In our vast research for home education we learned about "core phase." There are many names for it but we we like that name best. Core phase is for younger children from essentially ages 0-8 years old. Core phase is a time where children learn their core values. You can't focus on teaching them anything different until they have their core values firmly rooted. Perhaps that is why children are baptized when they are eight; there seems to be a universal acceptance that children know right and wrong by then. (To learn more about core phase and the phases of learning visiting this link).
The very basic core phase curriculum would look like this:
In our house we've defined this core phase curriculum this way:
There is God and there is Satan
Jesus Christ is our Savior, Healer, and Advocate
We speak to God through prayer every day
We read our scriptures every day to learn of Christ
There is a living prophet and we will follow him
Our family is our most important focus
Each family member is valued and loved
We each have responsibilities within our family
Dad's job is to provide, preside and protect our family
Mom's job is to nurture each family member
The children's job is to learn, grow and obey
Learning includes life time skills (household management, cooking, cleaning, car care, etc)
We don't hit people (or pinch, bite, etc.)
We are polite to others, especially the elderly
We respect and honor women
We learn to control our emotions
We do not eat more than our body needs
We go to bed early and we wake up early
We bathe and groom our bodies
We wear appropriate clothing
That is just some general ideas. No child is expected to have them mastered by the time they turn eight though! These things can take a life time to master. What they learn though in these stages is what is right, wrong, true, false, good and bad. It is right to hold the door open for the elderly and the women at church. It is right to do our chores with out complaining. It is right to pray daily. It is right to brush my teeth everyday. Christ speaks truth. It is false that two men can be married, etc. We practice, practice, practice and it's our job to teach them how.
Core phase is the foundation for their whole lives. Everything else is built upon it. If they know they are loved, that God is available to them through prayer and that they need to get up in the morning and greet the day, they are going to be okay!
In our home only two requirements are expected from our children to graduate from core phase. The first is that they want to move on to the next phase. The second is they agree to submit, be reminded, and receive correction regarding the core guidelines. For example, if they refuse to pray when we remind them they need to go back to core phase.
Core phase is the time to learn and teach our children discipline. When they are disciplined they will quickly progress through their school work.