What I used to get started homeschooling: This Idiot's Guide book is great.
I love how these things are written. Here are the chapter titles:
What is homschooling?
Homeschooling facts and figures
Quick answers to beginner's questions
Getting legal: alternatives to compulsory attendance
Approaches to home education
Choosing curriculum: so much to choose from
Sixth grade in a box: using a full service program
Out of the box: planning your own curriculum
Learning at home with 3 and 5 year olds
Homeschooling 6-8 year olds
Homeschooling 9-12 year olds
Teenagers and homeschool
Homeschooling kids with special needs
Testing Other assessments for measuring progress
Getting a grip - keeping burnout at bay
Self directed learning: the key to motivation
Dealing with doubts Involvement in the homeschool community
There is a glossary Curric. and web sites Homeschool support org. Independent study programs all in the appendix.
So I read this book and I renewed my subscription to Family Fun Magazine. It has great craft/party/experiment's/food info/travel info in it. I keep all of mine. I flip thru them at the beginning of the year and make notes on what might apply to our studies. They have a web site too to ref. stuff. That is it.
My first year was K - so we didn't have to do anything legal with the state of Ga. We read a lot from the kid's own books. Pretty easy way to get started. That was phase 1 of starting. Once I read that book, I made a list of goals for my kids for the school year. What did I want them to learn? The list looked long.
Well, I realized you can learn math skills, listening skills, following directions, socialization and home ec. all by helping mommy make brownies. A lot of things over lap. Now this next part may sound huge - don't panic. We wrote down long term goals we wanted for our kids before we sent them out into the world.
Abbie, who lives with us, is 20. She was homeschooled all 12 years. Yep - back before it was super cool. She helped her dad with his book keeping around the age of 13. She is really handy with tools because she helped her family build her house. (This makes them sound like pioneers...really they live at the beach and are very normal:) She is very capable & mature for her age. Her parents educated her for life..not just the next grade or the next standardized test. That is what we wanted for our kids. Yep - I want them to understand how to diagram a sentence...but I want them to also be able to balance a checkbook, plan and prepare a meal, do their own laundry, etc.
Steven Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ( I am second guessing the title all of the sudden...) he says to begin with the end in mind. Make a plan for how you want the year to turn out. If that doesn't freak you out too much - think 5 years...etc. These plans can change. You don't have to think of everything right now. Now, once you are overwhelmed by all the information and all you want your kids to learn.
Chill. Grab a Dr. Pepper and some chocolates. Watch a movie. (I ALWAYS suggest Pride and Prejudice - the BBC version on DVD...but a nice musical is always a lovely diversion). Then go back and really only focus on what you need for this year. 1 year at a time. Sometimes I only think about 6 weeks at a time. Keep you notes from these early times. How wonderful a thing to look back on one day. Just remember - everything you know, you learned You have a vast experience in learning You have taught your child a ton already so you have experience teaching.