Homeschooling

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TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
I’ve got a question for those of you who know about homeschooling. :)

I know four homeschooling families. One lives in a small garage out in the country. I think the husband is a manager of some sort.

The other three families are supported by a pilot, a doctor, and a rocket scientist. The smallest salary of these three men is around $50,000. Also, the cost of living in this region of KY is very low.

This concerns me. As one who plans on going into the ministry, I know that most ministers make significantly less that 50k/ yr.

Could a minister afford to homeschool? I’ve been pondering this. If a minister lives in the city his salary will be better but everything is expensive. If he lives in the country he will be paid less which defeats the purpose of moving.

Can a homeschool family survive on a minister’s salary?
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Well, its about 1/10 the price of private Christian school for new curriculum around here, if not even less.

I know a lot of homeschool familes, rich and poor.

If your kids are bright and creative you'll do fine. Used textbooks keep costs down, workbooks are not too pricey.

If the kids need tutoring, unless the school district provides it for free you will probably not be able to afford weekly or biweekly tutoring. If you have an autistic, severely dyslexic, handicapped, etc kid, you may end up going the public route. ( yeah, I know, but tutoring is so expensive)

Specials cost a lot- art lessons, music lessons, drama workshops, etc. I have a coop nearby where the Moms all split the specials up and do gym, a choir, art, etc, one day a week. Non teachers have to babysit and do lunch/playground duty.

Sometimes there are annual homeschool sales at churches where you can get grade level texts for next to nothing. I got more books than I can ever use at a few sales....a dollar each for astronomy, biology, writing, english, history.

I would start collecting books now when you hear about sales. Ask around...get standard kid classics now and save them.

The Lord will provide- seriously. He will make a way. And I'd go for the country life....plant a big garden, raise chickens.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I’ve got a question for those of you who know about homeschooling. :)

I know four homeschooling families. One lives in a small garage out in the country. I think the husband is a manager of some sort.

The other three families are supported by a pilot, a doctor, and a rocket scientist. The smallest salary of these three men is around $50,000. Also, the cost of living in this region of KY is very low.

This concerns me. As one who plans on going into the ministry, I know that most ministers make significantly less that 50k/ yr.

Could a minister afford to homeschool? I’ve been pondering this. If a minister lives in the city his salary will be better but everything is expensive. If he lives in the country he will be paid less which defeats the purpose of moving.

Can a homeschool family survive on a minister’s salary?
A few things to keep in mind:

The pastor's compensation package can be structured in a tax-favorable manner. On the other hand, many small churches aren't going to be able to provide a full benefits package. So just looking at the dollars may not give an accurate picture.

Second, a church which cannot pay enough to support a pastor and his family probably needs to consider the position as a part-time/tentmaker/bivocational (or shared) call. The presbytery shouldn't approve a call that is not going to support the pastor.
 

Jen

Puritan Board Freshman
My pastor's family has homeschooled all three of their children the whole way through (their eldest is done, the other two are 15 and 7). Given that we live in California (higher cost of living), their mother doesn't work outside of the home, and our church's minimal monthly budget, I'd say it's definitely do-able...

(Our pastor is not bi-vocational and our church has fewer than 100 members.)
 

TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
Well, its about 1/10 the price of private Christian school for new curriculum around here, if not even less.

I know a lot of homeschool familes, rich and poor.

If your kids are bright and creative you'll do fine. Used textbooks keep costs down, workbooks are not too pricey.

If the kids need tutoring, unless the school district provides it for free you will probably not be able to afford weekly or biweekly tutoring. If you have an autistic, severely dyslexic, handicapped, etc kid, you may end up going the public route. ( yeah, I know, but tutoring is so expensive)

Specials cost a lot- art lessons, music lessons, drama workshops, etc. I have a coop nearby where the Moms all split the specials up and do gym, a choir, art, etc, one day a week. Non teachers have to babysit and do lunch/playground duty.

Sometimes there are annual homeschool sales at churches where you can get grade level texts for next to nothing. I got more books than I can ever use at a few sales....a dollar each for astronomy, biology, writing, english, history.

I would start collecting books now when you hear about sales. Ask around...get standard kid classics now and save them.

The Lord will provide- seriously. He will make a way. And I'd go for the country life....plant a big garden, raise chickens.


