We are almost done with #Back2School in #31Days! I know a lot of you have tuned me out already, I get that. So if you're curious, I'll list the topics for next week at the bottom of this post - that way you can decide which posts you'll want to read and which ones to skip. This series has produced a lot of content! When this series is over my subscribers are going to breathe a sigh of relief that their inboxes aren't being overrun. (I'm going to breathe a sigh of relief!)
How I save money during Back to School:
I have to satisfy your possible curiosity or skepticism right off the bat – this is not a post on coupons or free printables.
(There is another great site for this and if that’s what you’re looking for – then click on the link and type “Back to School” in the search bar at the top right side of the homepage.)
When I was in retail sales, I was told that the Back to School season was higher for revenue than Christmas. And I believe it! The shoes, Crayola, and backpacks alone can put you into the hundreds range per kid, and for a home schooling family we have many other needs than a normal supply list.
So here’s my secret bite size way of lowering expenses:
I separate curricula purchasing from supply buying :: This is my number 1 (and only) suggestion to everyone who home educates. Back to school is this huge crash of summer and fall, recreation turns to routine, and there are so many choices to make. Commitments, activities, clothes to buy, shoes, etc. all needs to be ordered, selected, and purchased at the same time (or so they say).
I do things a little bit differently.
For the past 3 years, I have looked forward to going to the Great Homeschool Convention (GHC) for the primary purpose of choosing our curricula for the next year. The one we attend is usually scheduled in April. I have found this to be the best time to decide what to do for the following fall because I’ve spent 7-8 months using our current resources and I have a feeling for what’s working and what isn’t.
At the convention, my heart is ready and my mind is fresh to find what I need for each child to grow to the next level in areas where they are interested and I can barely keep up and in areas where they are struggling and I don’t know how to help.
Choosing our curricula at this time feels peaceful. The whole trip to the GHC is one big gift of grace. Lectures and speakers, continuing my education, and getting to meet the creators behind the curricula has been life changing for me as a woman.
So, if you’re up to your chin in choices right now during the big Back to School rush, and you’d rather crawl in a hole then sit down and research what you should teach this year – may I encourage you to just pick one thing to focus on for now and then come back to the research and decision-making by the middle of September.
Go get your great deals on Crayola and Sharpie now – these things won’t go on sale like this again until August 2016 – and put your mind at ease that not all things need to be purchased all at once.
Even if your mind is screaming that you need to buy things now, and you need to decide.
Just tell yourself a polite no, set a date in your calendar to sit down and review what you need.
Until then just focus on all the other things that matter – the things that don’t cost a thing.
When you do sit down in September, would you consider going to the next Great Homeschool Convention? You may be delighted to know that Ann Voskamp will be a keynote speaker.
And I know from experience that going to this convention does not have to be wildly expensive – I was able to attend my first one for $250 total, including registration, food, gas, and hotel because I went with a group.
Check out the dates for 2016:
An honest note about this series:
If this post, or even this whole series has left you feeling less or behind because of the topics I’ve covered or by the way a blog post has the magic of making everything in my life look nice and settled – all put together – then let me assure you that these posts have not been easy for me.
Sure, it looks easy to read, once I’ve added my pictures and tidied (most) of the grammar. But sometimes my actions have been too far ahead of my words, or worse – behind. This series has forced me, pushed me, and challenged me to finally address the laziness deep inside that tends to get hoarded up until some major change comes and I’m crushed by the weight of all the things that I have to do. All the things that can’t wait any longer, or cannot be delegated out to anyone else. After all, this is my home, these are my people, and I’ve chosen this path.
My goal for this series really wasn’t about my readers. The point of writing all this was to keep myself accountable for the mass of change and work that needed to be done – and my hope was that in each of the posts you would find just one thing encouraging or inspiring. This has been a whole lot of imperfect progress (I need to listen to Unglued again. Amen?)
So, if you can stay with me for one more week, here’s the list of topics I hope to cover:
Block scheduling, lapbooking, choosing anchors, facing down panic, future planning, creating uniforms (plus a little note about decision fatigue), and possibly a video tour of our schoolroom. But I’m thinking I may make the video available only to my subscribers. They deserve a little special treatment. (If you’re not a subscriber, I highly recommend becoming one now – Click here to read more.)
This is Day 22 in the #31Days to #Back2School series; check out Day 1 and the Index by clicking here.
Break life’s tasks into manageable chunks: download One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider today!
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