What type of personality is your family--are you well organized with your time, or more relaxed? Do you enjoy paperwork or nature walks? Are you project-oriented, or would you rather read good books? Are you scheduled or spontaneous? If you know the dynamics of your family and your own teaching style, you will be better able decipher what will actually work for your family.
What kind of learner is your child? Does he learn better by seeing (visual), hearing (auditory), or doing (kinesthetic)? Will he learn better with textbooks, hands-on, narration, or a combination? Look only for things that are easy for your to use and that will enhance your child's ability to learn. Get practical and make a list for each child about what he needs, and keep it basic. Don't overwhelm yourself with extras that may not be necessary.
Your family is unique--you will be different from all others in your approach, your goals, and your convictions. As you go along and find out what works in your household, your personal style will begin to emerge. What is most important is that you are in unity with your spouse and that you know the heart of God for your own family.
Let's get a little more practical. If your children are very young and you are just beginning to homeschool, you will need only a few good resources. Your children must be taught to read, so they will need some type of phonics lessons. For writing, they can begin writing simple words on lined paper or you can find a resource to help them shape their letters. You'll need a good math book that covers the basics and offers repetition for reinforcement. Or, at this age, you can do it yourself: math manipulatives can be beans or blocks. Most likely you will not need anything extra that you don't already have around the house. And, of course, you should be reading to them daily: share good books about history, science, and just plain fun reading books.
A fun way for the whole family to learn is through unit-type studies. You can make your own by allowing the children to pick a topic they are interested in and then go to the local library for many of your resources. Keep a binder of what they learn and their drawings along the way. Throw in a few field trips and you will have provided a very successful learning experience.
This again is from a pamphlet that I received with my Old Schoolhouse magazine and was written by Deborah Wuehler. I will conclude this tomorrow with GETTING SUPPORT and FOR THE TEACHER.