I was very encouraged in my own faith walk with the Catholic homeschooling lifestyle to hear your witness of prayer and finally a decision to begin homeschooling. I believe that it is uplifting to the many families that are homeschooling to hear of another's docile faith and their being led into this lifestyle through prayer. Thank you.
I think that the best piece of advice that I can give you, without knowing the extent of your son's academic struggles and challenges, would be to start with the basic needs in his curriculum. You mention that your son is behind in his studies. What are his strengths and his weaknesses? Where does he seem to have the greatest difficulties? If language arts is his problem area, then for at least the first 3-4 months of his schooling try to concentrate your efforts in this area. If your financial situation can provide, consider the help of a private tutor in the challenging areas until you feel that he is working up to grade level. In other words, if he has spent a number of years in a public school environment and lacks a good foundation in the basic skills then it is important to begin at the beginning and prepare him for the work ahead. Nothing is more frustrating to a student than to be overwhelmed with materials that are far too difficult. It causes the student to feel like a failure and this is always counterproductive to a good learning experience.
When I first began homeschooling I was confused about the options and the choices available. It seemed that there was so much to choose from and it was a bit overwhelming. I looked to catalogs for the guidelines and the recommendations for different grade levels. I would suggest that you look at the CHC catalog and see what is needed for a student at your son's level. Do not be discouraged if you feel that some of the subject material is too advanced for your son's abilities at this time. Remember education is not about 'getting finished to get a grade' but about acquiring knowledge at the rate that is comfortable for the student. Learning is a lifelong pursuit and our greatest responsibility as parent/teachers is to instill a love for the process of learning that will ensure that the joy of learning is a part of their life.
Proceed slowly and with patience. Ask the Holy Spirit to continue to anoint your efforts. When you begin to feel doubt creep up look to the Holy Spirit for the inspirations.
If the Lord has called you into this vocation then believe that He will indeed give you the necessary resources to finish the task. Our Lord loves us far too much to call us into His will without vesting us for the journey.
Jesus, please anoint this dear mother for the work ahead of her and her son. Allow that they be empowered by the wonder of Your Holy Spirit to do what is asked of them through Your holy Will for them. Give them a wisdom of the Spirit and a docility of heart which will help them to remain open and ready to receive Your inspirations. We love You, Lord, and long to see Your face. St. Ann, pray for us.
Sending out a prayer,