Just to clarify, I don't have a family yet. I'm just trying to figure things out ;).

I guess my question is more related to a family being able to survive (food, shelter, medical etc.) on the single income of a minister.
 

Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
My parents homeschooled I and my three siblings. My father has a high paying job and my mother worked part-time for a while (not for the paycheck, but because she loved her field.) Many of my friends, however, had fathers who made much less and there families didn't live luxuriously, but neither did they want for anything. I think the answer is yes, but it can be very difficult and requires frugal living and planning ahead.

Despite my father's salary, my parents are very frugal people. We had a garden growing up, my mother shopped supermarket sales, and we had small cars that got good gas mileage. My siblings and I got our clothing from thrift stores, none of us were given cars when we turned 16, and most of us have attended/are attending large state schools (in-state tuition!) for college rather than small private schools. We also started working during the summers when we were 16, so we could make our own spending money. I think that if you take some of these ideas and expand on them, you could make it homeschooling on one smaller salary. I am SURE that there are people on the PB who can give more and better advice on how to do this. I think its definitely possible.
 

Sven

Puritan Board Sophomore
My children are not old enough to homeschool yet, but I've been preparing to homeschool even before I got married. As I built my library, one of the things I kept in mind was buying books that I would one day use for homeschooling. Most of the books I purchased were used. I found quite a bit from library sales, garage sales, online, wherever. What I've done is look through homeschooling catalogs and take note which books they sell and try to find them cheaper elsewhere. I've been very successful. This is one way I've saved money, but there are probably a hundred other ways to save, you just gotta be resourceful. I think you'll do fine.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't know what a minister's salary would be, but with a family of 11 people and an income well below national average, I think I can say that we've managed. It's certainly possible, though it may require some scrimping and saving, and in the long run will be well worth it both educationally and spiritually.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
I’ve got a question for those of you who know about homeschooling. :)

I know four homeschooling families. One lives in a small garage out in the country. I think the husband is a manager of some sort.

The other three families are supported by a pilot, a doctor, and a rocket scientist. The smallest salary of these three men is around $50,000. Also, the cost of living in this region of KY is very low.

This concerns me. As one who plans on going into the ministry, I know that most ministers make significantly less that 50k/ yr.

Could a minister afford to homeschool? I’ve been pondering this. If a minister lives in the city his salary will be better but everything is expensive. If he lives in the country he will be paid less which defeats the purpose of moving.

Can a homeschool family survive on a minister’s salary?
If a family can survive on a minister's salary, then it really doesn't matter if they homeschool or not... and MOST of the time families claim they cannot live on a minister's salary alone, it is because the family needs to change priorities.

What you should do is pursue that to which God is calling you, and if that's the ministry, then let Him take care of the details. If you are convicted that you should homeschool (as we are) then you will make sure your ducks are in a row when the time comes. There are MANY, MANY expenses that we Americans THINK are necessary (like cable TV, high speed internet, cell phones for everyone, etc., going out to eat every lunch) but which are completely unnecessary. You will find a way to make ends meet - just follow the Lord in all things.
 

Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
Also, to add, as someone who grew up in the country and who still lives way out in the sticks, country living is not always so cheap. Remember that you'll have to spend a great deal more on gas - and since you're homeschooling, you'll be doing a lot of driving so that your kids can interact with other kids. They won't be taking the school bus! Utilities can also run more, and you won't be near as many sales for things like school supplies, clothing, and food. There are not thrift shops close to me which means that I spend a great deal more on clothing than I did when I was in college and living in a larger town.

Also, raising animals is probably not going to save you that much money. I was in 4-H and we raised animals for the educational experience, but unless you actually own a ranch and are running a big operation, the amount you spend on feed, enclosures, etc is going to be more than you would pay for eggs, milk, or meat at the grocery store or from another larger farm. (Raising animals is great for teaching kids responsibility etc, so I'm not discouraging it, just don't think you'll be saving money. In fact, you'll probably lose a lot of money.) Also, from someone who has slaughtered chickens - it is not a pretty thing. Its smelly, messy, time-consuming, and at the end of it, you'll never want to each chicken again. Especially that particular chicken. :p
 

Ruby

Puritan Board Junior
Definately do-able.
Almost all of the home schooling families around here are one income, (few really high) have larger than average families, live frugally but reap the benefits. I think it is decided on the priorities, what's necessary, what's luxury. Also, you often don't need the pricey curriculums, and can get good materials cheaply or second hand. It is definately good to be thinking about it well before you get started.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
We've continued homeschooling straight through unemployment and my husband's subsequent employment as a teacher.
 

