(This is to be kept distinct from "my parenting philosophy" which is basically: try to raise them honest, kind, loving, independant and headed toward heaven...)
What's most important educationally
For the middle school years:
1. Love of learning. That is by far the number one reason I am homeschooling. If I fail in that then I might as well put him back in public school.
2. Skills for gaining knowledge about ANY subject. Basically research skills. If he doesn't know something, that's OK, but he needs to know how and where to find out on his own.
3. Communication skills. Both written and oral. He needs to be able to communicate all those thoughts in his head or else what good are they? This includes written composition with proper grammar and spelling, and speaking skills.
4. A Wide Range of Experiences. He needs to be exposed to alot of different cultures, people, places (social studies), times (history), ideas (literature, science), and processes (all of the previous). This exposure can be through direct experience when possible, or through books, video, etc. The important thing here is the exposure, not the expectation that he memorize a bunch of facts. He just needs a good, solid idea of how the world works, both natural and manmade, and an appreciation for it all.
5. Problem solving skills. Math, yes, but other problems as well. To be able to look at a problem and see the end and how to get there.
What have I forgotten?
So, now that you know "what is most important," please feel free to remind me of what is important if (and when) I forget and start straying... (like if I ever buy a textbook other than math).