Kon and I have lived frugally ever since we got married. We have always believed that spending should lag behind earnings. Our philosophy is, “Live below your means until you can afford to live within your means.” This approach has helped us avoid living beyond our means, getting in debt, and eventually going bankrupt if things don’t go our way.
Our kids are expected to perform basic house chores, such as picking up toys, making their bed, helping to take care of the younger siblings, and helping out with other things when asked. But we also pay a small amount every week to our older kids for performing extra help.
The tragic story of Alfie Evans has inspired me to think harder about the social issues that typically lead to this and similar tragedies. I felt very angry that a precious little baby was murdered by an arrogant government that had no respect for G-d, for the sanctity of life, for individual freedom and parental rights. Alfie’s story is by no means an isolated case – rather, the culture of death and violations of rights are becoming a dangerous trend in the Western world. In Alfie’s memory, I want to do something to help continue his fight and to help others defend the rights that Alfie was denied. Inspired by Alfie Evans, Kon and I have set up a yearly charity fund to donate to causes that defend individual freedoms, family rights, and the sanctity of life.
Homeschooling families need to do a lot more financial planning and they need to be able to manage limited resources, because in most cases they have to live on one salary (in addition to, at best, a variable second salary). So the usual redundancy is not there (if one parent is laid off, while the other one is still working). This requires a much more frugal way of life, but I think that homeschooling lends itself nicely to this type of approach.
The following scenario is more typical than anybody would admit. Parents are paying for their children’s private university 4-year degree, and the children come out unemployable because they do not possess any types of skills that are worth anything in the marketplace. When the children graduate, they have a hard time finding a decent job, so they end up living with their parents. For much of the time the children are in college, parents provide for their children’s expenses, and when the children move back, the same pattern repeats.
As homeschooling parents, we cannot rely on schools to take care of our children’s educational needs. We are the ones in charge of planning and executing the entire curriculum. Schools and camps seem to be buzzing with activity, so homeschoolers may feel compelled to match up and shell out money on activities and resources to keep their kids occupied, entertained, and stimulated.