Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homeschool Budgeting

Homeschoolers are rarely without a budget. Most of us are one or one-and-a-half income families. Buying books or curriculums for multiple kids every year really adds up. Not to mention classes, coops, sports, etc...

The past two years have been a rough time, budget-ly speaking (I know, "budget-ly" is not a real word, but what can I say? I am a word-smith!). The home-birth-turned-emergency-c-section two years ago, followed by the "surprise appendectomy" left us in more than usual financial distress.

I am blessed to have work from time-to-time doing a few different things. It does not add up to much, but I usually try to pay for our homeschool items with it. Except for the past two years, when everything got tighter than normal (and normal is usually pretty tight around here!).

One thing we love about the start of a new year is ordering our new books. However, because of budget concerns, this year it has to be done in drips and drops. Luckily, Romeo and Cookie Boy already have most of their books, since Romeo inherits Cookie Boy's books and Cookie Boy gets The Young Adult's. That really helps.

We received the first of our new books today. It is Classical Writing's Aesop and Homer for Older Beginners. Whew! I got a headache trying to figure it out. I am going to have to sit down and seriously prepare for that one!

Usually, I order books throughout the year. It helps ease the budget and allows me more time to earn what I need. We often have a course or two that need finishing from the year before, and that can tide us over. For example, Romeo still has some Singapore 2b math to finish before moving on to the next set. We will get 2b finished first, then I will order 3a. That gives me a little time, and allows me to purchase other books first.

In the meantime, I am saving my dimes and nickels!

Okay - this is just for fun. A few weeks ago, one of the boys' friends was spending the night. The next morning they all woke up and played video games all morning. Around 11am, I made them take a break, and we all went out for a walk around the block. There were some clouds to the south, but they were not too close. Or so I thought! The boys all out-paced me. The stroller-bound Mad Toddler and I reached the end of our street when the first few drops splashed down. I decided to turn back instead of going around the block - just in case it rained any harder. Well before we reached the house, the heaven opened! It poured!!! All the big boys were still on the next street and raced home. The Mad Toddler loved it, and refused to come in! Of course, this is Texas. The rain lasted about five minutes. While the big boys were toweling off inside, I called them back out to witness the sun blazing merrily in the sky! Crazy!

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