“I want to homeschool with classical education, but I am honestly lost at how and where to start. I read your suggestions for starting with older children, but what I would have to do to get my oldest caught up makes me want to cry!”
Take it one step at a time. Take it one day at a time. Pick one thing you would like to convert this year, and concentrate on that only. Next year you can add something else. Do not despise the day of small beginnings, when we are about the hard work of rebuilding the foundations that have been destroyed. It will not all happen in one day, one week, one year. We have to learn ourselves what we have lost, and then begin teaching it. Your children will not graduate with a perfect classical education, most likely. Mine didn’t. (I am not sure how many do.) But they will be ahead of the public school. If they learn the tools of learning, they can teach themselves anything as adults. And if they learn wisdom and virtue as well, then, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Learning wisdom and virtue is no small thing. The heart of the wise seeks knowledge. Wisdom is thus more foundational than subject matter.) Your children will take their children further down the road in restoring the foundations.
Listen to the Lord. He will guide and direct your paths. He will not overburden you with more than you can do, or with so much that your children will burn out.