A recent thread on The Forum asked for home schooling helps from classical educators. Here was my contribution.
As of January, I'll have completed my 11th year of home schooling. I went classical in my 3rd year, in the middle.
1. I second the reading for yourself on learning styles, teaching methods, etc. You can even give certain evals on your dd to see what suits her well, remembering that may change as she ages, so get educated as a teacher, NOW, while you have the most time.
2. Avoid gaps by finding excellent resources now. Gaps are fixable, but they are a real pain and take a lot of time to remediate. Do your research diligently.
3. At her tender age and through 3rd grade, I'd say, if the tears are consistent, Put.It.Away (assuming it's dread and not disobedience or bad attitude). I squashed a love of learning once and it took a lot to rekindle the fire. The boy is still scared, even if well healed.
4. The materials I love not only provide outstanding education for my children , but also for me. There are 2 things I swear by and a portion of the reason is b/c I truly believe they make me a better teacher. They educate me not just on the what of classical education, but also on the "how to implement practically, in my classroom" aspect. This is so important. (The Phonics Road, Tapestry of Grace). Truth be told, in this age, there are a bazillion choices in home education and they are not all created equal. Having said that, you may find value in other places then me or your friend in home school coop (as an example). Whatever you find, just find it and be sure you're both growing.
5. Particularly in your case w. an advanced dd, and I say this often, just b/c they start young, doesn't mean they'll stay way ahead forever and/or be mature on the same level as she is intelligent. Don't forget this. She'll still only be 8 years old when she's 8, even if she's reading on a 7th grade level. This can be difficult as you try to determine what is academically challenging and still allows a child to be a child, who can do some upper level work, but still wants to behave like a wiggly, giggly child. Sometimes, it can really be hard to separate the teacher in me from the mother in me and most of the time, my children need me to do that. I banged my head against the proverbial wall so many times thinking I was doing something wrong, when in fact, she was just being a kid her age. (I hope that makes sense).
6. When you find your philosophical mentor (SWB, CM, Montessori, Waldorf, etc. or any combo thereof ) Keep re-reading! Stages change and the reminders are great.
7. Ask experienced home schoolers for advice. We really have BTDT. We can help!
8. Hands on is what sticks for history and science. Keep it hands on and read to your hearts content, even in middle school! Fun and messy are good. The clean up is worth the retention and joy of learning.
9. Finally, enjoy home schooling. It is a gift.
As usual, there were many wonderful thoughts. Take a minute and enjoy The Forum. It has taught me so much! I tend to live on the K-8 Curriculum and High School Boards