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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

just wanted to get some feedback. Do you think its worth it to home school even if you are in debt and husbands income is unstable. I constantly contemplate going to back to work because I get so stressed out about our finances. My husband is not very responsible and is self employed and sometimes I dont think he takes his business seriously. I really want to homeschool my kids but I wonder if it would be more responsible for me to work since my husband isn't a high wage earner. He could be but he is just not an aggressive person, he just waits for business to come to him. I could also do more work with the business but

More info: Debt is about $21,000 (back taxes, credit card, student loan)
No savings, currently behind on cc. Monthly expenses for family of 5 (me, dh, dc-5, dc-2, dc-1) is about $3000

If I went back to work, probably be earning about 35K-40K, maybe 50K if I really aced an interview (degree in engineering but haven't worked in more than 5 years)
 

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My opinion

I do not homeschool, so my answer is not coming from that perspective. Someone else may answer differently.

If I were you, I would talk to hubby about a role reversal. How about he stays home with the kids, and you work full time? I personally know of 3 couples who do this for varying reasons and it seems to work well.

Although I do see the benefits of homeschooling, your situation currently outweighs those benefits. You need to be more financially stable. Would your dh homeschool them? That's a thought too.
 

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I homeschool and I love it. But, a couple of years ago we were going through a very stressful time and homeschooling was hard on me very emotionally because I felt like I wasn't able to give either the stressful situation in my life attention or homeschooling the attention they each needed. My oldest at the time was just five and thankfully the stressful situation abated by the time I needed to make the decision for the next year and I felt very comfortable going forward with homeschooling.

During this time an aquaintance gave me very good advice: Homeschooling is a good and positive thing. But it is not right for everyone or even every year. It is okay to take a break and work out other things in life before getting back to homeschooling.

If you are stressed about finances, I mean very stressed. And wondering how and when the bills are getting paid, then I would find a way to resolve that before tackling homeschooling. Homeschooling young children, several, is mentally, emotionally and physically draining. There are wonderful rewards if the time and energy are devoted to it. Otherwise you may find that you are spinning your wheels homeschooling and spinning your wheels getting the financial house in order.

That being said is there any way that you and your husband could work together to 'grow' his business. I do know several homeschool families that the 'breadwinner' is self-employeed and the (not to be sexist) mom actually fulfills the organizational manager role in the home business while homeschooling. And, many homeschooling mothers & fathers do work part-time jobs while homeschooling, or even flex-jobs. But the primary thing is they figure out the how financially they are going to make it - and then they figure out how to homeschool around it.

Our financial house is not totally clean. But, DHs job is secure and his income is steadily rising. The debt load is steadily decreasing. As long as it is doing that we are comfortable with what we are doing. I have thought about finding some type of work to help - but it would cause a big hit either in childcare expenses or DH's overtime and just isn't financially responsible.

Good luck with everything.
 

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I see that your children are still young. Maybe you could wait about 3 years to start homeschooling and work that time and put all of your paycheck towards debt and savings. That way you would feel more secure when you start homeschooling. I am homeschooling my daughter who is in 8th this year, next year she is returning to our local high school. It is worth it to homeschool so whether you decide to start now or later is your decision.
 

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I worked while homeschooling for more than two years, gradually reducing my hours until I quit altogether last fall. We could not have made it financially without my working. This wasn't too hard for us, because when dd was born in 1996, we agreed that one parent would be home at all times. Did this mean not working? No. It meant that DH worked first shift while I worked second, or I worked first shift and he worked third. We did this while both working FULL TIME jobs for the first seven years, with NO daycare, and ONE car. When dd was eight years old, we decided to pull her out of public school and homeschool. It actually made the one car situation easier to deal with, since I didn't have to worry about getting her to school and picking her up. When we began homeschooling, I was still working from 4pm-midnight, four nights a week. DH was working 7am-3pm. He would get home JUST in time for me to leave for work. It was not easy. Then DH decided to become a full-time college student WHILE working full-time. There were not enough hours in the day. I began working the evenings that he did not have classes. He would attend classes Mon., Tues., and Wed. evenings from 4-10pm, and I would work from Thurs-Sun. evenings from 4-midnight. We would eat one meal a week together as a family. The rest of the time, DH and I rarely saw each other. We would go for DAYS without getting a chance to speak to each other. We would leave each other notes.

DH is still going to school. He works full-time, and has a part-time adjunct teaching position at a community college. I am home full-time and still homeschooling. You adapt.
 

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I homeschooled the kids the first few years, placed them in private school and worked, then took a year off again right before they went to high school to homeschool. For me, as a single parent, not working is not an option. I think if DH isn't motivated to work his business, he may not be motivated to homeschool either. Could you work part- time? Since your's are all younger children, could you keep a child or two and earn some funding that way? I did that with my two when they were young (kept two other toddlers and had two children who were with me for before and after school care).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for your comments ladies!! I dont think I have ever really adjusted to being a sahm, it stresses me out not to be in control of money. But my kids are so young that it just wouldn't be worth it to go back to work until the youngest is school age. I think I will take the advice of an earlier poster and try to work with my husbands business more. Sometimes I resent him not just having a regular stable job but most times I really admire him for going for his dream of being his own boss. I just want him to get that we cant sacrifice our kids welfare. If it doesn't get better in a a year, I will probably look into working night shift somewhere.

I also know I need to implement more frugality into our budget. You guys have some great ideas on this board.

Thanks again for your thoughts!
 

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I plan to homeschool my girls but they haven't started formally yet, (the oldest just turned 5).

However, I can give another perspective. My mom homeschooled my siblings and me for our entire K-12 education. The first years (my early years) were very rough financially, my dad worked for a church that hardly paid him enough for us to eat on. My mom practiced some really black belt frugality in those years.

I'm so thankful my parents made the sacrifices they did to homeschool us. I think all of us would say it was worth it, even in the leanest financial years. Just my $.02 of course.
 
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