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Public school is never an option-- is that true for anyone else?


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Our family is 100% opposed to public school for our children.  Many of our local homeschooling friends have been putting their kids into public schools because mom is burned out/tired.  (which I get!)  They always try to convince that I should do the same and are offended when I tell them that public school is not an option for us.  Ever.   If it became necessary, we have a local private school we would use.   Anyone else feel the same?  I kinda feel like the lone homeschool hold out here.

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Absolutely not.  I know way too many kids who are absolutely thriving in public school settings, both by choice and by necessity, to ever have that type of closed mindset. 

 

And I'm pretty sure I'd feel the same way if our educational choices were different -- Both our boys were in public school, pulled out to home school (oldest for four years, youngest for seven), and now both are very happily back in public school and thoroughly enjoying and thriving on all the academic and social opportunities.  FWIW, we could afford to send them to private schools if we thought that was a better option.

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DS has a neuromuscular movement issue, with his hips, thighs and hands most affected at this time. He doesn't sit well. (Or write, but there are ways around that.)

Academically (due to the neuro issues), he works at two ends of the spectrum.

There is no way, physically, he could handle "going" to school, whether public or private.

A specialized private school may be able to handles the academics, but I don't think a traditional school would.

We have always homeschooled because it was the best option for DS.

Lately, though, I feel more and more that it is the only option.

He has always taken outside classes, but this year has been hard physically on him. (puberty) He is starting to question how he will be able to go to college. That is a major concern of mine, but I think there are so many options for college these days. 

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Our family is 100% opposed to public school for our children.  Many of our local homeschooling friends have been putting their kids into public schools because mom is burned out/tired.  (which I get!)  They always try to convince that I should do the same and are offended when I tell them that public school is not an option for us.  Ever.   If it became necessary, we have a local private school we would use.   Anyone else feel the same?  I kinda feel like the lone homeschool hold out here.

 

Said gently--the lone homeschool hold out???  You need to check yourself.  Most parents are doing the best they can to make the right decisions for their kids.  Sometimes, pubic school is the best option, even after years of homeschooling.  There is no one right way to educate children.
 

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Up until several months ago, public school was most definately an option.  "A year at a time, a child at a time," was our motto.  However, after learning more about the implementation of Common Core and the privacy issues involved with all the data collection that goes along with it, public school is sadly permanently out of the picture.....unless the local school board overturns common core locally....which they can legally do....and which a group of parents are currently working on to see happen.  So we're hoping.  I really don't like having the public school option taken away.

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We had had the same attitude.

 

Then we had a special needs child who needed to get evals and therapy. We panicked a little as we thought he would be totally left hanging if he could not make use of all the opportunities which p. s. offers with regards to therapy and resource teachers etc etc.

 

He spent kindergarten in public school. It was a mixed experience which left us actually with a better opinion about p. s., but it still was absolutely not a fit for him and for many many reasons we pulled him back out of p. s. and continue to h/s him. 

 

What we took away from it for ourselves: never say never. 

And yes, a brick and mortar school is not a fit for our child, but a long stretch.

 

"Not an option" might very well one day become a necessity. Ya never know where life takes you.

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I agree with others....never say never. I had a similar thought when we were in our early years....NEVEr doing public school, EVER! Kinda looked down at those that homeschooled , and then "gave up" and put their children back in school. Years later, life evolved in such a way that public school became an option for my oldest, and a GOOD option. It wasn't because we gave up, not at all, wasn't because I was burned out....it wasn't for any bad reason at all.....it was the school offered something my son "needed", beyond academics. I always hear homeschoolers talking about the fact that homeschooling is more than just academics, it's about all of life, meaning it everything we do with our children, it's teaching the morals of life with our children, it's a LIFE education. And now that we are in a school setting with oldest DS, I see the benefits that are offered there as well.....that school setting is giving him life education in a way that we weren't/couldn't at home (good things, lol).

So yeah, now, I say we take it year by year. Today I don't plan anything but homeschooling all the way through for my two younger DS.....a few years from now, as they get into middle and high school..we'll see what life holds for us then. I'm sure that your friends are not offended that you say public school is NEVEr an option....more likely amused that one could be so set in today that they can't fathom the changes in the future.....and perhaps you are putting off an air of disdain that they did choose a different path...and they are offended by that.

