The Frugal Kids are going to school…

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We’ve been homeschooling our kiddos for the past 2.5 years, it’s been an amazing journey and season of life.  The past couple of years have been wonderful, we’ve loved the opportunity to speak life into our children’s hearts, to see the first of many accomplishments, and the freedom that comes with making our own school/work schedule.

However the past 6 months haven’t been the same, we’ve been hanging onto the homeschooling lifestyle with white knuckles and making it work, for better or worse.  The truth is, and it’s tough to admit, I haven’t been able to enjoy the kids as I should be.  Between work, keeping up our home, finding a church, and learning our new community here in Bend (without any family nearby) we’ve been flat-out overwhelmed.  Now don’t get me wrong, I adore being a mom but being a teacher just isn’t in the cards for me, I struggled week by week for over 2 years to find a normalcy to our school day.  Mr. Frugal took over teaching this year and I’ll admit he did a MUCH better job than I had done, but still it wasn’t flowing and we couldn’t find a happy rhythm.   We tried several different methods, took breaks to reevaluate, and kept finding ourselves in the same boat.

We always said we’d take it year by year and as the Lord leads we’ll follow, I never expected to make a change mid-year but the timing is right and things have fallen into place.   When the thought came to mind of public school, I panicked.  I started to imagine every worst case scenario there could be about sending the kids to school, I was making myself sick with worry.  I’ve been there for everything and the thought of not being there to catch them when they fall (literally or not) was almost too much to bear. I prayed, a lot.  I cried, a lot.  Then as I’ve experienced in the past a rushing peace swept over me and I knew the decision we were to make was going to be a good one, the kids are going to thrive.

So we enter yet another new season of life, and once again I’m excited to see what’s in store.  Does this mean we’ll never homeschool again?  Absolutely not, we’ll keep on our year by year method as long as we need it.  I wanted to share this because I know that there is a stigma out there about one way or the other being the “right” way to do things.  I wanted to encourage you that every family is unique and there is no such thing as the one right way to do things.   Keeping the family’s needs as a whole in perspective, this is the decision we’ve come to.

Of course I missed the crazy good Lands End Backpack deals, oh and I just have to share this really funny story that happened a week or so ago…

I was out shopping with Tyler, my almost 6 year old when I heard him say “Hey mom, look!  They have tiny suitcases for sale here!”  I turned to see what he was talking about, and about died laughing as a few other moms were nearby – they were lunchboxes.  My kids will have many new experiences coming at them it seems!

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  1. Shelley Scarborough says:

    Bend has LOVELY schools, Julia! Are you divulging which school they are attending? Mine go to Ponderosa Elementary and WE LOVE IT THERE! Hope to run into you in the halls :)

    • Feel free to email me privately, but no that’s not our school (this year at least).

      How old are your kids? We have 4, 6, 8, and 10 year olds. The 4 year old is still in preschool though.

    • Oh and I should add, that was a major factor for us. Where we lived in CA, public school really wasn’t an option and especially not at the time since I could feasibly keep them home. I didn’t have to work outside the home, so it worked perfectly. For a season I suppose.

  2. We did the same thing this year! I have tried homeschooling for 3 years and could not find a happy place for any of us!!! We just moved back to Medford and put our kids in public school….I will be praying for you!!!!

    • Another Oregonian, nice to meet you and thank you! How are your kids doing? Was it a shock to them or you?

      • Anonymous says:

        My girls (5th and K) are loving it and are glad to be in it… My son (3rd) is adjusting slowly but he is doing good. It has been hard for me in the same way as it was for you but God has given me peace. I know he will use all things for their good…. A scary journey though!!!

  3. love the lunch box story

  4. It was pretty funny. Never needed one, lol.

  5. I might have considered the same this year–especially with one of my kids, but when we decided to buy the house we did, we knew that it was also a decision to continue to homeschool indefinitely. The gang activity and high level of drugs in our school district (although nowhere near our house) preclude me from ever being able to make that choice.

  6. Oh that’s a tough one, I completely understand. What a blessing that you are in fact able to school them at home.

  7. Debbie Jewell says:

    I also homeschooled my children for a couple years and then decided to put them in public school. One was in third grade and one was in fifth. They are now a senior in high school and a sophmore in college. They did very well. We did put them in a smaller school to start but then they went to the main high school and did well.

    I pray that God blesses your family as you go through this change.


  8. Wishing you the best of luck as you & the kids embark on a new journey! I also cried tears when we decided to transfer the kids to public school from their nice Catholic school (for financial reasons). Luckily, they are in a top-performing public school. I keep an eye on them by volunteering occasionally in their classrooms and at school events. Why don’t you look into that?

