Here are two general academic principles to consider as you homeschool:
Always reduce emotional resistance. You can do this by doing everything for a young child, initially, and as long as he or she needs it—i.e. all he or she has to do is to repeat orally or by copying (writing). Just going through the process is education. In a child's later years, that may even occasionally mean seeing the answer first, to provide the “aha,” and then working backwards from it.
The mere fact that a child is interfacing with materials produces education, at least on some level. It always must begin with familiarity, as in, “I’ve done this before, step by step with an adult, and now I’m confident enough to do it myself.” A child learns internal discipline by many experiences of external discipline that have been provided by the teacher or tutor.
Always reduce the visual field—the amount that you are directly working with, by covering up the rest of the page. This way, the child doesn’t subliminally carry the whole larger task, and is able to have many little mini-successes continually. Providing bite-sized-tasks is the name of the game throughout all of childhood, in every area.