For the past three years, the kids have been enrolled in a program set up by a local private school that provides us with $1000 (per kid) worth of funding toward the kids' various activities in exchange for a little bit of weekly reporting on my part. The school is based on a strong belief in child-led learning, so they are very unschooling friendly, and the kids have never been affected by their enrollment - they live their lives, I write up a synopsis of what they get up to, and our facilitator turns that into "educationese" in order to satisfy the government body holding the purse strings. So far, so good. I'm well aware that, according to the government, we aren't actually considered homeschoolers because of our affiliation with this school (it irks the hell out of me, but I've learned to live with it) - but then again, I'm not really homeschooling for political reasons (although I guess we all are to some extent).
We're lucky here in BC, because we have the choice to opt out of the education system and teach our children however we want, no questions asked. That's how we did it for the first few years, but as the kids got older and wanted to take more and more classes, the pull of the funding was pretty hard to turn down.
My reason for saying all this is that I'm thinking of pulling out of the program because of the work that lies ahead of us with the building of our house. My husband and I are planning to do most of the interior finishing ourselves over the coming fall/winter, and I don't foresee having a lot of spare time on my hands. The only problem is, we need the school funding now more than ever! The $1000 barely covers music lessons, and there's still photography, Capoeira, and gymnastics to pay for (and now we've discovered a really cool "knight training" class)!
I think it's pretty obvious that we can't continue with this particular program. There is the possibility of switching to the government's DEL (Distance Education) program, which offers the same funding and only requires a portfolio per term rather than daily input, but they're also more "schooly" in their expectations and therefore less unschooling friendly (I don't really care if my kids learn about the first World War in grade 10 or grade 2).
I guess my other options are to try and come up with a way for us to do our own fundraising (Bake sales? Handmade greeting cards with the kids' artwork?), or to cut back on activites, which I don't want to do.
How do the rest of you make your homeschooling ends meet?