Your Family's Incredible Lifestyle Begins HERE – With Homeschooling
Wednesday September 19th 2018

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What’s Old Is New Again

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Mom was dying of cancer.

Always a practical sort, she penned a simple note – in her picture-perfect penmanship – divvying up her favorite worldly possessions. The gifts my sisters and I had bestowed upon her over the years would soon come back to each of us.

The exception to our own gifts was the collection of what you might call “chunky costume jewelry,” some of which was hers; some of which had belonged to her mother.

“Don’t throw it away,” Mom wrote. “One day it will come back into fashion.”

One might say somewhere down in the depths of DNA, frugality is in my nature, inherited from dear old Mom. But that frugality was also nurtured through life events, the most significant of them being the act of homeschooling.

Have a family contest to see who can research and find the most additional ways your clan can be frugal. Oh, the things they'll learn.

Have a family contest to see who can research and find the most additional ways your clan can be frugal. Oh, the things they'll learn.

Many of you have also learned how to make do with less and, more importantly, do so with a smile.

Compared to many others during this economic crisis, I’d like to remind you that you’re in relatively good shape.

After all, you haven’t grown accustomed to relying on a $4.00 cup of coffee to wake you up on the way to work every day. You haven’t frequented restaurants for so long that you don’t know how to cook. The thrift shop sales girls are already holding the “good stuff” for you because they know you’ll be in soon.

Whether by virtue of parental wealth, “proper” schooling, and/or great timing in inhabiting a body during an economic hey-day, many in this country have never known anything different than having a whole lot of things. What a wonderful time to be a homeschooled child!

While other children continue being programmed by their schooling to think their worth is measured by the square footage of their homes, the value of the clothing they don in the morning, or the cost of the cars their parents drive, yours can learn how to budget, build, sew, cook, garden, recycle, and save energy.

As other kids sleep through trigonometry class, yours can make a few bucks on eBay, deliver newspapers, mow the neighbor’s lawn, and build the knowledge base necessary for self-sufficiency, self-motivation, self-employment, and self-knowledge.

Your children have lots of time to learn there is a difference between what they might want and what they really need. They can develop a common sense aversion to needlessly spending money. They can discover that the less you take, the easier it is to put back; that living lightly on the earth ultimately bestows more control over one’s own destiny than any other lifestyle available.

Have a family contest to see who can research and find the most additional ways your clan can be frugal. Oh, the things they’ll learn.

Once upon a time, I used to be embarrassed in the land o’ plenty to admit how little I get by on, how my lifestyle was the antithesis of those by whom I’m daily surrounded. At this stage in my life, I’ve lost count of how many times and don’t care anymore. At some point along the way I came to accept how I am and, eventually, embrace it. And now, look at the fashion and economic news.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of ordinary human beings, a way of life that once embarrassed me has come back into style – frugality is the new black! At the very same time, Mom’s and Grandma’s chunky jewelry graces store shelves and the necks of famous models (selling for what is likely 100 times what they paid for theirs).

Mom was right. What’s old is new again. Keep on smiling. I know Mom is.

This piece originally appeared in “The Road Less Traveled” column by Linda Dobson in Home Education Magazine; 1-2/09
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