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How to Homeschool Without Government Funding

One of the concerns that parents have is whether or not they can afford to homeschool their children. It’s obvious that there are a lot of dynamics when facing that question: personal debt, climbing taxes, the cost of curriculum, and is it possible for both parents to be employed and home educate their children? In effect, all of those concerns lead to parents wondering how to homeschool without government funding—especially when they’re being encouraged not to participate in “voucher” or “school choice” funding.

Restoration Era on the Liberty History Timeline

Providential History

Take a listen. . .

Personal Debt

In American culture, it’s “the norm” to go into debt. Oftentimes, that idea is passes from one generation to another. It’s not uncommon for a parent to coach a teen on how to get a credit card once they start working.

In the unfortunate circumstance of being in debt, I highly recommend Crown Financial Ministry’s small group study. It reaches the heart and forms convictions in those who are seeking Biblical wisdom about finances. One of the Biblical principles taught is from Proverbs 22:7, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Another Biblical principle that is taught comes from Proverbs 6:4-5, “Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” (KJV)

Debt is a burden! Time and energy need to be put into getting out of it and that can be done by using the debt snowball. On that note, another resource I highly recommend is Mary Hunt’s book, How to Debt Proof Your Marriage. There’s a lot of practical Biblical wisdom in her book. One tidbit is the debt snowball—pay off your smallest debt first to gain momentum. Then, pay of the next smallest, etc.

Sell What You Don’t Need

It’s likely that items may not sell for as much as they’re worth, but every dollar adds up and will help reach a debt-free goal. As Dave Ramsey says, “Sell everything until your kids think they’re next.”

Budget Wisely

Count the cost before making purchases. If living within a budget is a skill to acquire, check out Dave Ramsey’s resources. Also, many people benefit by going through Financial Peace University (FPU). Oftentimes churches host his FPU course; so, consider seeing if any churches are hosting it in your area.

Taxes

Pay taxes and vote wisely (i.e. vote for individuals who hold to conservative values—including fiscally conservative). Additionally, if tax hikes aren’t a favorite thing, find other means of financial support other than social services through the government. Using them only perpetuates the issue of tax hikes because taxes are constantly increased for those services.

The Cost of Curriculum

Home education can be as inexpensive or as expensive as one makes it. Keep in mind that an inexpensive education doesn’t equate a poor quality education.

When my parents started homeschooling my brother and me, they would obtain used curriculum from the then local-to-us private Christian school. The school was discarding the curriculum for the newest edition the curriculum company offered. That was before homeschool groups and used curriculum sales existed.

Today, homeschooling is quite popular and there are a plethora of curriculum companies that didn’t exist when my parents started homeschooling. As a result, there are oftentimes families selling curriculum they no longer prefer or don’t need. Also, sometimes families are looking to bless another family by giving away the curriculum they no longer need. Another tidbit is to check out discarded books from the library because some of them have a homeschool section. So, look for used offerings.

Other resources can be found online or through libraries. For some history, many primary resources can be found online at no cost or at used book stores. With primary resources especially, one can study history with the Biblical Classical Approach. As for literature, some libraries may have quality literature one may borrow and they may be used with a Biblical Classical Literature study.

Other Homeschool Curriculum Resources

The terms “homeschooling” or “home education” can give the impression that all learning takes place at one’s home. However, that simply isn’t the case. Homeschooling/home education means parent-directed education that is independent of government monies (i.e. tax payer dollars). Also of note, “curriculum” is whatever one teaches and it doesn’t have to be solely from books.

With that in mind, as parents plan out the school year for their family, they can take into consideration what field studies or field trips can be enjoyed. These offer great learning experiences that can be on the side of other subjects or related to specific subjects/topics of study. Once upon a time, I organized field trips and invited our local homeschool community to join us. Opportunities abound; there just needs to be someone to take the initiative.

