I'm very new to this great adventure myself, but I have already made good and bad decisions. I thought maybe if I share my triumphs and mistakes, you'll be able to navigate more smoothly through this wonderful journey.
First of all I would say "RELAX"!!! You can do this!!! The statistics are greatly in your favor. I read somewhere that homeschooled kids are on average at least two grades ahead of there peers. So if you take it slow (which I strongly recommend) the first year don't sweat it. They will catch up, and probably pass kids their age, quickly!
Second (which was some of the best advice I received) if you are taking your children out of public school; they will need some time to de-stress. This may take a month, three months, or even a year. Just recongnize that this will be an adjustment for them and if you force them to "do school" before they are ready it will be very unproductive and cause alot of contention in your home.
So in the mean time I would suggest taking this time for getting to know your child again. What is he interested in? Go and do some of those things. Go for walks together, play board games together, do chores (yes I said chores) together. You'd be surprised how much closer a family can become when working together. Plus if you do them together they become more like a game then work. Ha Ha!
But most of all just have fun together. This is how children learn best anyways. There's something to learn in every situation. Don't fool yourself into believing that just because your kids aren't doing worksheets that they aren't learning. Children are ALWAYS learning. Shhh! You'll know when they are ready to start school. That's when they start asking questions again. This natural curiosity has probably just been in hibernation. The reawaking of their love of learning will be something beautiful to behold.
Trust yourself and your ability to teach your children! This is very important!!! Heavenly Father would not have blessed you with his precious little ones without also bestowing on you all the intuition and talents, though sometimes hidden, needed to nurture and teach them. So don't listen to those who don't understand the the sacred call you've been given to serve your children.
Also don't be tricked into thinking that HSing has to be just like public school. You know... sitting in a desk all day reading boring text books and completing mindless assignments. This is one of the quickest ways to see your child's love of learning go quickly back into hibernation. I know a lot of you live in states that have strict rules and regulations on what you can and cannot do. But that doesn't me that you can't think outside the box. Do what your state asks; but make sure you add lots of color to the bland palette they have provided. Your child deserves for you to learn how to stretch your imagination.
And oh yeah turn off the TV as much as possible!!! Or what ever electronic device that may be robbing precious time away from you and your family. This has been one of my biggest temptations. I thought I was cured of my tv addiction but then I started spending way too much time on the computer. My friend told me that's not being cured. Nope that is called cross addition. Oh well, and I thought I was doing so well. Any ways... I've seen first hand through my own children how these electronic devices have hurt their ability to soak up the simpler pleasures in life. Without the distraction of constantly moving images, it's very hard for them to concentrate. I pray that in time I am able to heal this unintentional harm that I've inflicted upon my children. But in order to over come a bad habit you have to replace it with a good one. I'm striving to replace the evil, lol, devices with good books and the healing power of nature. This is my biggest goal this year. I'm sure this will be a bumpy road and that I'll fall off the wagon many, many times but I hope I'm able to keep my eyes on the prize. Ok, how did this become about me? Focus, Haben! Well I hope it helps to know that I'm working on mastering these things too.
I also hope you will take courage when mistakes are made. None of us are perfect. And we aren't asked to be. Baby steps, one foot in front of the other. Don't worry we'll all get there. And really it's not the pace that matters, but the journey along the way. WOW that was an overload of cliques!!! Sorry bout that, I'll try to be more original next time. Still stuck inside the box, Haben