2. Don't worry about preschool, either. It's called "living with three- and four-year-olds." Have fun with them. Make stuff. Invite them into the kitchen. Get outside. Learn to love glitter (or at least tolerate it.)
3. The strengths and weaknesses you see in your children when they're six years old will be (for the most part) the same things you see when they are ten, or fifteen, or eighteen. Build on the strengths. Help them find ways to shore up their weak areas, but don't define them by the weaknesses.
4. Don't worry about when they read, just that they do read. And are read to. Stay focused on a love of books and learning, and whether reading clicks at age four or age eight won't matter. (I had "early" readers and a "late" reader, but the "late" reader is now voracious, an avid reader who gobbles up great books. I'm so grateful we never labeled her "late", which might have deceived her into believing that reading wasn't her thing.)
5. At-home schedules (i.e., "Breakfast at 8" or "Math is always at 9") make me cranky and they don't work for me. Routines, however, and "pegs" help me thrive. Read about pegs here, from Leonie (to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for the idea and the label) and here, from Lissa.*
6. There are all kinds of gaps in education. My daughters have gaps. Your kids have gaps. Students in public and private schools have gaps. I have gaps. They are inevitable, unless you're the Omniscient God. Which I am not. Accept it: there will be gaps. Then spend your whole life filling them with astonishing, interesting, stimulating new things.
7. Blog. Or scrapbook. Or keep files. Or take loads of pictures. Find your best way to keep a record. On bad days, you can look over your blog/scrapbook/bulging files/photo albums and see that you have, indeed, been doing good stuff. Lots of it.
8. Things that don't look at all like "school" can be extraordinarily educational.
9. A lot of people are petrified of homeschooling through high school. I was scared, too. Worried that I could not do it justice. I might not have. (See "Gaps", above.) But we did it. We took it one year at a time. Now my eldest child will be graduated from "homeschooling" to "the real world" after spending the last twelve years in the real world, homeschooling. It's possible. It's fun. It makes for a great family relationship.
10. There will be times of teetering standards. Days of doubt. There will be angst and worry. Keep going. Unless you live in a Soma-saturated Brave New World, you will have bad days. That's not a bad thing. That's called life.
11. There will be changes in your homeschooling ideas and philosophies. But don't worry about that. Think of yourself as the Shark of Homeschooling: you have to keep moving or you die.
12. Couldn't colleges could save a lot of money and lower their tuition if they'd stop sending us all those glossy promotional materials?
* ETA: The links about pegs are broken. Here's a link to Melissa Wiley's blog that explains pegs.