Who you are is almost as important as who the child is when deciding to homeschool or not, IMHO. I am a huge supporter of homeschooling, seen many children through the process, but I do not homeschool myself. Why? Because I’m lazy. I know how it would turn out - endless days of my daughter playing in her room while I surf the 'net.
So, assuming first that you’re motivated enough to do it, there are some options you should be aware of. First, and my favorite, are homeschool groups. These are groups of homeschooling families who often put together either activities or classes for their combined children. Many homeschooling families use groups either to get their kids social exposure or to teach subjects they’re not willing or able to cover thoroughly at home. For example, my goddaughter’s took a bunch of theater classes with their homeschool group, taught by one of the dads who was a theater professor at a local university. They learned set design, lighting, directing, sound, acting - all the things his college students were learning - and put on a show at the end of their “semester”. Practical theater, in particular, is a subject that most homeschool households aren’t equipped to teach, but put a few families together and you’re good to go.
Second, you should know that, in every state I know of, even if he isn’t attending the local public school, he still has a legal right to access there. If he wants to join the soccer team, he can. If he wants to take Driver’s Ed class there, he can. If he wants to go to Prom, he can. If he wants to take the SAT or ACT to make the college application process less complicated, he can do it through the school. There’s no reason at all for homeschooling to negate good use of school resources.
And…about college… don’t fret on that account. Universities have certainly gotten used to homeschooling now. They offer several avenues for admission to homeschooled students, often viewing portfolios instead of report cards or asking the homeschool educator for records of subjects studied if they have them. I haven’t heard a “trouble getting into college” story from homeschoolers for years.
As for curriculum, there are four basic options there, although many homeschool families use a blend. First, you can continue the curriculum he’s been following at the public school. They will provide you a printed or electronic version, if you like (and it may be on the website already). Second option is to use a curriculum created by an outside source specifically for homeschool families. Beware: many of these are written and published by religious fundamentalists, and are of dubious quality. Do your research before you buy. Third option is to cobble together some curriculum of your own, using the library, the internet and the ideas of the two of you.
Fourth option, which I find the most fun personally, so I’ll give it its own paragraph, is to use no curriculum at all, and teach as the day takes you. Got to go to the bank? Bring him along for a lesson on balancing a checkbook and how compound interest works. Teach him the formulas and have him figure out how to best invest $25, or $100, or $100,000. Is the best choice the same for large and small dollar amounts? Why or why not? History - what was the first bank in the world and why did it form? Why did it fail? Economics - What exactly is inflation, and is deflation better or worse? English - read or watch The Merchant of Venice. What point of view does Shakespeare have of bankers? Writing - draft a speech or persuasive essay as part of a campaign to encourage young people to save more, or not use credit cards. Computers - create a blog to post your essay to. Art - check out the architecture of the bank. Does it have a vault? Where? How did the architect balance out a bank’s needs for security and aesthetics?
The internet is your greatest resource. There are hundreds of websites you can find through google for homeschoolers’ support, curricula, ideas and even legal issues. There are also homeschool conferences, many of which are posted at this calendar: http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/HomeschoolConventions.php Homechooling conferences are great ways to meet local homeschooling families, find homeschooling groups and examine the latest homeschooling guides, curricula and support materials. They can also be a great way to talk to homeschooling families about exactly the sort of questions you have here, to help you decide if homeschooling is right for you and your grandson.