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I think even if you are philosophically opposed to public education, it is a little extreme to put it the way you put it.  What if you contract a debilitating disease?  And then your husband is laid-off or dies suddenly?  What if, what if, what if?  It's ok to say you are philosophically opposed to home school, but life does occasionally throw a curve ball we are not prepared for! 

 

I would be irritated if people tried to convince me to send my kids to PS just because they did, so I sympathize there.  There is a difference between saying "I believe I can provide the best K-12th" and "Not even over my dead body."

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Not an option for us, either, Sheldon.  Having entrusted four children to public schools in three countries, we would never do it again.  It's true that you never know what life is going to throw at you - absolutely!  But we would find an alternative.  We have promised ourselves and our "caboose boy" this.

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I get where you're coming from when you have no choice of good public schools.  But In my case, I had a child who not only asked to try public high school, but she wanted to audition for a famous performing arts school.  As a dancer, she knew it would take her to the next level (and it has,,,she's a senior there now.  And being friends with celebrities and celebrities' kids has been a fun perk).  My oldest dd also requested high school - a journalism-focused one, since she has always been an amazing writer.  No bad effects from either school - all good things came from those experiences.  

 

So, for me, anything and everything is always an option - but a lot of thought and research must accompany it first.

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Our family is 100% opposed to public school for our children.  Many of our local homeschooling friends have been putting their kids into public schools because mom is burned out/tired.  (which I get!)  They always try to convince that I should do the same and are offended when I tell them that public school is not an option for us.  Ever.   If it became necessary, we have a local private school we would use.   Anyone else feel the same?  I kinda feel like the lone homeschool hold out here.

 

People are going to be offended when you tell them that you would never, ever send your child . . . exactly where they are sending their child.  

 

The moms encouraging you to follow their lead may want to feel better about their decision, or they may just want company for the new journey (humans do tend to be pack animals). They might just be excited or making idle conversation. Regardless, just because they bring it up doesn't mean you have to discuss it. The public vs private discussion is particularly pointless if you aren't planning on sending your kids to school in the first place. 

 

Never debate unless the point in question is actually up for debate. I'm comfortable with my decision to home school, and I'm not willing to give random friends input into that decision, so I don't debate it with them. 

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Thanks to those with kind words.  For the 'never say never' group-- our city has more than 300 private schools.  I can absolutely say never.  We have funds set aside for private schooling should it become a necessity for educational reasons or in the event of my death.   Public school is literally never an option. Private school is an option, but not public school. 

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I don't rule out public school as an option. I'm not 100% sure I will homeschool high school. I reevaluate where we are in our family life and homeschooling life every year. So far it's turned out that homeschooling is still the best option.

 

My oldest ds has Asperger's and it's a big factor in my homeschooling him. Our local school doesn't do right by  SN kids at all IMHO.

 

My other children would likely do well and thrive in  a public school setting, but I enjoy homeschooling so we continue.

 

Also I'm less than impressed with our local schools. We have two options at the elementary level...public or Catholic private, and one option at the high school level. My dh has worked in the schools and I am still just not impressed.

 

So it's a big possibility that we will always homeschool, but not because the local school isn't an option ever. I'm more than willing to do something different.

 

But it would have to be a situation i just could NOT work around, or it would have to be a choice (a mature educated choice) on my child's part.

 

I do think the teen years are a time when peers are necessary, and we live rural so there isn't a ton of options other than school for teens to be with and learn alongside other teens.

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't think such blanket statements are useful.  It all depends on the specific reasons you are homeschooling, reasons that might not be relevant for other families.

 

 

For our family, such statement might make a little more sense *if* for example:

 

- the local PS were of dramatically inferior quality and there is no chance we would ever move to another district prior to h.s. graduation (while we have no plans to send our kids to the regular PS middle and high schools, they are relatively good schools academically and, under particular circumstances, we would have to be open to the possibility, as slim as it hopefully is)

 

- due to specific characteristics of an individual student, the local PS could not possibly be a fit under any circumstances (I get this; traditional PS would be a tough road for one of my kids at the elementary level)

 

- we would still be able to afford the "emergency scenario" private school no matter what happens (can anyone really say that?)

