This book is worth far more than the cover price! Author Marilyn Rockett has been teaching, writing, and publishing about organization and home management for more than 20 years, and she distills much of that knowledge and experience into this single book with its companion charts.
Homeschoolers often have more trouble with the peripheral demands created by or related to homeschooling than they do with the educational aspects. Planning, organizing, juggling home maintenance demands, family relationships, and other issues can be overwhelming--too much to do and too little time for everything and everyone.
Marilyn comes to the rescue with plenty of wisdom and loads of practical advice. You'll be encouraged and motivated to get your life organized so that homeschooling can be a joy rather than one more burden.
In my opinion, one of the most valuable sections of this book is the "Record-keeping Made Easy" where Marilyn explains File-A-Plan. The free companion charts (available through a weblink) have forms and tools for helping to create your own filing system with its own indexes and guides. File-A-Plan covers homeschooling needs as well as household record keeping for things such as medical records, menu planning, and housework. You can select which categories of files to use to customize File-A-Plan to meet your needs. Marilyn has even included an archive category list for storing records that you are not likely to need. I especially appreciate Marilyn's tips on how to decide which files or categories are useful. In addition to the filing system, forms cover just about all of your homeschooling needs such as attendance records, curriculm planning, field trips, grading, lesson plans, projects, transcripts, and more.
Another of Marilyn's great ideas is her F-SHARP system for figuring out how to handle and route "paper"--mail, articles, catalogs, business cards, etc. She advises, "If you aren't able to retrieve paper, it is of no value to you." F-SHARP is a simple routing system that helps us dump what we don't need, and put the rest where it's easily retrievable.
Maybe you can tell that filing and organizing paper is one of my biggest problem areas! But those who find clutter, scheduling, and other issues more challenging will discover lots of help and practical advice too. (You might want to take the Clutter Quiz on page 43 to figure out whether or not clutter is something you need to address.)
While Marilyn writes about organization, she continually brings in the Christian perspective--a perfectly organized household is not the goal. She tells us, "The goal isn't neatness in itself, although reasonable neatness produces a more pleasing, productive, and peaceful place. It's easier for you to maintain order when you de-clutter; everyone in the family functions better. However, your true aim is to rid your life of detrimental clutter of all kinds. You will free yourself to produce fruit in important things and to teach your children good stewardship of possessions and time" (p. 45).
Homeschooling at the Speed of Life is a great book for new homeschoolers, but I'm certain that even long-time homeschool veterans will find tricks and tools here to make life run more smoothly.