Homeschooling on Rice and Beans

homeschooling on rice and beans

Homeschooling is hard enough without factoring in any money issues. My husband and I have never been well off, and we have chosen to live as a one income family so that I can homeschool our children. That would be hard enough, but then my husband started his own business when my oldest was three, just as we were getting into our homeschool journey with some preschool work.

Of course, preschool and kindergarten are pretty easy and pretty inexpensive. Our low, self-employed income had little impact on our homeschooling for the first few years.

I remember when our oldest hit first grade, and we had a few things we wanted to spend some money on that first year. It wasn’t a lot, but when you have no money, anything is a lot. I remember pulling out the piccolo that I had received as a birthday present in high school one year, when I thought that I would pursue a degree in music. I remember holding it and thinking that I hadn’t, and wouldn’t likely, ever use it again, since I never followed through on the music degree.

So, I listed it on eBay.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sell something every single time I needed school books. But I also knew that in that moment, for that year, it was what we needed to do. I knew God could bless it. And He did! I remember the excitement and joy when I found a double set of Math U See manipulatives being listed by a lady for “a friend who just wanted to sell them to a mom in need” for only $20. That was only one of the ways that God blessed and stretched the little bit of money we had from selling the piccolo that year!

Every year since then, the way that God has stretched our money and provided for our homeschool needs has been different. Sometimes friends have given us things, sometimes we have found things at used curriculum sales. Along the way, our family has grown, our needs have increased, and God has provided. Not a single year has been the same, God continues to “show off.” But every year has been the same in that we had what we really needed.

At the hardest point in our self-employment journey, financially speaking, I often went to the grocery store with only twenty dollars in my pocket. I stretched that twenty dollars as far as I could to get food for as many days as I could, hoping that in a few days I would be able to come back with another twenty dollars. We eked by for weeks, months, on the smallest of budgets and lots of rice and beans. School-wise, we were on a “rice and beans” budget as well. God would provide, and we would have “enough,”– curriculum and supplies might be the bare minimum, but we had enough.

One might wonder why I didn’t go back to work, or why my husband didn’t take a second job, or why he didn’t give up on self employment? You wouldn’t be the first to ask. Though that’s another story, the short answer is that we were right where God wanted us. He was teaching us a lot through those hard times.

One thing we learned was that God always provides for His children. He doesn’t always provide the way we expect, it may not even be the same way twice, but He will provide. Now that we have been through that, and for now while finances are not quite so tight, we have learned to trust God more than we ever did before, and to continue to look to HIM to provide, rather than any money source.

I never doubted that God would take care of us. I know that God is faithful. And He is. Whatever drought you might be going through, financial or otherwise, hold on sweet Momma! It might be ‘rice and beans’ for a time, but God does provide.

Image Background Source: Rice by Petr Kratochvil


Amber OliverAmber teaches her three children from the heart of Texas, while God teaches her heart through the journey of homeschooling. Seeking purpose in the mundane, Amber hopes to encourage other mothers as she shares what God puts on her heart. Find her on her blog, Classic Housewife, Facebook, and Google+.

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