When we first decided to home school our son we had so many questions and no one around to give us a direction. We were leaving the public school system for many reasons. we had went through a difficult time through out kindergarten and first grade years there. each day we went became more difficult until it started to get just down right traumatizing. we received multiple calls from the school daily telling us that we were a problem again and again. saying this to my son. Using every method they could including intimidation to try and "control" my son and we could see that it was beginning to damage his self esteem drastically. They had made him feel that if he wasn't just like everyone else then he was BAD. They even went so far to say that we needed to see a Doctor. because they felt that he may need medication in order for them to be able to deal with him. of course we went along (in protest) going to appointments for months. only for them to tells us what we already knew, that everything was fine and he was "normal".
BAH! "normal". That is when I knew for certain that the school system had failed us. Cast us to the side as a discipline problem and said they didn't have the resources to teach the way we needed.
So away I go researching on the Internet. Looking up the laws for my state. seeing what was required and looking at a dozen different curriculum's that we could order online. I was surprised to find that I could design our own curriculum we were only required to have a few basic core classes.
We were so excited. We ordered some work books and some CD ROM games got all the supplies and all the extra stuff and he was excited to be involved with helping pick out the curriculum, this was SO great to see. He was excited about school again!
As the school year went on we used the work books and supplies and they were great. all year long we, as we call it "played school games". I found that we were less stressed, in fact no stress, more confident and I was not having any of the problems from the previous years of school. He was ready to get started each day and if we ran into trouble we could quickly switch gears and move on to something else. I loved this our own schedule. We could do what we want when we want. Want to take science class to the field? Go for it!
I found learning comes without effort when you are learning for just discovery instead of just making sure you are "passing the standard test".
Best tip I can pass on that I learned this year? Keep it relaxed. There is no reason to wake up at the crack o' dawn putting pressure on not only your kid but you too. Work when you work best we are all different and that IS a GOOD thing.