One of the prime advantages of having a stay-at-home wife, or being one, is the ability to homeschool your children. You don’t need daycare, government school, or private school — all either bad or expensive options — to take care of your children while you are away at work. Not only do you save a lot of money compared to daycare/private school, but you do not have to choose your residence based on the school district. Elizabeth Warren, back when she was doing interesting research instead of being a Socialist pest, found that one of the primary ways that American families (especially two-income families) got into financial trouble was by spending way too much on a house in an attempt to get into an attractive public school district.
But today, even the “best” public school districts are little more than Marxist indoctrination centers, combined with twelve years of empty pablum where little is learned. Homeschooling is the best option, and really the only option, by which children can obtain a good education. If you send your children to government schools, and then they come back ten years later and burn your house down, well — what did you think was going to happen?
Most Moms don’t really have any idea of how to homeschool. It is not very hard, especially in the K-6 years, but it is not exactly trivial either. I would plan on spending about 3 years just studying how to homeschool, and also, familiarizing yourself with some materials of substance, which you can then offer to your children.
There is a lot of overlap among homeschooling methods, but also, people tend to segregate into one community or another. I follow the Thomas Jefferson Education method of homeschooling (tjed.org). If you want an intro, the place to go is Mentoring in the Classics, a how-to course for parents.
I also recommend AmblesideOnline.org, in the Charlotte Mason style. This has a wealth of wonderful curriculum materials, mostly from the pre-1920 period. They are really good. The difference between what people learned from in those days, and today, is vast.
The books of John Holt, and other materials in the “unschooling” style, are worthwhile. Also, read the books of John Gatto, particularly Dumbing Us Down and the Underground History of American Education.
Among the great works for children, we have:
The Little House on the Prairie series
The Little Britches series
The Anne of Green Gables series
Plus, many more, such as from this booklist.
I would just read them. They are for children, so they don’t take long. Read the first two Little House books, the first Little Britches book (Father and I Were Ranchers), and the first Anne of Green Gables book. Read Heidi, Little Women, Treasure Island, and Captains Courageous.
I would do all of this while your children are infants, or even before then. It will help establish in your mind what you are going to be doing for the next twenty years.
But, all this is mostly for children ages 5+. Later, I will talk about what to do for infants and toddlers.