So how are we "homeschooling on less" this year?
As the Deputy Headmistress sagely remarked this week, sometimes the best resource is just the one you already own. We are re-using or recycling several things that the older girls used in middle school: Apologia General Science (without the Windows 95 disc, though); Powerglide French; The Easy Grammar Plus. We are playing vocabulary games with a dictionary I've owned since university, and experimenting with a math board game that the Apprentice was given when she was really too young to appreciate it.
Under the mesmerizing influence of Hope for Homeschool's organizing posts, I did buy a bin for hanging file folders, and a beauty-ful purple binder at Staples. But most of the components of our (very modified) workboxing system have been recycled from four years ago, including peeling a few sticky-Velcro dots from containers that wouldn't work this year--wrong size, wrong shape--and re-sticking them on others.
We are using (or will be using) quite a few things collected at the thrift store.
Ambleside Online, and Donna Young's indispensable website. And the photo of Grandpa Munster in his lab that I printed out to decorate our science-stuff box.
We bought several packages of lined paper when The Big Mart had a door-crasher sale of 15 cents a pack.
Dollygirl decorated one binder with a collection of stickers, and a (really awesome) science binder with some printed-out photos of dolls doing science. Really.
Making a "Herman Munster's Citizenship Class" bookmark, with space for writing in new words or other notes, took a few minutes and a piece of cardstock. So it was almost free. (If you ever watch The Munsters, you know that being a good citizen is very important to Herman.)
Using the newspaper to pick out a few key current events was (more or less) free. We had the Premier of Ontario squeezing tomatoes at the farmer's market, a story about a local homeless shelter that's dealing with a health-department enforcement on where its food is prepared (no more home-baked brownies); and the fact that two world leaders don't want to sit almost-next to each other at the G-20 conference. Every kid understands what that's about, if not exactly why. (I am not meaning to make light of current serious world events; this was just a way to try to bring a very large story into a smaller compass.)
Letting Dollygirl wear her pajamas to school on Friday was, obviously, free. This was inspired by our first-week handicraft, a pair of doll pajamas. Dollygirl sewed the bottoms, I sewed the top. The doll in the pajamas came to school too.
Like they say on the commercials: priceless.