You probably have heard of Montessori schools, but how about a Montessori home school? It is possible to take the Montessori philosophy and bring it into your home.
According to www.montessori.edu, Maria Montessori was an Italian MD who inspired people to "base education on observations of children and the discovery of their needs, rather than on a curriculum." They describe a Montessori education as and "Aid to Life" rather than a certain set of classes or curriculum.
From the earliest years, children in Montessori are directed by caring adults (in the homeschool situation it would of course be the parents) to follow their interests and learn in ways that they find attractive.
The Montessori method is more of a philosophy that you would follow within your homeschool, rather than a prescribed set of steps. In the Montessori home school setting, you would allow your preschoolers (usually considered ages 3-6) to learn by helping you around the house and by fully participating in every day life.
Your preschooler would also spend a lot of time delving into artistic and scientific endeavors. In keeping with the Montessori philosophy, the child would not waste time with TV or computer games, but would have free reign of good books and activities. A lot of the toys in the home would be educational, hands-on type of toys.
As your child gets older, their studies would continue in much the same way. The child should be allowed to study what interests him/her and to the extent that they remain interested. There should be some helpful guidance from his parents, but, according to the philosophy, the child should not be required to study or learn anything under force.
Tests and already compiled curriculum have no place in the Montessori home school. The student should be shown how to schedule their time and meet certain deadlines, but beyond that, the child should be the leader in determining what is to be learned.
Since this is quite a difference from the type of education most of us were raised with, it may take you, the parent, a while to get comfortable with this type of learning. This is a long way from students sitting at a desk for six hours a day, going from one workbook to the next.
If you are thinking that this may be the type of homeschooling you would like to do, you should spend some time doing in-depth research on the topic of Montessori education. Maria Montessori has written a lot of books on the subject and they would be an excellent place to start. One such example is called "The Montessori Method". In it, Maria describes what is meant by this learning philosophy.
It would also be helpful to find others that are adopting this kind of learning situation within their own homes.
Educate yourself alongside your child. If this method intrigues you, give it a try and see if it works for all of you.