ABOUT THIS BOOK
So you want to homeschool but don’t think you can afford it.
This book is a compendium of ideas for the family that wants to start or continue homeschooling on a tight budget. You’ll find it all here:
• Ideas for making money while staying at home.
• Sources for an inexpensive curriculum.
• Thousands of ideas for affordable teaching tools.
• Hundreds of suggestions for low-cost field trips.
• Ways to save on everything from housing to utilities.
• Ways to get free or low-cost computers.
Find detailed information on frugal, free, and wise family education, Homeschooling, educational travel and stewardship:
Freebie and Cheapie Homeschool links, education, Bible, science, social studies, language arts, literature, math, software, intelligent design, creation, high school, distance education, special needs, demos, freebie links!
With the debate raging over violence, drugs and low achievement in the schools, parents are often intrigued by the idea of homeschooling. But they wonder how on earth they can afford to do it, how they will find the time (and the patience) and whether it is the best option for their children.
We are two homeschool moms who are unabashed penny-pinchers. We don't have a choice between homeschooling with a lot of money or with a little. Like many parents, our choice is between homeschooling frugally, or not at all. The need to be resourceful has added a certain spice to our children's education. We don't think their childhood memories will be the worse for all our frugal ways.
In Homeschooling on a Shoestring, we share our ideas for economical and joyful homeschooling. To a child, learning can be as natural as breathing and as fun as a sleigh ride. Even if parents are counting their pennies, homeschooled children can leave senseless drudgery behind. They can munch their math in the kitchen and sail their science in the bathtub. Backyard entomology and window sill botany are among ideas that cost as little as nothing. Parents may be surprised and reassured to learn that, if necessary, they can give their children an outstanding education using little more than a library card, scavenged materials and an imagination.
• make, borrow or buy affordable learning and reference materials.
• make the world into a child's own classroom.
• locate cheap (or free) art supplies, music lessons, and sports activities.
• decide if they need a computer, and if so, how to buy hardware and software on a shoestring.
• find affordable resources for children with learning differences, including: giftedness, learning disabilities, hearing and vision impairments, and others.
• create custom-made volunteer jobs to help a child explore his interests and to allow him to experience the satisfaction of helping others.
• prepare their teens for college, ministry or a vocation without breaking the budget.
Since homeschooling is not just an education, but also a lifestyle, this book covers much more than the traditional Three R's. We show parents how they can afford what is considered an expendable luxury today: being home with their children in a two-paycheck latchkey world.
Learning to get along on one income (or one-and-a-half, with a home business!) is often the first obstacle to homeschooling. A family need not have a low income to be concerned about finances. In deciding to homeschool their children, a high-income family may have a bigger adjustment to make in lifestyle than a low-income family.
We tell the personal stories of homeschool parents across the U.S.A. and Canada who have found creative ways to earn a livelihood. Some of them invented a job that allows them to be with their children by starting a business. Others have unusual schedules, such as working 12-hour shifts (three days on, four days off), or unusual jobs, such as providing care for a disabled person at home. And many just put homeschooling first, simplifying their lifestyle where needed to allow them to live on one income. Some are single parents who face all the challenges that couples have, and then some.
Melissa Morgan and Judith Allee casually met at a home schooling event, and ran into each other years later at, of all things, a clown convention in 1994. There amongst a crowd of 300 whiteface and Auguste clowns, Melissa and Judith discovered that each of them, separately, had been working on a book with the same title: Homeschooling on a Shoestring . The discovery led to their collaboration on this book.
Melissa wrote an electronic newsletter and a newspaper column on homeschooling, which engendered e-mails, letters and phone calls from parents with questions and suggestions. She has taught a course on Homeschool Resources at Virtual University. Melissa also serves as webmaster for A Wise Steward's Homeschool, and Eagle's Nest Home. Melissa currently authors a column, Preschool for Pennies, for Practical Homeschooling magazine.
Judith's surveys and Melissa's column, Blog, http://eaglesnesthome.blogspot.com/ , and cyberfriends have given the book a rich pool of creative but practical solutions of real use to families. Many parents fear that homeschooling will require endless drudgery, especially if their budget is too tight to allow for many extras. They wonder if there will be nothing but tedious workbooks, day after day.
Both thought their many differences would give the book a wider range of experience, especially since Melissa is part of the Christian home schooling movement, while Judith entered home schooling through a door opened by the late John Holt, father of the secular "unschooling" movement.
Melissa L. Morgan is the co-author of Educational Travel on a Shoestring and Homeschooling on a Shoestring, and a regular columnist for Practical Homeschooling magazine. Her work has appeared regularly in magazines and Sunday school publications for children and adults. Publishers include Cross Walk (formerly Teens Today), Christian Education Publishers, San Diego, Ca., Reconciliation Press, Seeds Tracts, and Adult Ministries, International Church of the Nazarene. She has been featured on national radio shows, including the Rev. Billy Graham's Decision Today, Christian Financial Concepts with Larry Burkett and James Dobson's Focus on the Family. With her husband, Hugh, she has homeschooled their three children from birth, taking advantage of many educational opportunities in the real world. Her older children are now adult homeschool graduates, and her youngest homeschools with medical and visual challenges. Visit her website and blogs at http://www.eaglesnesthome.com , for free and frugal educational resources.
Judith, who began homeschooling in 1985, has home educated two teenagers, one starting in kindergarten, and the other as an escape from sixth grade "special education" at school. Judith founded a support group for adoptive parents and helped find families for waiting children, while Melissa has been committed to local mission work, children's church ministry, and a twelve-step program for kids, similar to Al-Anon.
Despite our diverse backgrounds, we both are convinced that a child's spark of interest is the key to home education. Interest-led learning is powerful and exciting, like sailing with the wind instead of rowing against it. It is the very thing a classroom teacher cannot do as well as we can, no matter how much he may wish to, nor how many school levies are passed.
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