I'm trying to become secure in my decision to homeschool. We weren't expecting to do it until we moved here and the prospect of a less than desirable school was our only option. I am really enjoying it and enjoying talking with other mom's who homeschool. Some are homeschooling for different reasons, some are homeschooling way further than I would expect to do it, but we all want what's best for our children.
Here's a couple of things I want to address for my own sake and for me to remember back in 10 years!!
1) I am NOT trying to shield my child from reality. He see's orphans online through the compassion videos, we have gone to the Durham Rescue Mission, we sponsor two children and talk about what they have/don't have. He is exposed to reality on a regular basis. Why does his reality have to be sitting in a classroom of peers, getting what snippets of attention he can from an overwhelmed teacher? Who decided that at age 5 it was time to stick our children out "in the real world" ? I would rather him have discretion to know that cool isn't right and just because everyone else does it doesn't mean he has to. Right now, at age 5, he is very impressionable. Who do I want impressing my son? I don't get a do-over. I don't have a delete button. Once he sees it and hears it it will be with him forever.
2) I am not depriving my child of social situations. Every week we have two or more playdates. We have Lego club that is all ages of children. He is with his sisters and learning cooperation, sharing, leadership and more. We go to church and Awanas. He doesn't sit all day in a classroom with 25 other students, but how much real socialization is happening in that setting?
3) I want my child to know that he is a blessing to us. I want my child to know that I care about him enough to raise him in a Godly way, teach him Godly things and spend time with him. I want my child to spend the majority of his day being doted upon, using his imagination, playing, running and laughing. If my child wants to color in everything on his math sheet before doing the problems I am fine with that. If he wants to count dinosaurs and add on pages with superheros and write about dragons then I let him. He is counting, he is learning and he is practicing his writing.
4) I don't want my child in a room all day with other children who don't learn like he does or at the rate he does. I don't want my child to be ignored or act out because he is bright and bored in school.
We are liking homeschool though it is tough. There are sacrifices that the girls and I have to make. The benefits are huge for us right now. We can do a beach unit and spend the week at the beach. We can take field trips to Wilmington to visit family. We can do homeschool anywhere! The kids can nap in the afternoons, we don't sit in a carpool line and we can stay in our pjs until noon.
Right now its the right decision for us. We're evolving. I don't know what the future holds for us. Homeschool may or may not be a long term solution to the schooling issue.
For the record, I don't think that people who send their kids to school love their children any less, care about them any less or feel like they are making a poor decision. We had Elijah signed up for school when we lived in Wilson. I didn't feel very strongly one way or another. I am trying really hard not to judge how others are raising their kids.