 

 

(disclaimer:  five of my kids attend a charter...which technically is a PS, albeit not a traditional one, and we are planning on private high school for all six, not a small financial commitment as we are saving for college with the assumption that they will not see a dime of financial aid.)  What if, for example, my ds, due to his processing speed or whatever, bombed the entrance test for the private school in question?  Our local schools are such that the middle school mathcounts team is among the top in the state - as much as it wouldn't be my first choice, it's not necessarily an evil, horrible option.  (Also, my district has rejected Common Core, FWIW.)

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I think I subconsciously had that in mind with our oldest. Looking back, if I had a do-over, we would have put our oldest IN public school. I'm not sure it would have solved everything (I think her doubly gifted dx would have still gone undiscovered) but at least we wouldn't have had the constant turmoil/ upset/ passive aggression in our home.

Now- while we are still strongly committed to homeschooling, we are more open to various options. Of course, there ARE more options than there were 5=10 years ago, so we are grateful for that.

 

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Public school is not an option for us where we live. The schools we are zoned for are bad.

Private school is an option, but not a good one for my kids. I'd be fine with my kids doing high school there, but by that point, I don't know how the school would handle my son's math, for example. They really aren't set up to handle a kid like him. He certainly wouldn't be getting advanced classes there. They just aren't available. And likewise, the public school we're zoned for doesn't have much in the way of advanced classes.

If I lived 40 minutes away and we were zoned for my old public high school, I'd be ok with my kids going there. They have oodles of advanced classes and competent teachers (my AP English teacher had a PhD and also taught college courses, my AP Calculus teacher had a Master's in math, etc.). That just isn't the case at the local public school, and especially not at the private school (where you have to hold specific religious beliefs in order to teach, and that greatly narrows the pool of teacher choices).

There would have to be very extenuating circumstances to ever send our kids to the local public schools. So for all intensive purposes, no, the local public schools are not an option. Period.

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As a young homeschooling mother, I had that mindset.  But after homeschooling many years, I have learned that it can be an option.  Life has a way of throwing things us we never imagine, and we can't cling so tightly to our ideal, especially if it is not matching reality.  We chose private over public, but if we had not had good scholarships along with generous help from relatives, we would have opted for public. 

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In the current area we are living public school will NEVER be an option.  If we were to ever move to an area with better public schools and the necessity arose it would be an option, a second option as I would always pick a private school over it.  Private school would certainly be an option if home schooling was no longer possible.  Mom being burnt out isn't an excuse that I would ever use to stop home schooling my children.  I may seek outside help but wouldn't stop home schooling because I was tired of it.

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It isn't an option for us, the same way that living in a gang-infested neighborhood isn't an option.  I don't want to tempt fate by saying never, but a decent public school in a decent neighborhood would only be slightly preferable to homeschooling in gang neighborhood.  I can see why some people would do it.  If DD had problems that required intense therapy that the school could provide would be one example where public school would be preferred.  

 

That is just our personal opinion.  

 

Although, we did discuss the possibility of a particular magnet school near where my MIL lives that is always in the top 3 public schools in the U.S.  This would be in distant future.  But, if she were able to get into that school, she would also be capable of dual-enrolling at the respected 4-year University nearby.  The University would be the preferred option.  

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Public school is not an option for us where we currently live. The district is horrid. If we lived in a better district, I would not say "never", though. We have no plans to move, though and have lived here for 14 years so public school is not an option for us.

When I suddenly had to go back to work full time for almost a year several years ago, we kept homeschooling. We are committed to this plan.

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Absolutely 100%. We do have a church school if we found ourselves in some drastic situation. If I had a 16 year old who was grounded in his faith and academically sound who wanted to do some public school program I would support him in his decision, but I would never leave my young children in that situation. My reasons in order: Religious, Social, Academic.

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I despise the public school model, think it functions as an alternate universe with little in common with the rest of the world, and teaches kids to respond to bells like Pavlov's dogs. So, barring a genuine emergency, public school is not an option for our family. I should amend that actually. We'd totally consider a university model or other alternative model public charter school. But traditional b&m public school? No.