There are elderly people placed in homes who become disconnected from the youth. Our homeschool group (elaborated on a few paragraphs down) would visit an elderly care home. One time we decorated cookies with Seniors for a holiday. Another time we went and sang with a little performance and visited with them. It was a great blessing and a lot was learned when it came to relationships, brotherly care, and sharing Christ’s love with others.

Sometimes the elderly in one’s church would like to offer their time to help. Perhaps there’s a veteran who would love to share history from his service. Or, maybe there’s a lonely grandmother who would like to teach knitting, crocheting, or embroidery to a young person. Maybe there’s a missionary who would like to teach a foreign language to help with his or her cost of living. These kind of relationships have the potential to bless all involved.

Affordable Online Options

There are some affordable online courses available to homeschool families. Of course, I recommend Biblical Classical Approach homeschool courses. If that’s something you’re looking for, check out Biblical Classical Community.

Another option is to check with a trusted missionary organization and see if there are missionaries who would be willing to teach a foreign language via online. It will help support the missionary and help with your educational goals.

Homeschool Co-ops or Groups

It’s not uncommon for parents and/or retired teachers to get together and help teach children in homeschool co-ops or groups.

When moving to a new area, there weren’t any local homeschool group opportunities for our family and the other homeschooling families in our area. So, we rented a community center and I taught principled approach art, my husband saw to P.E. with organized games, the children had speech, and once a month we did boys’ and girls’ clubs with a craft and principled approach Bible devotion in lieu of the art class. The families pooled money together for the cost of renting the facility and art supplies. It was great. All we required of the parents was to be helping hands during art and help take down and clean up afterward. Again, opportunities abound; there just needs to be someone to take the initiative.

Single Parent Encouragement

Nicki Truesdell was a single mom for a time and she managed single parent homeschooling. She has some excellent tips and encouragement to share from her experience. Additionally, Israel Wayne has encouragement to share from his experience of being homeschooled by his single mom (see the video below).

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes, God opens up doors in unexpected ways. For instance, arrangements can be made with another homeschooling parent for an exchange of services. Maybe the music teacher needs a social media manager (that’s a door God opened up for our family). Perhaps an art teacher would be willing to teach lessons in exchange for lawn maintenance or for another parent to teach a different subject to his or her child. Time and skills can be currency.

For holiday gifts, family members might be willing to give—in part or in whole—a family membership to a children’s museum, a zoo or animal reservation, aquarium, science museum, etc. It’s an easy all-in-one gift. So, that’s something to consider suggesting when family asks for gift ideas.

Get outdoors! A great deal of exercise and learning can take place out doors. Nature studies help bring lessons to life when studying about flora, fauna, geology, soil, gardening, etc. Homeschool freedom works!

Work Another Job and Save

Many people go through some lean times throughout their lives. And sometimes it’s necessary for one parent to work a full-time job plus a part-time job (we’ve been there). Or, sometimes one parent works full-time and the other works part-time and homeschools the children (we’ve been there, too). It’s hard. But hard doesn’t mean impossible. Here are some ideas for how to homeschool while working from home.

Saving can be challenging if one deals with impatience or thinks there’s an immediate need (which is sometimes really a want). If it’s truly a need, God will provide resources or ideas in His perfect timing. That’s a key thing to remember—His timing is perfect and it’s not always when we think we need something. Furthermore, sometimes we really don’t need a thing even if it seems like we do. God knows the future, He knows you and me and our families intimately, and we can trust Him when He does or doesn’t provide for something.

Make a Plan

Create a homeschool experience vision for your family. Think of it like meal planning. What meal (subjects) will you teach, and what ingredients (supplies/curriculum) will you need? Prioritize with the staples (reading, writing, arithmetic, and Biblical reasoning). You can fill in the meal with sides here and there. Budget for it as best as you can.

What It Takes

In general, life takes faith—daily reliance and trust upon God for provision, offering and receiving voluntary help from others, initiative, and grit. These are all character traits that individuals can grow in when fully relying on God. He inspires, orchestrates, provides, and cares for us. You can homeschool without government funding. Where there is a will there is a way!

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