Intros…Failures…and Successes

Hi guys!!  Welcome to Chaos and Grace. This being a brand new blog and all, I wanted to introduce myself for those that don’t know me.  My name is Jen, I live with my husband Marc, and our 4 kiddos ranging from toddler to almost teen, in the rural Midwest.  In 2011, our oldest son became very ill and the doctors couldn’t figure out why.  He ended up missing a ton of school, and falling behind.  For that, and several other reasons (that’s a story for another time), we decided it was time for me to stop working outside of our home, and start homeschooling our children.  Financially, we were ok. We weren’t rollin’ or anything even close to it, but we could pay our bills, eat, save a little, and go out from time to time.

Then, in 2012, the recession hit us hard. My husband’s company decided to change the way they structured their pay and we went from middle class to under the poverty line…fast.  After a few months of struggling hard, I decided that something had to give, and it had to be us.  We decided to drastically change our lifestyle.  Enter frugal living and homesteading.  Now, I wasn’t raised in a frugal household so this was a new concept for me.  I had to learn from friends, took a little advice from a few family members, and watched a LOT of YouTube videos, to figure out exactly how to do this and still have enough money to stay home and homeschool.  It was something that we felt very convicted about.  We felt that the Lord was calling us to make these changes in our lives. We felt that homeschooling was what we were supposed to be doing.  I was dedicated.  Passionate.  Obsessed.  Whatever you want to call it…. I was it. You see, I have a very strong belief that if I fail at my children, I fail at life.  I believe that they are my purpose and, like all mothers, I want to do it right with the one and only chance I have.

Slowly but surely, I learned the meaning of “a penny saved, is a penny earned.”  I learned how to whittle down our grocery bill, how to negotiate on bills, what things were expendable and what wasn’t.  I learned how to garden and preserve our food through the rough midwestern winter months.  My husband spent more time hunting for our meat.  I bartered home made crafts for necessities.  But most importantly, I learned how to homeschool on a VERY tight budget while not compromising on my children’s education.

Fast forward to 2017…my husband is with a new company, and loves what he does. That right there, is a blessing in itself.  Even though we are in a much better financial situation, we still maintain our frugal lifestyle.  We enjoy the simpler way of living, we feel closer to God, and we feel that the education we are providing for our children is one that will bless them throughout their entire lives.

So there it is….us in a nutshell.  So what does all that mean?  It means I want to share what I’ve learned with you.  Especially about homeschooling.  Homeschooling is an amazing blessing, but it’s also very challenging mentally, emotionally, and financially. I want you to be inspired.  I want you to feel empowered and encouraged to walk the path that God has laid before you.  I want you to overcome your obstacles and learn to work with what you’ve been given, to be successful and content in your homeschool.

That is my goal here.

So….What are your goals? What do you struggle with in your homeschool? What would you like to learn to do better?