision, we never knew when it was going to come, but we knew (faith) it would. I had a very small list of things I needed for schooling our children during that time. And one way or another I got what we needed. It was a miracle! All that to say, trust the Lord! Provision comes after we take the first steps of faith!

Joyfully,

Mrs. Taffy

8 comments:

  1. Good answer! I think people are crazy who think "How can you love ALL the kids equilly." Easy as pie!

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  2. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. :) I know when I share things I will always get some sort of virtual hug and words to lift my spirits. Thank you so so much. And yep...you know it all so well that all we can do is cling to Faith in knowing our needs will be provided. :)

    chris xoxo

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  3. Great advice! Also, we have discovered there are recorded books on-line (free!) that your student can put on his i-pod and listen to. Something like Moby Dick can be difficult to read, but listening to it while exercising or drawing or cleaning their rooms is much easier. Then go to Sparks Notes or some such place for further analysis of the book.

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  4. Hi Mrs Taffy

    I've been following you since you started blogging. I enjoy reading what you have to say.

    You are not full of fluff like some bloggers.
    You have an honest heart and I can see by reading, you strive to be the 31 woman.

    Now for my comment.
    We used to struggle financially.
    Now God has blessed us with the ability to dig ourselves out of all the holes we dug in the past, individually and as a married couple.

    As for God providing. He most certainly does.
    I love the thrift store, library sales etc.
    Just because we make more now doesn't mean we need to spend more. Though the world and some Christians seem to think "why not" it's just money.
    That's not my attitude. I struggle over paying full price for school stuff, most of the time.

    I read Jimmie's Collage blog (have you been there?), she has a real hard time being frugal when it comes to homeschooling because she lives in China. She's found ways around that and it's great for me to discover.

    Thank you God Bless You and your family

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  5. Mama Bear! Thank you for your heartfelt comment! I haven't heard of the blog you mentioned--it's sounds fascinating though!

    Praise the Lord He has blessed your family financially again! It is GOOd to be frugal-good stewards!

    Blessings,
    Mrs. Taffy

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  6. You know what...we have really been learning about what it means to be financially honoring this year! I have enjoyed the challenge of making it work on our "income".

    This is how we do it...first and foremost I always make up a proposal for my husband and also for me to keep me on track...thanks to Mrs. Taffy's suggestions years ago...

    This year would have been a real challenge to purchase what was on my proposal...but as always the Lord gave me a creative way to do it...once a week I purchased X amount. It took a lot of planning ahead as I had to start purchasing at the begining of summer...but as this new school year approaches I realized I did it and we have everything we need.

    As the years go by I am more certain that the Lord will provide for our home school needs.

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  7. Great ideas! I'm going to check out the file folders website. The folder activities you show for tot school look good and I had wondered where you got them!

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Your comments make me happy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!!