My moms the teacher: homeschooling tips for older children
I think every family is going to be different, but in our family our philosophy has been to teach our children how to read and to love learning. Once they have those two things they can do anything.
I also think it is important to allow your older children to be a part of their curriculum choices, just as they would be if they were in public or private school. With input from us, our older girls custom create their own curriculum based on state requirements and their individual interests. This is what keeps learning fun.
There is also a degree of accountability that is necessary when allowing your child to control his or her education as I mentioned above. This will look different for each child. The first born is generally going to take what you've allowed them to outline and run with it, whereas the next ones down the line may need more reminders and more deadlines in order to get everything done on time. At least that is the case in our home.