I didn’t know anything about homeschooling until I was pregnant with my first son. I’d always gone to public school and I just figured it was either public or private. My mind was slightly blown when my childbirth educator and doula told me that she homeschooled her children. She was also a single mom at the time and in law school. Over the course of my pregnancy we talked alot about her decision to homeschool.
Fast forward 4 short years and I found myself in almost the exact same position. I was in law-school, with two children and my oldest was getting close to the age of Kindergarten. I had a choice to make about his education. At first I figured that I’d just put him in private school. Then I considered holding him back another year so he could mature emotionally before starting school. Finally one day I heard God clearly tell me that I was to homeschool my boys.
It’s been 4 years since I obeyed that call to homeschool my boys. I never imagined that I’d be a single parent homeschooling, but I’m here to tell you that it can be done.
Single Parent Homeschooling: Affording it
The #1 question people ask me all the time is “How do you support yourself?” It’s a hard question to answer because honestly what works for me may not (and probably won’t) work for everyone. When I decided to follow the call to homeschool I also walked away from a legal career. Yep, you read that right. I am not using that legal degree that I worked hard for. And no, I don’t regret it.
I do work, but not a full-time job. I do a little free lance writing, I work as a virtual assistant and I’m in the process of starting a life coaching business. All of these I can do from home and it works around homeschooling and my boys’ schedule. Here are some other tips for affording to homeschool as a single parent:
- Keep it simple: Homeschooling does not have to cost an arm and a leg. There are many options out there for teaching our children that are affordable and sometimes even free!
- Choose a Curriculum that works best for your family: When I’m looking for curriculum I have a few requirements that must be met before I buy anything. My #1 requirement is that it must be something that I can use with both my boys at some point. I don’t have the budget to buy new stuff every year so I look for things that we can either use at the same time or that can be passed down once my oldest is done with it.
- Always look for ways to teach a subject for free before you buy a curriculum: The library is a homeschooler’s best resource. You can teach many subjects with your library card and some really great books. Some libraries even have homeschool texts that you can check out to use for a while.
- Look for free or discounted days at museums and parks. Many museums, zoos and parks have one annual free day, days where you can donate cans of food for a discounted ticket or other deals of that sort. Don’t hesitate to call a place you want to go and ask if they have a homeschool week!
- Barter if there is something you need. Is there an older person in your life who would love to teach your children woodworking? Maybe you can make a crock pot of soup once a week while he shares his skill. Or maybe you’re a fabulous bread baker and your friend loves to teach science. Make a plan to trade services!
- Choose what is most important, and let the rest go. Don’t feel pressured to make your homeschool look like your friend’s. Your friend may use a $500 boxed curriculum or do every Pinterest craft she can find… you don’t have to do that! Spending hours on (free) nature walks together will afford your children as many delightful memories as theirs. I promise!
Those are just a few of the practical ways that I can afford to homeschool as a single parent. Practicality aside, however, I rely on God to provide for me to do what He has called me to do! He has called me to homeschool my boys, and He has been faithful in providing the means for me to do so. If He asks you do homeschool, He will provide for it!
Do you have any questions about single parent homeschooling?? Leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them or write another post about it.