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 Feeling worn out?  Is it time to reprioritize your life?  


  TOS August 2012


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August 29, 2012

 Homeschooling on a Budget



Deborah's  Picture
Deborah Wuehler and family


I have known moms who have spent thousands on their homeschool curriculum, and I have met those that have spent next to nothing. Dr. Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), surveyed more than 1500 homeschooling families and found that the average expenditure was about $450 per child per year (  Maybe you don't know how much to spend or even how much you do spend. If that is the case, a budget would be beneficial. Here are some factors to consider:


Your actual education budget: What have you and your husband decided will be your education budget? If you haven't talked about this area of spending, this is the first place to start. Once you know your spending limit, you can start deciding what is really necessary to purchase and what can wait.


Decide what is necessary and what is extra: Make a list of the core subjects you have decided for this year for each child and start with that. Don't purchase anything extra until you've gotten the core.  Start going on treasure hunts for the best prices, or have your older children do the research.


Make good choices for the extras: If you have money left over, decide what extras you will really put to use this year. Or if money is tight, put the extra aside for next year's core subjects or for field trips or extracurricular activities.


Unlike the public school system, you don't need to pour more money into education to achieve a better outcome. In fact, it matters little how much money was spent on a homeschooler's education. From the very least amount of money spent, homeschoolers succeed academically because it's not the amount of money spent, it's the environment of home education that makes it successful: parents teaching their own children in their own home.


If you are truly in need, pray and ask God to provide what you need. He is a good provider; I have heard countless stories of God's provision for the homeschool journey.


If you are still deciding what to do with your children this next year, don't worry about the expense, worry about your children, and bring them home where they belong. Homeschooling has been, and is still, the wisest choice. No matter what the cost, it will be the best investment you've ever made.


"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." Proverbs 4:7


"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9



TOS Senior Editor


SimplyFun games provide many hours of repeat fun and learning as your kids grow. Perfect for homeschoolers on a budget!





Check us out at    




Schoolhouse Teachers  



Are you homeschooling on a budget? No matter what the financial circumstances, each homeschool family has a budget for educational materials. is a budget-friendly resource that allows members access to daily, weekly, and monthly lessons for all ages.


STC began in the spring of this year, and it is bursting at the seams with lessons from the best of the best in home education. Kim Kautzer, coauthor of WriteShop, gives a daily writing prompt that is quick and easy to use with your students. Do you use the classical method of homeschooling? Adam Andrews, Center for Lit, gives our members a monthly literary analysis to make classic literature a joy to teach.


Are you a unit study type of family? Kim Belloto, from In the Hands of a Child, provides a lapbook each month for our members to use as an interactive way to learn about a topic. In our Dailies section, we have Ditch the Desk. These hands-on activities will bring fun into your school while encouraging creativity and boosting memory skills.


Do you have a high schooler? We have Carol Topp teaching high schoolers how to brainstorm and start their own microbusiness. Joey Hajda makes chemistry fun and friendly. (Joey's lessons are from his aptly named site, Mike Sims brings in real-life economics lessons. George Escobar is teaching filmmaking lessons. David Chandler writes the most engaging high school math lessons I have ever used.


Are you teaching children who are struggling learners? We have Judi Munday to help teach your special needs students. Matt Glavach is providing E-Books and lessons to help you teach your child to read.


What about the arts? Joy Sikorski teaches music and voice to the whole family. In our Schoolhouse Library, we have craft, art, and nature study ideas.


Are you teaching preschoolers? has lessons for our littlest learners.


Do you need help in home organization and management? Teach your children these skills with Malia Russell's weekly home economics lessons.


For history, we have "This Day in History," Terri Johnson's geography and map activities, and months of lessons from Diana Waring's Christian Luminaries series.


planners members have 24/7/365 access to these lessons, exclusive Schoolhouse Planners (up to five different planners are yours free, as part of our site), recorded Expo webinars, and more! Everything is in one place. It is as easy as Point, Click, Teach!


Join now for $1 for your first month and only $5.95 a month after that. Now, that is what I call homeschooling on a budget!


Tami Fox, Director of Marketing

   Schoolhouse Teachers 

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No more having to fast forward or press the mute button. You can choose to eliminate violence, sex, nudity, vulgarity, bloodshed, blasphemy etc. Just click our link now for details and "Enjoy the Show." 


Schoolhouse Freebie

This week's free resource is Julie's Journey from This Day in History. You'll find a wide variety of lessons, activities, and printable pages in


The Familyman
Todd Wilson
Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries  


I probably should have had my wife talk about homeschooling on a budget. She's the numbers cruncher . . . the one who likes to account for every penny that we spend. I, on the other hand, am the type that would spend it 'til it's gone. But when it's gone . . . I stop spending.


My perspective is that sometimes homeschooling appeals to the dark side of the homeschool parent. Common sense says, "If I don't have enough money for "it," then I can't buy "it." However, I've met too many homeschoolers who don't listen to common sense. They sometimes think, "Yes, I know I'm out of money . . . but I really need this new curriculum or tool." That's when bad things start to happen; we teach our children some powerfully destructive lessons . . . and husbands begin to resent the price of homeschooling.


So here's what my homeschooling on a budget entails: If you don't have the money (whether actual or budgeted), then don't buy it. Do without it for a little while. You'll probably find out that you didn't need it to begin with. Truth is, if you really need "it," then God WILL provide "it."


But if you've got it . . . spend it!!!! Dave Ramsey would die . . . and then roll over in his grave. :)


Be real,






Click here to find out how.


