To motivate your children and keep them on track, getting through their subjects every day, make up a chart that is on the wall in “Grand Central Station” in your house so they can check off each accomplishment each day. Get going today, and require a full schedule of work and chores and developmental exercise (i.e. more push-ups tomorrow than today, etc.; begin easy), using whatever academic materials you already have, no matter how inferior. Do most major tasks in 15-minute blocks—with perhaps the chores/exercise at just 5 minutes between each academic subject. This will keep them awake and vigorous. (For more, read our tips on making homeschool charts, and read The Right Stuff about structuring your homeschool day.)
The important thing here is that you are developing productive life patterns and habits.
Begin with the Bible, near the top of the list: 10 minutes of reading and 5 minutes of praying; this begins to develop both of these disciplines for the rest of the child’s life. Prepare for a real battle here. The enemy goes after beginnings. Make sure the Bible version is easy enough to read with lots of pictures (preferably not cartoon versions). Have each child check off the books of the Bible in the table of contents as he or she reads them, alternating between the New Testament and the Old (so that they aren’t forever reading in only the Old or the New). There is no downside to raising a holy person; that is our first, last, and most important parenting task.