I confess, we are not a "curriculum following" homeschooling family. I've tried a few and there is always something that doesn't quite fit in with what or how we want to study a topic.
So, we customize. Yep, it's a bit more work and I'm definately a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of educator. If there is something that interests us (or me), then we try and study it. I do plan out the topics and books ahead of time, but exactly "how" we study the subjects evolves over the school year. It's a constant series of adjustments to see what works and doesn't.
The boys have always been homeschooled. We started when L1 was 2 years old and our current church had a bunch of kids his age. The moms all got together once a week and did preschool lessons. What FUN that was! The schooling system where we lived at the time was not the greatest, so it seemed like a natural fit for us.
Hubby was homeschooled for much of his schooling and I really wanted to be homeschooled my Senior year of High School.
Moving to Pennsylvania about 5 years ago, we decided to continue on. L2 is a grade or 2 ahead; Mr. Smarty pants. He's actually doing 7th grade work with L1 since he CAN do it and it's easier just to combine the 2 older boys. L4 is a grade ahead in Math and does 2nd grade level reading and writing. L1 and L3 are right on par. There is something really wonderful about educating your own children. You really have to take a step back and get out of the "classroom" mode and realize that education is an atmosphere. We are all constantly learning. Sure there are basic skills to acquire, and all of the boys easily master those skills. We also need to learn the skills of communicating, writing, researching, how things work, and how "to work."
Sadly, our environment doesn't support a good work ethic for children. I'm so thankful that I started working at age 14 and babysitting at age 11. My parents instilled a great work ethic in me. I wish that the boys could have outside jobs already. Since they can't, we try to give them regular chores and work to do. It's definately a challenge for me. My hubby is great at coming up with things for the boys to work on!
I'll be posting some fun stuff we do, places we visit, and materials that we come up with. There isn't any "one" way to homeschool and I hope you are inspired in some way.