If anybody asks me what is an absolute essential to home educate, I always answer: loo rolls. We seem to use up tons of them as the girls are regularly pulling out the junk modelling box to make something they can see in their mind’s eye. They’re so popular there was even a fight over who had the most loo rolls today.
We’re using them even more now because recently we’ve been going back to basics with our HE resources. By this I mean that I’ve stopped buying any more!
A few months ago, J decided to quit his job and go self-employed (with my support). Up until that time we were lucky enough to let the girls attend any classes they desired, and I could supply them with any number of books and supplies I thought would interest them.
With a much reduced income, I have put a total halt on purchases I might have made from Amazon (my wishlist is getting longer and longer) and drastically cut their classes (which was fine as it turned out they were a bit ‘meh’ about them anyway).
It’s interesting that these sorts of changes are never as bad as you think they’re going to be, and can even change your life for the better.
For instance, I’ve cut back on tons of house-keeping stuff: I had a cleaner who has since been ditched and I’ve kind of embraced the cleaning some-what. I’m not saying I’m up for appearing on ‘How Clean is Your House’ but I’m a lot more into it than I used to be; I’ve ditched loads of cleaning products in favour of micro-fibre cloths – who knew that water could do as well as polish/bathroom cleaner/floor cleaner/window cleaner?; I’ve even ditched shampoo. Yes, I really have. Admittedly, that was more because I seem to be intolerant to most of them, but it’s a great saving nonetheless. I’ve made a load of other ‘Martin Lewis’ style changes but I won’t bore you with them all.
As for HE – there are so many groups and outings to go to, I now seriously consider each one as to whether I think the girls would actually love to go or whether it’s actually me who would love it more. At home, I have been pulling out long-forgotten resources that I bought long ago and haven’t been looked at much. I found stuff I’d forgotten I had, and probably would have re-bought if I hadn’t found them. The sausages are quite accepting of the fact that we don’t have a lot of money to spend and they already have more toys than they have time to play with. They’re really good at making games with very little (for instance, we have recently done a Frozen inspired coronation with a home-made orb and sceptre and today they were both raiding the junk modelling box again: D to make a car, M to continue making a tree house for a doll).
I keep thinking thank goodness the girls aren’t not in school: we can whittle down our outgoings to very little without worrying about school uniforms, shoes (the sausages live in wellies),petrol, school trips and all the other things you’re expected to donate towards.
I have to say that were we to become better-off again, I would probably stick with most of the changes we’ve made, although I may buy a bit more from Amazon. I kind of like living a simplified life and am now wondering how stupid I was to waste so much money on stuff we didn’t need!