Curt

Puritan Board Graduate
On a pastor's salary (and never a big one) we raised and home-educated two daughters. Both went to college.

We managed. Homeschooling is a lifestyle. The lifestyle can be shaped to fit the needs and desires.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
Yes.

My wife and her three brothers were all homeschooled and then sent to private high schools before college. I wouldn't be surprised if some sweatshop workers made better salary than my father in law (pastor) at times.
 

TheocraticMonarchist

Puritan Board Junior
This is encouraging news! I appreciate all the input :).

Just to be sure though, homeschooling is possible on a single family income of $20,000-$30,000?
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
We were a homeschooling family of seven on one income of about $25,000. Now we're a homeschooling family of twelve on one income of about ten thousand more (but there are extenuating circumstances that help).

Long story short: It can be done, no doubt about it. If you need details in exactly how when the rubber hits the road, just PM me.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
This concerns me. As one who plans on going into the ministry, I know that most ministers make significantly less that 50k/ yr.
If you're worried about money then don't go into ministry. I don't mean to sound crass, but it's a backwards way of thinking. You can live on just about any amount of money. At different times in our lives I've made anywhere from 6k to over 50k, a year. We've always gotten by, even if it was difficult. And my wife hasn't had a job in about 15 years - if you can call running a home, raising and homeschooling two sons and taking care of me something other than a job. Simply put, she's much more valuable at home than in the marketplace.

The most important education your children can learn from you is about godliness. If you want to home school them, then you'll have more control of that. And the lessons they can learn by working around the house will far outweigh what they'd pick up in public school. Teach them to read, make them work hard around the house and force them to learn how to learn. Don't just tell them facts, teach them how to think and how to learn how to do anything they care to set their minds to.

Listen to Todd.

Steven - but you are homeschooling right now. It's not a matter of grade levels. It is a matter of education and begins on day one.

Something to consider about in regard to children - why are they a blessing? There are two basic reasons - because they promote the profitability of the home, raising the workload and freeing the father to pursue more - to raise a godly heritage. Today's children think they're a blessing simply because they were born. Such children are an abomination and a curse. That sounds cold, but read the OT and tell me I'm wrong. Our entitlement culture thinks we have something coming - when all we really deserve is eternal wrath. Respectful and obedient children are a blessing.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21
18“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, 19then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. 20And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.

Proverbs 10:1
1The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
Proverbs 10:1

Adds a great deal of meaning to the Shema.

Also, read through Romans eight as it lists the abominations that God gives men over to. Toward the end of the list, as the passage reaches its climax, we find "disobedient to parents."

Romans 1:30-32
30backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Consider these things very carefully when you consider your priorities and what your priorities teach your children.

Blessings,
 

Scottish Lass

Puritan Board Doctor
Jonathan,
We definitely could (and will, Lord willing,) and you know our standard of living. The minimum salary requirements in the ARP make it possible.
 

Brian Withnell

Puritan Board Junior
While it may not be true of all churches, a minister ought to be compensated so that salary and benefits are the same as the median of those in his congregation. They should not be the richest in the church, nor should they be the poorest. Either extreme is just not practical, and if the families of the church tithe, then ten tithing families ought to support the pastor, and then his tithe is what supports the rest of the bills (until they get more families).

Homeschooling isn't necessarily expensive, but it is time consuming. I presume you are married (hard for a guy to have children without a wife :) ) and that she would do the schooling. While curriculum is not free (for the most part, sometimes you can get free classes) it is a lot cheaper than private schools in general.

While I don't believe a person sins if they have no choice but to send their children to public schools, I would not do so (and I am a public school teacher). The public schools do not have any attempt to take every thought captive to Christ. If you home school, I would presume you would assure that every thought is taken captive to Christ.
I’ve got a question for those of you who know about homeschooling. :)

I know four homeschooling families. One lives in a small garage out in the country. I think the husband is a manager of some sort.

