This year is our 3rd year of homeschooling. I have a 5 year old daughter who is doing 1st grade level and a 2 1/2 year old who is starting Preschool level work. Although I am not new to homeschooling this will be our 1st year following the Classical Method outlined in "The Well Trained Mind" by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. I took the last two months of our summer and basically wrote my enire curriculum plan for the year and gathered my materials. I don't think I spend more than $300.00 this year for both kids. Did you know the average Public School education cost the state about 5,000.00 a student. We are no where near that are we?
This is also our 1st year on an early schedule. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can set your own schedule to works best for your family. I was starting pretty late last year and notice it was blocking up my day so I have made an effort to get up earlier this year and kick things into gear so we can be done with academics by 1:30 at the latest. So far it is working great. We wake up at 8:ooam and the children do there chores(clean there room, make beds, and brush teeth, sometimes put on clothes) and then we eat and sometime around 9am or 9:30am we get started.
The last big change we have had this year that has been a God sent is incorporating Workboxes into our organization process. There is a woman who has a program she started called workboxes to better organize the homeschool student to get them to be more time efficient and work more independently. Here name is Sue Patrick and she started the Sue Patrick Workbox System. Here is her website: http://www.workboxsystem.com
Here is also a link for others who have implimented the system and they have posted pics as well: http://docs.google.com/View?docID=dwstdgn_447mphsmf8&revision=_latest
Although the system is for sale I being the resourceful budget concious person I am decided to create my own based off her concept with materials I had lying around or got from the dollar store and target. The things I do different is I use Magazine holders rather than the racks and I don't have my children clock there time in and out. I don't want to stress time more than completion of assignment and comprehension. I just made some labels on the computer and laminated it with clear contact paper and put a velcro tab on the back. So when she finishes a subject she rips the tab and places it in the bag. This way the child can keep track of there progress during the day. They always know how much they have left as well as being able to start on subjects that don't require your direct instruction while you try to lay a baby down for a nap or get your toddler settled in with some play dough or coloring sheet. My preschooler has some index card totes that I call his workboxes also that hold his beading strings, lacing cards, matching cards, dinosars and frog figures, and other things. When my 1st grader switches to a new workbox he gets a new workbox too. This has been like the "Wheel" so far in this house and we are only 3 weeks into the school year.