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Well not never,but I can't conceive of too many scenarios in which we would send our kids to public school.  We too have insurance on every member of our family, and savings as well as loving family members to move in with (though that would require a move), should the unforeseen happen.  And when I picture a possible school scenario, it is undoubtedly private school, even if that required a move, and/or debt.

 

I definitely think the reasons someone would choose homeschool in the first place, will play into their decision to later send the kids to public school.  If you homeschool just because that seems good for your family and child at this time then as soon as it seems like the second best option, it would make sense to utlize the better option at the time.

 

If you homeschool because you are philosophically opposed to the very idea of public education (and in particular our brand of public education), then obviously you won't be likely to send your kids there under any circumstances.

 

Most homeschoolers are not in that latter category, although many of my personal friends have been, and they have weathered the storm over and over and finished the race.  

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There are special needs situations that private schools (costing less than $50K/yr) can't handle.

Emily

 

A general statement like that doesn't really mean anything for ALL public schools.  Theoretically, yes there are instances where public school could be better for a special needs student than anything else but the topic is "is public school an option for you?"  I would assume that anyone saying it is not an option know what their public schools are like and know whether they would be helpful if certain situations arose. 

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Just as an aside, not all private schools are created equal and many have severely substandard academics or other issues.  And one of the most popular down here (and one of only two that offers high school level instruction) has a serious bullying problem among the middle schoolers and a serious drug problem among the high schoolers.  If I had to choose between ps and that private school, ps would almost certainly win.

 

Because of our specific circumstances I would not want to send the kids back to a brick and mortar ever and they don't want to go either.   Homeschooling has been such a gift and I wish with all my heart we had started sooner.  But if circumstances changed and something happened to me, I have no idea what DH would do since he would not be able to homeschool the kids and private school, especially for high school, is NOT an option here.  Public school might be his only really good viable choice.  And I know several kids in public charter schools that have high academic standards that are doing fantastic.  I would not want DH to feel guilty and like he failed the kids if he had to make that choice.  Circumstances change.  I would want to be flexible enough to honestly be able to evaluate all options on their current merit and our current circumstances so I don't think I could ever say flat out "never" and I wouldn't want him to, either.

 

But I do understand what you are saying, OP.  And I do get irritated and sad that some of our public school neighborhood seems to think we are really odd for homeschooling.  Some even seem to feel threatened and have ostracized us.  I respect their choice.  I wish they would respect mine.

 

Best wishes...

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We would never send ds to our public schools, but we have considered getting him evaluated and seeing what they offer us, or perhaps pushing for placement in a nearby school that specialized in ASDs. I have nothing against our local schools - they are quite good. Ds would never be able to handle it.

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I will not put my ideals ahead of my relationship with my children nor ahead of their education.  If homeschooling is harming the relationship with one of my children, I will not hesitate to put him or her in public school (we do not have the money for private school), even if they end up receiving a sub-par education when compared to what they would have received at home.  If I become mentally/physically/emotionally incapacitated, I will not hesistate to send my kids to public school so they can receive a better education than they would at home under those circumstances.  Right now homeschooling is the best thing for my children, but circumstances beyond my control can change the situation.  I refuse to worship at the altar of homeschooling and sacrifice my kids' education or our relationship in order to homeschool them.

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We've been homeschooling for 13+ years, and public school has never been an option.  I don't like the system, the environment, or the quality of education.  Of course there could be a huge crises with no parents at home and not enough money for private school.  Other than that, nope.  We both have life insurance policies that would have paid for private school if one or both are gone.  With high schoolers now, of course there are more options.  I could graduate them early, and the older one could school themselves reliably without an adult if needed.

 

I respect people's choices though. Most of our friends in the immediate area put their teens into public high school.  Only one has ever asked me if we considered that, and I told them that it wasn't the right choice for us.  The high school doesn't accept most homeschool credits anyway, so it was something that I would have had to do earlier on.

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I let one daughter go back to high school for 11/12 to get a 'diploma' so she could finish a state license. That was last year. 

Barring death, my kids won't ever go back to public school, that is what those two years taught me. And if I did die, Dh has a policy on me that would allow him to hire a tutor. I don't think he would ever put the kids in school, he loves homeschooling as much as I do. 

I am wholly philosophically opposed to public education, the ideals they espouse, and the substandard education received by most children in public school. 

