I am a fourtysomething Home educating parent of 2 boys aged 10 and 7 or as they would say almost 11 and 7 and a half! My Husband and I have always HEded our boys. Initially it was for 1 year at a time ie till we thought they were school ready and then till they were reading well and well now we like it so much we will probably be carrying on into the uncharted territory of secondary education(for us that is).
I tend to use a unit study approach and we top up the maths and English by using KUMON maths and English worksheets. Initially when the boys were small I used or rather adapted a American system called 5-in-a-row and later wrote an article about it for the HEAS magazine. It is great and we still use this aproach combined with Lapbooking (googleseach lapbooks) as we were struggling to come up with a format where we had any evidence of work done - that is for our own benifit rather than the LEA's. We have always been known to our local LEA and have a fantastic relationship and find them very supportive which has been great.
Back to 5-in-a- row, it is an approach that is very compatible with Charlotte Maison's educational views, of which I am a fan. Basically one takes any good picture book like Eric Carl's Hungry Caterpillar and reads it with the children 5 days in a row. On Monday one then studies the days of the week, on Tuesday - counting, On Wednesday one makes a fruitsalad and discusses healthy eating, on Thursday one makes collage picture inspired by the author's artwork and then on Friday one does the lifecycle of the butterfly. A super unit study approach which one can round off by building a lapbook that is a big carboard folder with all kinds of little books inside it - one for each theme covered. The enchanted-learning website has some little print out books that make things easier too. We always seemed to take longer than a week though.
My older son's education and intrests mirror that of [User:Michael|Michael's on this site]. He loves electonics and has thoroughly enjoyed being an apprentice via a postal electronics course - look at http://kidstuff.co.uk or type in The Electronic Wizard's Apprentice.
Until last year we had little contact with other Hedders but for the past year we have joined a HE group and meet up every second week. This has been great. I went through high school and University with 2 close friends. We all now live on different continents and have all landed up Home educating our childen even though when we were at school and Uni we did not know it was an option. We did spend a lot of time while in our teens dicussing and querying all sorts of things so maby this led us all to choose to Home educate. Angela is more formal in her approach, Joan is more on the unschooling side of things and I fall in somewhere inbetween.
Anyway enough for now.