cubanito and I were talking this morning about what my family does for home education, and I decided I'd just post this up here in case it would be helpful for anyone else. Over the past 30+ years we've been all over the map, from buying a complete curriculum-in-a-box from a big publishing house and trying to do 'institutional school at home' to straight up unschooling (no structure at all, all self-discovery). Currently we're using a blended approach featuring the following four building blocks: Discovery K-12 (online, structured daily work, free) Just ran across this last year. Provides daily structure in several subjects, with testing and daily reporting so I know what they're up to. They ignore the math section (see below) and do all the rest. Provides general exposure to a lot of information they wouldn't otherwise come across, and it's on a regular, predictable schedule. I look at their report/email each day after they finish and ask questions if I need to. Otherwise it's pretty self-contained. Khan Academy (online, self-directed, free) Khan is a huge player, maybe the biggest, in free online education. Started by Salman Khan about 10 years ago when he made some short videos to help his nephews with their math work. Has expanded greatly since then, aided partly by a big grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and covers more subjects than just math. Kids do this at their own pace, and I get a weekly email that details how many minutes each student spent on the site that I can drill down on if I have questions. I push "time on task" but otherwise let them decide what they're going to learn about. Life of Fred (set of books, can be read to younger students or self-paced for older, $$) Gotta credit FollowingHim and FollowingHim2 for introducing me to these delightful books. I read these to the 9-year-olds and they love them (the 13 & 17 get their math from Khan). Good Daddy time, too. Math facts and skills presented in the course of a narrative about, well, the life of Fred—that is, Fred Gauss, a 5-year-old mathematics professor at Kittens University. Math is learned from 'real-life' applications in the story, rather than as isolated skills with the occasional forced, unengaging 'word problem'. Not just math, either, as the author introduces all kinds of cultural and literary information as well as moral lessons. Books new at retail are $16/each, but you can get them used on ebay in great condition for less. Unschooling (life adventures, self-paced, self-directed, cost varies) The kids typically finish all the above between breakfast and lunch, leaving the afternoons free for pursuing their interests. We have what we refer to as "constructive free time", which includes basically anything they're interested in as long as they're not just wasting time or 'veg-ing'. They go through interesting phases along the way; for example, Paul made a solar panel out of a CD jewel box, studied navigation, and learned to fletch arrows, among other things, before he really focused in on his work as a musician. Media At the end of the 'business day', typically right before dinner, assuming all other stuff is finished and cleaned up, they each get 30' of 'electronics time' (video games or youtube browsing or whatever). Obviously they spend other time on electronic appliances (the 9's each use a hand-me-down laptop for school; Neil bought his own laptop over a year ago, Hannah shares a MacBook with me for music stuff and is about to buy her own). The free time on electronics has more to do with borrowing an iPad or getting on the X-box for R&R. Other thoughts When all the kids were younger (my oldest is 36, youngest is 9), we started them reading with Sing, Spell, Read & Write and the McGuffey Readers. We tried the Robinson Curriculum and Saxon Math, among other things, but never really got any traction. All of my kids are voracious readers, but that's partly because I never made them read anything they didn't enjoy. The object is to expose them to opportunities to learn and then try not to screw it up as they figure out for themselves where their interests lie. I want kids who are motivated, curious, auto-didacts who know how to ask good questions and solve their own problems. The 'joy of discovery' is a thing, and it's amazing what a curious child can learn left to his or her own devices.