- research the different kinds of home-schooling: unschooling, child-led education, homeschooling, schooling at home... there are differences (yes, some are very slight) in these terms and how they may affect your process
- check the home-education laws in your state
- follow the laws in your state regarding reporting, subjects to cover, testing, etc.
- do the minimum to follow the laws in your state, while creating or following a curriculum that imparts the exact knowledge of what YOU believe your children should learn.
Here's a simplification of our Tween's curriculum:
- writing (including reports, letters, business forms, essays, poems, short stories and journals)
- speaking (giving oral reports, making videos, reciting poems and other memorizations)
- reading (including classic literature - including The Hobbit, 1994, Hamlet, The Iliad, Moby Dick, Kidnapped, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone - poems, reports, instructions, etc.)
- language arts (grammar, spelling, vocabulary, greek and latin roots, and mythology
- math (basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, geometry, pre-algebra, and also balancing a checkbook, "consumer math", calculating interest and sales tax, etc.)
- history, civics/government, social studies, geography
- life science, physical science, space/astronomy, anatomy, earth science, etc.
- music (music appreciation, reading and playing an instrument)
- language (spanish, french, american sign language, etc.)
- art (art appreciation, fibers, painting, ceramics, basket-making, candle-making, etc)
- health (hygiene, nutrition, sexual reproduction, diseases, drugs, liquor, prescriptions, holistic healing) and physical education (sports, swimming, team events, exercising, jogging, marathon-prep)
- life skills (manners/etiquette, dating/courtship, marriage, family, your role as a father, frugal living, self-reliance, leadership, gardening, cooking, sewing, laundry, preserving harvests, auto and machinery repair, carpentry, construction, etc.)
- religion (if it applies)
- extra-curricular activities (cpr, first aid, volunteering at soup kitchens, coaching little league, political campaigns, etc. - these are very important to document when preparing for higher education like college)
This is just what's planned for our kid through high school years. He is averaging 6th grade at present, with the exception of math (lower grade levels there), so we still have another 6 grades (years) to complete our list.
Be sure to check out the above-mentioned website for more curriculum and schooling-at-home information.