For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

ABC's of Homeschooling - L and M

ABCs of Homeschooling

I got behind a week yet again. Wow it is so hard to keep up with memes. I do really love having to think about this ABC. So, here I am with 2 letters for this week.

L for Love of Learning

Homeschooling is about learning. But what kind learning?

I homeschool because I want to give my kids a love of learning. I do not want to just shove knowledge down their throats for them to just regurgitate it the next day and forget it later and  then have them  shy away from books when they get older.  I want to teach them that learning is fun even if it often demands hard work. That is why, although I believe in some of the tenets of classical education (value of memory work, importance of Language Art and the Humanities), I make sure that the boys read things that they are interested in and have plenty of time to explore their interests of the moment. For example when the boys where into trains, I believe they read all the books in the library about train,s then it was all things emergency, then trucks. Right now, as we are studying the Romans in our TOG 1, one night I found my oldest on his bed surrounded with history books all along the sides of his bed. I would not call him a book lover (he shies away from chapter books even if he reads 2-3 grades above his level; he complains they are too long, small words - he still has to read them to some extent!), yet when he wants to know about something he does not shy away from books and he is not shy in asking questions.

I want my boys to learn that they can always research things and that we never stop learning. This is a lifetime skill: to know that we can never know enough of something and to know how to continue learning.


M for Money

Ha! Money! Who likes that word? Certainly not me. Like a lot of homeschooling family we live on one income and that is no easy thing. I find it hard often times to be content, as we are called in Scripture. How am I supposed to pay for all these nice curriculum that I want to buy? Where will I find the money to sign up the boys in this and that extra-curricula activity? How do I reward the boys when they deserve a rewards, just to name a few challenges.

That said, I am certainly learning to be content and to rely on the Lord for his daily material provision. Homeschooling has stretched my faith through our financial situation. I am still no where close to where I should be or in no position to lecture anyone, but I am certainly growing. Here are a few things I have learned and am learning:

  • Make a budget and stick to it.

  • Do not give in to impulsive expense.

  • Consider carefully what material you really need (this helps with buying things that you will end up not using). I spend literally weeks researching my curriculum and have seldomnly bought anything that I have not used.

  • Make use of the library. I am a real expert at that, we usually have between 80-100 books from the library in our apartment. My rule is if I can find it at the library I do not buy it, unless I know for a fact that it will be used for years and years to come.

  • Make use of online free stuff, there are plenty.

  • Make use of the crockpot. That helps with those days when we will be out most of the day and have no time to cook; we come home to a nice meal, or smell (instead of picking food out).

  • I am not allowed to work here (I am on a visitor status) so I can't even do a stay at home job, so to try to bring some money home I make use of surveys, and rewards programs such as Swagbucks, My points, Shoppers drug Mart, Visa rewards (we have accumulated enough points to get $100 Visa gift certificate which I will use to buy next year's stuff). Word of caution: I have to be careful not too spend more than I need just to accumulate points.

  • Use coupons: I am of two minds on that one, as I find often times that the acticle that I would buy with the coupon is still sometimes more expensive (even after coupon) than the no name brand one.

  • Buy wholesale when it makes sense.

These are a few of the things I have and am doing to help us save on money. But bottom line is we need to pray and trust in God's provision as we seek to do his will in homeschooling our kids.

What are you favorite money saving tips?





crafty_cristy said...

I love both your L and your M. I want my kids to have a love for learning, too. We spent months reading every book in the library about trucks, too, when my oldest son was younger. Great memories.

My frugal tips are to check the thrift store. I have found great (and sometimes even brand new) curriculum for pennies on the dollar at the thrift store. We also always check for "Kids Discover" magazines when we go to the thrift store. They are one subject per magazine and make it easy to build a unit study around the topic. We did Lewis and Clark, blood, Vikings and the Roman Empire this way. We started with those magazines (bought for $0.33 at the local thrift store) and added whatever books the library had on the subject. They were great studies and we all learned a lot.

The other tip I have is to cook 2 meals when I have time and freeze one for "one of those days".

Great post, Joelle. I love it.

joelle said...

Thanks for these Cristy. I find that the thrifts store in the States are so much better than the ones here in Canada, unfortunately! I am going to have to keep my eyes opened for these Kids Discover magazines.

amber @ classic housewife said...

I hear you!
It's so hard to be content sometimes, but I'm learning, too. God has always provided what we truly *needed* and we've survived without everything else I *thought* we needed. My Want List is so much bigger this year, and I'm having to try really hard to keep it in check. But I'm getting there. =)

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