 

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There's a difference between saying  never to public schools, and never to public education.

In my area, the public schools are so bad we would never consider them. Were we to move to Finland, sure we'd give those public schools a try. Best way to learn the language, in fact. 

The OP might have access to great private schools, but who's to say they will never move from this particular area and find themselves in a place where the public schools are good, and the private schools are non-existent? 

 

As for us, we will never consider our current public schools.

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In the current area we are living public school will NEVER be an option.  If we were to ever move to an area with better public schools and the necessity arose it would be an option, a second option as I would always pick a private school over it.  Private school would certainly be an option if home schooling was no longer possible.  Mom being burnt out isn't an excuse that I would ever use to stop home schooling my children.  I may seek outside help but wouldn't stop home schooling because I was tired of it.

 

Mom being burnt out is a reason to send children to a school for some but not an excuse.  Some of us burnt out moms want to homeschool but value our sanity and our relationship with our children/spouse over how the children are educated.  It is not about being tired of it, lazy, or just wanting to get out of work.

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Never say never. I do not consider public school an option for us *right now*. But circumstances can change. What if DH or I die? Or become severely disabled? Or DH loses his job? Or one of our children is not thriving at home and needs a school setting? We cannot afford private school.

I absolutely do not want ps for my kids and I would not choose it lightly. But I will not say never because it is not the *last* option. That would be leaving my children in any education environment that they are not learning from, including homeschooling.

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Public school is not an option for me either. Most private schools are not an option as well. If something were to happen to me or dh, that would be up to who ever was taking care of my kids. The family I have set up to adopt my kiddos, if anything happens to us, home schools their kids. It would ultimately be up to them if we died.

I have been through the "what ifs" of sickness and job loss about 5 years ago. My dh has multiple sclerosis, I was teaching at a local school, my oldest was in a private school, and my youngers were with grandma. My dh got so sick, I had to quit my job and bring everyone home. I pulled my oldest out of school and hence my homeschool journey began. It was the best thing I ever did. Sure, we lacked money and funds, but The Lord took care of us. It brought our family so much closer together.
Now, we are doing great. My dh is in remission, has his own business, pastors a small church, and I am able to stay home and be with my kiddos.

Now, that being said, I believe the schooling of our children is a personal decision. I have great friends have their kids in public, private, charter, and what have you. They are thriving. It is a personal descision. I think there should be liberty and grace amongst all of us, to help, love, and appreciate all of our differences, including those who say never.

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With DD1, we are dealing with some medical issues that would not work with public school.  She would miss a tremendous amount of school and I don't see how she would progress academically.

 

OTOH, DS3 is currently in a special ed public preschool class to get therapy that complements his private speech therapy.  He will attend again next year and kindergarten is still up in the air, depending on his progress.  I'm grateful for the bus that picks him up and drops him off 4 days a week, it would be much more difficult to get homeschooling done if I had to load up all the kids to drop him off and pick him up every morning.  While the plan is still to homeschool him starting in K, that decision will be made based on what seems the best for him at the time.

 

My others?  We're taking it a year at a time and so far, homeschooling has been the best option.  I won't say never, though.  A serious injury or death could result in the complete upheaval of our plans.  We're doing the best we can for all of them, a year at a time.

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Our family is 100% opposed to public school for our children.  Many of our local homeschooling friends have been putting their kids into public schools because mom is burned out/tired.  (which I get!)  They always try to convince that I should do the same and are offended when I tell them that public school is not an option for us.  Ever.   If it became necessary, we have a local private school we would use.   Anyone else feel the same?  I kinda feel like the lone homeschool hold out here.

 

Over the years DH and I have tried to find the best educational fit for all of our children at all of their educational stages.  Unlike some on this forum we've never been anti public school so I guess that I don't completely understand the sentiment.  I understand if  the available public school is a bad fit or a poor quality or both and parents are opting out because something else is better for their kid.  I can respect that because I think we all want and have some obligation to pursue what is best for our kid.  We've found that keeping an open mind, being willing to work and look a bit outside of the box, and modeling a culture of respect, compassion, kindness, and curiosity has served our kids well so far.  

 

*DSS is about to graduate from medical school.  He graduated early from our local public high school with an IB diploma, spent a few years in the military, returned stateside and took advantage of his IB and AP courses to streamline college into six semesters. 

