It can happen at any time. Job loss. Illness. Death of a loved one. Any situation that tugs at the family, and especially at the budget. Homeschooling may continue during hard times. But there may need to be some changes in order to keep it going.
Continuing homeschooling during difficult times can be very comforting. There is much to be said for keeping things as normal as possible, particularly for children, when other circumstances may be changing all around around them. Besides, it makes little sense at times like these to park children elsewhere when greater support from family is really what they need. Homeschooling can be the constant that maintains a semblance of normalcy and binds the family together.
What do homeschoolers do during hard times? Contrary to what some may think, they don’t place children in schools. Overall, they tend to hunker down and continue the very best they can. Already well known for their frugality and resourcefulness, for many homeschoolers this isn’t much of a stretch anyway.
There are several tactics that families can try when money becomes very tight. A greater reliance on free and inexpensive homeschooling materials is one way. Using online offerings combined with freebies gathered from book fairs or from friends’ castoff piles can work, too. So can making ones own lessons and curriculum from scratch and not spending so much as a nickel out of pocket.
Loosening schedules and allowing in more flexibility is another way. If regular homeschool is no longer possible, whatever that may look like in a particular home, adopting a new attitude and taking on a new approach always helps. Whether switching over to less expensive products, going a more eclectic route, or choosing to add more unschooling experiences into the mix, schooling will continue, only just a little different from before.
Finally, organizations exist to help homeschoolers who are facing hard times. Homeschool Foundation is one group and Curriculum Share is another. Speak to a homeschool friend or support group leader to find homeschooler-specific help in your area. Other organizations can help with food, clothing and household items as well.
There is rarely a need to stop homeschooling when belts are tightened. By seeking out inexpensive ways to find materials and adopting a willingness to make some changes, homeschooling should continue on just fine.