Friday, February 6, 2015

How did you decide whether or not to homeschool your oldest child?

I'm at a crossroads: the memo came home from Stenni's preschool the other day, an official-looking memo about kindergarten sign-ups, complete with requests for vaccination records, birth certificates, sign-up dates and places in alphabetical order by last name, and all that jazz. Sign-ups are in less than a month. I still don't know if I want to send her to public school or not. I like the idea of homeschooling, but I don't know if I'm capable or organized (OR PATIENT) enough to really teach her everything she needs to know at home. I worry about her attention span. I worry that she won't listen to me. By all accounts, she is well-behaved at both school and Sunday school, but of course she's different at home with mom, which isn't to say that she's a terror or anything but we are both very strong willed and have been known to butt heads occasionally. So would she listen to me as a teacher or view me as an adversary? Who knows.
I'm not worried about socialization. For what we were paying for her preschool, I can send her to tumbling/dance once a week, plus all of the free events at the library and camp and VBS in the summer. But I'm really concerned that she will think that school at home is not serious enough and that I'll end up super frustrated. Also: I went to public school up til college. It wasn't super great for me, but I'm ok I guess, and nothing truly traumatic happened because of the school system. I'm not cool with common core or all of the testing, and I think it's a breeding ground for mediocrity because of the trend to teach toward the middle. Which is not the teachers' fault, they are only doing the best with the resources that they have, which are few and far between since people basically demonize them for the public. And to be honest Stenni is much more outgoing than I am, and infinitely better at making friends and making the best of a situation. She might just blossom in the school setting. Would it really be more for me than for her?
I imagine that a lot of moms have had these (and tons of other) issues in the past, so I could really use the wisdom of the world here. What was the deciding factor, or was it a more pros and cons thing? I know that some people feel super strongly one way or the other but really? I don't. I just really don't  know what would be better in the long run.
So other moms of the interwebs: How did you decide to homeschool (or not)? What were the deciding factors? Anybody else flying by the seat of their pants?
For our family, homeschooling isn't a religious thing, it's more that I feel like the classroom in general is more likely to kill creativity than nurture it, and might eventually squeeze all of the natural love of learning out of my Stenni. And that would be a tragedy, but of course it is also still a hypothetical at this point.
Can anybody offer any insight? Any great resources out there? Help!

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