We have homeschooled since Rachel officially entered kindergarten in 2004. (btw, spellcheck doesn't like "homeschool" it wants "home school", but i refuse to comply) We've had our ups and down. Our downs were frequently my fault. I pushed Rachel too hard with reading. "E doesn't say "ih", it's "eh"!!!" I'm very grateful that my own failings have not significantly affected my kids.
I would estimate that 80+% of the problems and concerns that I read about from other homeschool moms revolve around reading. Kids who can't or don't want to read seem to lead to almost all of the posts on the subject. I have been blessed with three extremely good readers. Both of my girls read everything they can get their hands on.
Rachel, at 13, is currently reading and loving Pride and Prejudice. I have never been a big Jane Austin fan, and found her work boring when I was in college (i knew nothing of her in high school). However, I was aware that she was the go to gal for female readers of "old stuff", so I decided to introduce Rachel to her this year. I am more of a Bronte gal, but I didn't want to introduce the darker elements of Jane Eyre to Rachel at 13. I bought two copies of P&P so we could each make our own notes. I wanted Rachel to indicate where she was having trouble understanding, as well as where she was amused. I also wanted to keep track of any passages that I wanted her to pay special attention to. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed reading P&P "with" her.
Bekah, who just turned 8, has recently finished a slightly abridged version of Anne of Green Gables. She did not express a deep love for Anne, so I will be questioning her in the coming days, to see if too much was abridged in this version. Every girl worth her salt loves Anne! Regardless, I am grateful that she is a strong reader, and loves to read.
Joshua, who will be 12 soon, has been more of a challenge to me. He doesn't like fiction. He reads extremely well, and can read anything when asked, but he favors technical books and even the users' manuals that come with new gadgets and appliances! That is fine, and his dad is the same way. Joshua's favorite things to read are his Boys Life magazines and a book I got him about gunsmithing. However, as a homeschool mom who deeply values the education of the whole person, I require him to read some fiction. He lists My Side of the Mountain as his favorite book. Fair enough, it's awesome. But, I need to extract more from him. In the coming months he will be reading White Fang and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He might not like that. I feel bad that he doesn't enjoy the fantasy world that fiction can take him to, but I know from being married to his dad for 21+ years that reading non fiction doesn't mean you lack imagination. For Josh, fiction might be like grammar: You have to do it even if it's not fun!