The other three families are supported by a pilot, a doctor, and a rocket scientist. The smallest salary of these three men is around $50,000. Also, the cost of living in this region of KY is very low.

This concerns me. As one who plans on going into the ministry, I know that most ministers make significantly less that 50k/ yr.

Could a minister afford to homeschool? I’ve been pondering this. If a minister lives in the city his salary will be better but everything is expensive. If he lives in the country he will be paid less which defeats the purpose of moving.

Can a homeschool family survive on a minister’s salary?
 

Idelette

Puritan Board Graduate
Jonathan,

I know SEVERAL families that live on one small income and homeschool quite a few children! It is certainly doable! One of the wonderful things about being part of the family of God, is that the Lord often uses the Body to bless His people! Many of the families I know, help eachother out..... they share materials and pass along used books and other supplies, and they share ways to do things more efficiently! If the Lord is calling you to ministry and to have a family as well, then He will provide just enough to make ends meet! It may be difficult at times, but nothing that is beyond His provision!
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
Sending your kids to public school (while I personally could not do that if I ever have kids) is not a sin. Reformed and evangelical persons need to STOP looking down on other parents who do go the christian, public or hybrid route.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
I don't think the decision to home-school versus the public school is based upon economics.

When my family and I moved from Chicago to Phoenix, we enrolled our son in the local elementary school. It was not long before we were getting calls that he was being held after school for reasons like forgetting to bring pencils to school, or forgetting his class notebook. The little guy would meet us after detention teary eyed.

My wife and I were both university teachers at the time, so we pulled my son out of public school and started teaching him at home when we were not working during the day.

Initially, it was tough separating Mom and Dad's roles when teaching our son. Sometimes we would become very frustrated with him. Losing our patience was a problem we finally overcame. We taught him three hours each day and he spent another two or three hours working on his own. We home-schooled our son from grades four through twelve.

For elementary school material we reviewed traditional school materials and selected what we thought were useful texts. It was an ad-hoc approach and we focused each day's instructions on a single subject. I spent time teaching my son some of the great messages and stories from the bible. I had him complete some biblical text studies and write papers on the materials.

For high school we used the materials and curriculum from The American School. We selected this school because of its reputation (used by State Dept. employees, movies star kids, etc.), for the school's ability to generate official transcripts, graded tests, actual science labs, 100 year history, and its regional accreditation. Lastly, I walked my son through the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.

My son graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Computer Information Systems. He completed a six-month internship at Intel Corporation and is now looking for a full-time position with one of the government security agencies.

The upsides of home schooling were enormously beneficial. My son completed High School in two years and had no problems being accepted at ASU.

The negatives were mainly socially related. My son missed the social interaction, proms, and dating. We pushed him into some social activities like volunteering in some of the local schools' community outreach programs. Nevertheless, my son was quite isolated throughout his education. ASU was an eye opener for him, he struggled to fit into a daily cadence of attending real classes with lots of other students. After his freshman year, he blossomed and came into his own. Mom and Dad still worry about this young man who has never went on a date or even so much as held a girl's hand. Dad can only hope that he won't marry the first young lady that pays any sort of attention to him! ;)

AMR
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
My son missed the social interaction, proms, and dating.
Brother, I'm struggling to find a downside in this sentence...

This sounds more like a litany of triumphs than anything.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
It absolutely can be done. We have homeschooled from the get go one one income and only for a brief time has that income been more than 30,000 per year. Lifestyle choices will play a much greater role in eating up income than any sort of homeschool costs.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Out here you can't survive alone with an income of 25,000. Lots of factors, but the biggest on is faith. You can PM or email me just as Kevin offered if you want.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Dad can only hope that he won't marry the first young lady that pays any sort of attention to him!
Our oldest (homeschooled) married her first "serious" fella (also homeschooled). They are doing wonderfully! The dating culture pushed in the U.S. popular culture does not properly prepare young folks for marriage and family life.

I should add that our next-oldest, who grabbed hold of the dating scene at her first opportunity to get out on her own, has faced one heart ache after another.
 

Sven

Puritan Board Sophomore
The most important thing you need to know is that God will provide for all your needs.
 
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