    • We’ll both be volunteering, without a doubt! Thanks for sharing your story too! We’re blessed to be in a good school district too, makes the change much easier to accept.

  9. i will keep you and your kiddos in my prayers. may the lord bless all of you with amazing teachers and new friends.

  10. I run a coupon blog as well and homeschool my kids.
    We have said we will take it year by year as well.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your honesty!

  11. Halima H. says:


    I know it was a tough decision, but I can tell you (because I teach in a public school), that the kids who thrive are the kids who have very involved parents. There is no doubt that you are one of those!

  12. Eve Gallegos says:

    Praying that the Lord brings the right teachers and friends into your kids lives. I live in Brentwood, CA and teach 7th grade in Tracy at a public school. They aren’t all scary places- plus, it sounds like you guys have instilled the right morals into your kids lives. I say: way to go for being open and knowing what is best (at the moment) for your family. God will honor your decisions!!

  13. Jennifer Brown says:

    I totally understand the homeschool this year, not this year type of thing. I literally pray every year and continue to pray that I’ve made the right move even after the school year has begun. I can see the great benefits of both and the downsides! I’ll keep your family n prayer! This year we have 4 in public school and I homeschool our youngest! The worst “homeschool” year ever was when our youngest had open heart surgery…so we homeschooled out of necessity (to prevent infection from exposure with other children.) I had one child on oxygen and getting barely any sleep meanwhile making lesson plans and reteaching myself Algebra (to teach the older children)! I drank ALOT of coffee that year. Blessings!

  14. Susanna Burke says:

    Another homeschooling mommy here, just wanted to chime in and thank you for sharing your decision so honestly AND doing what is right for your family, right now. I totally understand the thought process you have gone through to arrive at that decision, and maybe that is a big part of the reason God moved you guys north? It is not easy, either way, but I can tell just from this post you are peaceful about it. I hope that they each find a “tiny suitcase” that they love (GIGGLE!), and thrive in the new situation!

  15. Home school, public or private, what matters is that you are an active parent in their education and they will be a success. I am sure that you children will do great because you are there for them. Good luck.

  16. Linda Dietz says:

    Been there, done that! The key is to listen to the Lord & follow His leading…which is exactly what you are doing! He has a specific plan for each child & each family. We public-schooled, homeschooled & then private schooled(and He provided the extra income needed for that!) In God’s economy, there is no “one size/style fits all! Great is His Faithfulness!

  17. Did the same thing. When I chose to homeschool, unlike you I did it for the wrong reasons. Pretty much all my friends at Church were and all the conversations scared me. I then thought man I should homeschool mine too. Well I quickly realized that was not the right decision for our family or my kids. Hard decision to make, but if you are being lead by the Holy Spirit really there is no better decision :)

  18. Maryann Parcasio Clark via Facebook says:

    Happy First Day of School Frugal Kids!

  19. Kristina Bakker VandenHeuvel via Facebook says:

    Yes, Happy First Day!!

  20. Becky File Moodie via Facebook says:

    Best wishes!!!

  21. Vonda Denny via Facebook says:

    We homeschool as well and follow the year-to-year/lots of prayer model for whether to continue or utilize public school. I find great comfort in knowing that either way, God is in charge and He loves my babies more than I can fathom. His plans are always better than mine. Happy transition!!

  22. Jana pierce says:

    Thank you for sharing! We are here in oregon too, about 1.5 hours from bend in the valley. I have found that growing up in the church there is a culture of homeschooling (or at least private chriatian school) and as our kids enter school we have prayerfully considered our options and whats best for our family and feel called to out them in public school. I am always hesitant when people ask our plans becuase I feel the judgement coming when I say they are going to public school. Our philosophy has always been year by year as each child needs (which may lead to different paths for,each kid)…but its refreshing to hear the acceptance and r
    Reminder that we ought not judge, thank you for your open heart!

    especially in Christ we shoukd nit judge eachothers decisions :)

  23. Erin Finney via Facebook says:

    What a great ministry this could turn out to be! Connecting with parents and families…the first thing I thought of when I read the post was that this is such an opportunity blessed by God!

  24. Caitlin M. says:

    Good luck to you and your family tomorrow. This new chapter will be a fun adventure for all of you. Best wishes!

  25. Jayme Newsom via Facebook says:

    Good luck, and God Bless!!

  26. Blessings to you and your family today. Praying school is a big hit and for peace for Mom!

  27. Thank you everyone, it was very encouraging to read these comments this morning! Erin, yours came at the perfect time too – thank you!!

  28. Julia, although I do not homeschool, our district offers the opportunity to homeschool part-time and allow children to attend selected classes at the school. All classes are offered; music, art, phys ed, math, english, foreign language, etc.. Have you checked if your district has that possibility?

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