 

*DFS is a detective with our state police force.  He graduated from our local public high school and then completed a bachelors at our local 4 year university in stages (with state police academy and then working as an intermediate stage).

 

*DD18 is attending a strong private university on a D1 athletic scholarship.  She attended a wonderful private K-6 school that encouraged her to think and guided her wide and deep in so many ways.  She graduated from a public high school with honors and distinction and as an AP scholar with distinction.  She had a gifted IEP through the charter school within a school of our public high school.  Her courses were a mix of on campus (most of her core sciences--it can be hard to really duplicate a good AP chem lab at home), independent study, home taught (and some home curriculum designed), and more advanced math and science through dual enrollment at the 4 year university.  She made the dean's list her first semester of college and feels her high school experience prepared her well but also gave her time to pursue other interests like ODP and premier soccer, equestrian eventing, and participating in our state youth orchestra.

 

*DD14 is working with a gifted IEP through the same charter track our oldest daughter used. She currently has a  mix of on campus courses and home schooled courses.  Her dad is teaching her AP Government course through the community faculty program of her school and she is doing an internship in his law office.  Her schedule affords her the flexibility she needs for her gymnastic training and necessary travel to meets.

 

*DFD9 is participating in the gifted multiage STEM track through our local neighborhood school.  She goes three partial days a week. We home school the rest of her coursework but there is the option to use this program as a pullout immersion program and attend full time.

 

*DFD5 is participating in the part time kindergarten program through our local neighborhood school. She also goes three partial days a week.  We do everything else at home.  She will likely be participating in the gifted program at this school next year but I'm not sure which track. 

 

*DD4 soaked up most of what we did with DFD5 at home and went off on a few of her own rabbit trails.  She will likely be tracking into the gifted program at DFD5's school but DH and I are doing a bit more praying about this because although this child is bright and precocious, thanks to having older siblings, she won't be 5 until December and I question if we're just moving a little too fast. She thinks she wants to do the school program but she also would love to go to swimming seven days a week and we don't allow that because I know that is too much so we're doing a little more thinking.

 

*DD1 is loving life, exploring, and talking up a storm.  She also is learning scales because my husband will not let kids just pound on the piano keys so in him guiding her musical play she is apparently picking up some scales. 

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At this point we have no plans not to homeschool all the way through. But we're more of the "one year at a time" mindset. There are many options other than homeschooling, which is a blessing in itself. Barring illness or some other major life change at this point it would have to be the kid's decision/desire not to homeschool rather than ours. We're happy and as long as they are happy and thriving we'll stick with it.

 

I actually make a pointed effort not to point out all the disadvantages of public school/non-homeschooling. When they comment on how terrible it is when they see the school bus dropping off the neighbors at 3:45, I point out that the kids in school aren't just sitting at desks all day. They are with friends and they have fun things also. I don't want to badmouth other school options to the point that they would feel like it was a terrible thing if it worked out that it was the best choice for them. Of course, I've also pointed out plenty of times when they've had to do school on snow days and complained that they will be done May 9th and the schools around here are going until June 25th. You'll be the happiest kids in ____ County on May 9th I keep telling them. :)

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I agree we need to do what is overall best for each individual kid, but I am baffled by how many people put their kids in school, pull them out, put them in, etc.  I get that stuff happens and things don't go as planned or whatever, but this strikes me as extremely disruptive.

 

Not meaning to bash anyone...just wonder why I hear about this sort of thing so often and what the thought it behind doing that.

I really think this depends on the circumstances.  One of my BILs (BsIL?) was in ps from kinder thru 5th, did great academically and was very happy.  Started his own little business, too.  Middle school was different.  He started having serious respiratory issues (possibly caused by something at the middle school).  He came home for three years, did fine, then wanted to go back to ps for high school.  Did great in high school, went on to college, got his degree and has a great career.  He doesn't regret any of it.

 

Where do you live?  That is not the norm to have that many within reasonable driving distance.  Even for the ones near me that are 1-2 hours away, the waitlists are long.  

Not the norm here, either.  In fact, we have no special needs schools or schools (public or private) with a really good sn program.  Not one.  Nearest one is probably 4 hours away....

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