Enrich your history lessons with movable paper action figures. Ancient and Medieval times, and the American Revolution come to life as your children act out history with heroes and heroines of the past. Engaging supplement to any history curriculum. Printed on heavy cardstock. Colored and colorable versions of each figure.


Relational Homeschooling  

Diana Waring
Diana Waring



Dear Friends,


Believe me, I was ALWAYS homeschooling on a budget!  When we first began our adventure, my husband was a public school teacher--which meant his salary was very low . . . and I was at home with our kids.


But, where there's a will, there's a way.


We saved up for curriculum (which often turned out to be a great disappointment because it did not fit our family), we bartered for product at conventions (it is helpful if you have a product of your own to barter with!), and we purchased things that turned out to be treasures.  We have sort of run the gamut from best to worst and back again!


So, my first bit of advice is to try to actually hold in your hands the books and curriculum you are considering using.  Despite the incredible advertising done on products these days, you may find that the can't-live-without book recommended on the internet is as unappetizing as yesterday's oatmeal.  Or, on the other hand, you may discover that is a pearl without price, worth every cent!  The only way to really know is to look it over yourself, if at all possible.


Secondly, ask yourself whether it is good value.  I have a very frugal homeschooling friend in Australia who decided to pay an enormous amount of money for a particular book, because it was exactly what she needed.  And, do you know, a year later she still feels that it was worth the price!  However, I have other friends who have purchased cheap curriculum that turned out to be extremely costly, because it was difficult to use, frustrating to their kids, and a waste of their time.  When making purchasing decisions, make sure you are comparing apples to apples, rather than apples to cardboard!!


Next, check out your options.  Does your library have the book, or can it be ordered through interlibrary loan?  Does your church or support group or co-op or university have books or curriculum that you can check out?  Are there online samples where you can try before you buy?  (Here are my free samples online, in case you are interested in history!)  Ask around and see if, perhaps, someone knows someone who just might have a copy!


Finally, and most importantly, I encourage you to pray.  When we began to pray for how to survive homeschooling (back in the early days of my huge failures, as I tried to recreate school at home), the Lord led us to a number of people and resources that absolutely transformed our lives.  The One who has called you on your journey knows exactly what you need.  And He is such a good Father, who genuinely answers His children's cries for help.  What an adventure to take your needs in prayer to Him, and then watch and see His answers!  That can be the very best part of homeschooling, in my opinion.


Be relational,






It's never too early to start teaching the value of budgeting, and the piggy bank is not the solution.  FamilyMint is a revolutionary online system that teaches kids how to save money in an easy to follow program.  Save 40% on FamilyMint Premium through end of September.    


Raising Real Men  

Hal & Melanie Young


Hal & Melanie Young are authors of Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys, the 2011 Christian Small Publishers Book of the Year and the parents of six real sons and two real daughters, who've been homeschooled from the beginning. When they aren't traveling the country speaking about raising boys, Biblical family life, and homeschooling, they live in noisy familial bliss in North Carolina. Follow them at and




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 with 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


For more help on this topic, get our workshop CD on Just As I Am: Homeschooling in Hard Times. Link:





Biblical, Affordable, and Practical Homeschool Curriculum.

In our Creation Science Studies--Biology, we begin laying the foundations for science in Genesis and the Creation account... the first unit is 12 weeks, 50 pages, and an affordable $4.99 and appropriate for all elementary age students. Visit for a free sample.


Struggling with getting food on the table?


Do your budget and lack of time affect your families' meals?


Could you use some practical homemaking tips?


Join our Free Online Schoolhouse Expo on Thursday, September 27th, at 7 p.m. EDT!

(6 p.m. CDT, 5 p.m. MDT, 4 p.m. PDT)  


Home Economics and Bulk Food Preparation

with Malia Russell and Molly Green


Plus a vendor workshop presented by Janome America. Join their online communities for more information about their premium sewing machines, sewing tips, projects, and lessons at and

Check out all the details at   


Reserve your FREE seat now---only 1000 available! 





Creation Revolution    


Ever watch a gecko run straight up a wall and then run full speed upside down across a ceiling? What gives geckos the amazing ability to stick to walls and glass? Is that ability affected by water? Discover what research reveals about geckos and their ability to cling to various surfaces in the article "How Does Water Affect a Geckos Grip?" 


Contest Corner 

For the month of August, 2012  


Go Science: Volume 6 (Water, Space, Solar System)


Library and Educational Services is a wholesale supplier of Christian, wholesome, educational books, CDs, DVDS, games, and more.  They offer a 30-70 % discount to wholesale customers including resellers, educators, libraries, churches, and schools.  Homeschoolers are considered educators and are able to create a free account and purchase through LES!  We had an opportunity to review one of their many products: Go Science DVDs.


Go Science is a DVD Series featuring Ben Roy who teaches Science Methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is the former director of a science program on television.  There are 6 DVDS in the series: Vol 1 Motion, Vol 2 Simple Machines, Sound, and Weather, Vol 3 Magnetism, Electricity, Engineering and Design, Vol 4 Chemistry, States of Matter, and Life Sciences, Vol 5 Air and Flight, and Vol 6 Water, Space, and Solar System.  Throughout the DVDs, Ben captivates, inspires, and motivates children ages 6-14 to be excited about science while giving them instruction based on scientific phenomenon. More importantly, each of his demonstrations has a spiritual application and points to our Creator, God. (...)


To read the rest of this Crew review Click Here.


You can win this DVD!



Email Deb ( with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Go Science" for a chance to win* the DVD!


The Old Schoolhouse
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