Dear homeschooling parent of young students,
I've homeschooled my four children for over 10 years now (3 are now working, 2 are adults w/ 1 in college & the other in second level management )
Please take my sage-old advice - don't stress the elementary years.
You can even unschool and work on the fundamentals like how to spell their name, count, and abc with fun songs. Unless you are planning on enrolling your babies in Public School at some point; don't stress the elementary years.
You'll be surprise how much they learn by having fun, through games, and exploring the world around them. This will truly create a love of learning.
Focus on "book-smarts" during middle school years 6-8th and be ready to buckle down seriously for highschool years. 9th-12th. Depending on what college they want to go to; check ahead and see what requirements they have for homeschoolers. My daughter attends a very Homeschool Friendly College that required no transcripts or anything formal from Homeschoolers.
(she has made the Dean's list and near her second year)
I tell all new-to-homeschooling parents and homeschooling parents of young ones - don't sweat the elementary years. Again, if you think you will eventually enroll your child into public school (hopefully you can always homeschool) then you want to try to keep them at the level of their peers in each subject.
(I did this to a degree starting middle school by checking what local grades required and structured my homeschooling books|lessons from using that as a guide) Elementary grades especially K-3rd - Play, mama play! Teach through play. Teach while cleaning, cooking, making but in a very 'have fun with mommy' way. Then when it's time later to full-on teach; you should have a child that is eager to learn what they need. Follow-up at the end of the day with 'hey did you learn something new today?' (let them teach you want they learnt)
It really sticks with children when they have taught what they need to know.
Kindergarten = learn while playing.
learn to spell name. learn abc. learn to count to 20+
1st grade = workbook fun.
learn to write name, abc, numbers, basic reading through sounding out
basic addition and subtraction
Here is where we get stressed. We want to be the ones to educate our children but so often we hold ourselves and our children up to public school standards for children. But guess what? Public School children are struggling. The system is jacked up and has been for a very long time. They moved from 'mastering skills' per year to 'learning for test' with "no child left behind" and "common core". Back before these were implemented; we spent an entire year per grade on 1-3 concepts. We had time to Master these concepts since the year was spent learning and practicing them. Now children are spoon fed very quickly one concept after another. Slow down. Learn it for life not just for tests. ♥
I promise you success if you love the processes of teaching, they'll love the processes of learning. Moving too fast, stressing the young years, and trying to compete with Government Schooling's (failed) format will cause you to become overwhelmed, full of doubt, and this will in-turn effect your child's approach to future learning. ♥♥