Welcome to another 4 Moms Q & A. I’m just tackling two questions today, one about being able to afford a large family on one income and the other about homeschooling and Sonlight.
(I) came across a review you wrote in 2009 with mostly positive feedback on (Sonlight). I am curious if you are still using Sonlight or has your exposure led you to other multi-level teaching programs or just different programs in general?
We are still using Sonlight for our younger set of children. Our family was VERY disappointed with Sonlight Core 6, particularly in their choice of ” The Story of the World” as their history spine.
‘The Story of the World’ is based on evolutionary presuppositions and does not include much of recorded Biblical history, however, the tipping point for our family is that the Biblical history that it does record is sloppy. It’s misleading in the best instances and blatantly false in others.
Regarding the death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Ms. Bauer states,
So the Romans helped some of the leaders of Judea arrest Jesus. They put him on trial for treason. The penalty for treason was death! Jesus was convicted of treason and put to death near Jerusalem, the capital city of Judea. ~ ‘Story of the World p 283 (emphasis mine)
However, the Bible contradicts this. (Luke 23, John 19, Matthew 27 and Mark 14-15) Here is one example:
Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” Luke 23:4
Our family is currently using Sonlight for our younger children and a combination of our own personally designed program (lots of reading lists and lots of listening to lectures via CD and online) along with a modified Omnibus (by Veritas Press) for our older children.
Ally had several related questions,
HOW do you stay at home, on one income with so many kids?
The bottom line answer to this is spending. We need to understand the difference between a necessity and a luxury.
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. ~ 1 Timothy 6:8
If you have more than food and clothing then you are enjoying luxury.
Early in our marriage, when gas prices were less than a dollar a gallon, we figured out how much gas cost for our family to drive to and from church each Sunday and for me to drive to and from OB appointments and we budgeted just enough money for those trips plus a tad more in case of an emergency. Mark walked to work and I literally remember telling my mom (who lived about 15 minutes away) that I couldn’t bring the kids over to swim. My reason was that we didn’t have money in the gas budget for that luxury.
Yes, driving to the park that is only a couple of miles from your house is a LUXURY (even if gas prices weren’t $3-$4/gallon)!
Cell phones are a luxury.
A second car (and perhaps even the first) is a luxury.
A TV, internet, cable, the newspaper are ALL luxuries.
New clothes are certainly luxuries.
More than one pair of shoes is a luxury.
Most of the food that Americans purchase, luxuries.
Your entire ‘entertainment’ budget, luxury.
Getting a haircut, luxury.
Christmas gifts, wrapping paper, lights, trees, decorations, all luxuries.
Don’t get me wrong. God loves to give good gifts to His children and we enjoy having luxuries, but when we act as if our luxuries were necessities we are being ungrateful. This can lead to wasteful spending (paying for an unnecessary cellphone) and an inability for families who make more than 84% of the world (annual income of $10,000) or who make more than 99% of the world (annual income of $50,000) think that they simply can’t afford another child.
We’ve also learned over the years that God does not necessarily provide what you need BEFORE you have need of it, but He has always provided everything that we need.
What are some of your favorite tips, secrets or anything that helps?
1. Appreciate how rich you are and be grateful.
It frustrates me when people don’t understand how RICH we are. Americans, in general, are the richest people in the world. Think about all the things in your life that are luxuries and sit back and marvel at how generous God has been to you.
2. Cut out (or minimize the expense) of a lot of those luxuries and appreciate the ones you keep.
3. Make your own.
Mark and I were talking about rising prices just yesterday and he said to me that because progress in making more of our own products from scratch, our costs have remained stable, despite paying more for everything that we continue to buy.
We currently make our own:
- Laundry detergent
- Lotions (luxury)
- Antibacterial ointment
Actually, the only pre-made things I can think of that we still buy are deodorant (if you have a good recipe for this, please leave a link in the comments), dish washing detergent and Dawn.
4. Go green.
Cut out the paper. Use cloth napkins, cloth diapers, rags, etc. instead of the disposable variety.
5. Buy used.
Seriously, our kids can recount exactly what items we’ve bought new for them over the course of their lives. We just don’t do it. It’s thanks to the excesses of the society that we live in that it’s completely possible to dress nicely and never purchase a single item new.
6. Give to others.
God blesses us with abundance (and if you’re reading this online, you’ve been blessed with abundance) so that we can bless others. Two of our children’s favorite charities are Voice of the Martyrs and Frontline Fellowship. Open your home, give to others, be generous.
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” ~ Luke 6:38
7. Use swagbucks.
This one makes me laugh, but our family has the Swagbucks search bar installed on our computers and we turn in our Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards. It’s terrific, takes no time and really does save us money on our Amazon purchases. I got nearly $100 in Amazon gift cards just last month. 🙂
How much income do you all live off of?
We’ll put it this way, our family income disqualifies us from foreign adoption because the U.S. requires that you make a certain percent above the poverty level in order to qualify to adopt from outside the U.S.
You may also be interested in:
- Multi-level homeschooling with Sonlight
- How much do we really need?
- Somebody wants what you have
- Cloth napkins for a large family
- Favorite Frugal Tips
- Tithing and Saving on One Income
- Feeding a Large Family on a Budget
- Feed Your Family on a Budget (another post on the topic)
May the Lord bless you in 2013!
Visit the other moms of many to see what they have to say: