Our family will begin our twentieth year of homeschooling this fall. I have had good success educating my children. One daughter is a paralegal and a stay at home mother who homeschools her own children, and another daughter is a stay at home mother with children in gifted classes at school. My oldest son is in his third year of law school at the University of Virginia, the next son works in an organic butcher shop and another son is attending the University of Texas in Austin this fall. My almost 17 year old son is taking classes at the local community college. The younger ones are still homeschooling.
Our school day never lasts for more than two hours. After all, I am not only a homeschooling mommy, but I have a house to care for, meals to cook, laundry and dishes to wash, and toddlers to care for, too. Here is how to teach your children, from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
Begin teaching your children to read when they are around six years old. I don’t worry about teaching anything else until my child can read on a second grade level, because once that is accomplished, homeschooling is fairly simple. Sit aside about 45 minutes for lessons each day. One of the best text books I have found is “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” by Siegfried Engelmann. We do one to two lessons a day, and then I read to them, usually a character building book such as “The Book of Virtues” by William Bennett, or the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, along with a story from a Bible storybook.
It is important to read out loud to child every day, even several times a day. Always be on the lookout for books to add to your home library so your child never runs out of good books to read by himself. Being exposed to quality books all the time teaches a child proper English and spelling.
When the child is reading on a second grade level, began to teach math. We use flash cards and CD’s from http://www.audiomemory.com/ that are simply the math facts put to music. Using manipulatives will also make learning the basics more fun. Once your child has the math facts memorized, you can start him in Saxon Math’s fifth grade text book (http://saxonhomeschool.hmhco.com/). Saxon Math textbooks will take you all the way through the 12th grade. You will likely not need anything else.
Take your children on a lot of field trips. Get a museum and zoo pass. Join a local homeschool support group, and if possible, a homeschooling co op, where parents take turns teaching various subjects. This will give your child a chance to be with peers. A support group will sometimes offer classes, too, on subjects you may not feel qualified to teach, such as a foreign language or even Algebra.
Have your child write an essay every day. In the beginning, they can just copy from the Bible or another book. But once they begin to be able to spell, have them write you a short paper on anything they want. You can check their spelling, punctuation, grammar, and other English skills by checking their essay. Correct them gently so it will still be fun. You will also learn what your child is thinking about.
As the child gets older, let him lead the way with what he wants to learn. As long as he is learning something every day, he can study on his own and learn in a shorter time what it would take years for you to teach with a textbook.
Lastly, as your child reaches the eleventh or twelfth grade, visit your local community college. They have programs to allow your child to take classes for college credits while still in high school. Usually they can take at least two classes, and this is exciting and beneficial for the child.
Here are two online sources for good information on how to homeschool your child without boring textbooks and stress. I have my own children to show that this kind of teaching works very well.