Hi. I'm a homeschooling mother of four, soon to be five, but my oldest (9yrs old) has been in public school for over a year now and I just put my oldest son (7 years old) in public school last week. I guess that makes me a homlic schooler, or maybe a publomeschooler, or.... Well, I'm not sure so you can just call me crazy.
Why do I/did I choose to homeschool? The easy answer is that I was homeschooled myself until 6th grade and wanted to give my children that same advantage. The hard answer is that there are many many reasons and there have been different reasons for each child. With Cookie I wanted to homeschool her because she is so smart and I wanted her to be able to progress as fast and as far as she wanted/could. With Pablo I just wanted the kid to have time to grow up and feel confident before I threw him to the hyenas. And I'm still homeschooling Monster Man in an attempt to keep him from becoming the next Bart Simpson.
Why have I chosen to put some of my kids into public school? Cookie needed to go in last year because for 1 1/2 years she had decided to stop learning from me. Yup, anything I said was poo and she preferred to fight with me every day rather than learn a simple math problem. She actually did not want to go to public school and begged me (literally and quite sadly) to let her stay home. Sorry, but homeschool is about learning and she just wasn't doing it. For poor little Pablo I chose to put him in because I have not been able to get myself to homeschool the way I should since last summer. I know some homeschoolers just let school fall to the side when they are pregnant or going through a life change and that is fine, but not for me (at least, not for this long). I wasn't even getting the bare minimum of schooling in with him. And this guy really wanted to learn. So, acknowledging my lack of ability I asked him if he would be ok going to "Cookie's school" and he said ok. I can still handle Kindergarten and Preschool stuff with the 2 youngest because that is the fun stuff and easy to do so I am still homeschooling them.
What do I think about the change? There are things that I highly dislike about the public school system (and we are in a fantastic public school) but then there are things I don't like about homeschooling. I still say that homeschooling is AWESOME and I hope to do it again with my older kids at some future point. I am glad I chose to homeschool and I know that a LOT of good has come from it. I love knowing that I am in control of my children's education. Even with them in public school it is a choice and not something I HAVE to do. I like having that control and that ability to ensure that my children get a good education no matter what the public system does. I am also glad that there is a public school system in place for me when I can't homeschool. I love all the education options we have today and am grateful for the people who fought to give us these options.
How am I doing with all the changes? I feel guilt. I've cried myself to sleep. I feel grateful. I've felt anger. I feel everything that any regular mom with children in public school feels at times, and the same as moms who homeschool. I've now had the experience of being offended by remarks made by homeschoolers (only one or two) as well as the ones I've had from public schoolers. It has been interesting, though not unexpected. I desperately hope I've never hurt someone elses feelings or seemed judgemental when I was a full blown homeschooler. If so, I humbly apologize!
How are the kids? Cookie is thriving in public school and has done wonderfully there (though I really have a hard time with the kind of books she has come to love. ie: she now reads only fantasy instead of the classics or other good books. Luckily whenever school is out on break and she can't get to the library she is stuck reading MY books and she does like them... if she HAS to.). Pablo is having a tough time but he is getting used to it and already has a best friend (I know he is just starting, and I know I need to be patient, but it bothers me when he comes home and I ask him what he did for math and writing and he says they didn't do any of that... AT ALL. Instead they made straw helicopters. That is great and all but he was doing stuff like that at home all the time, and I sent him to public school specifically to get math and writing. But I'm being patient. Can't you see my patient smile?). Monster Man and Sweet Terror really miss Pablo and get bored at times because he isn't here to invent a new game or to start a new adventure. And I am adjusting, again, and getting better at packing school lunches =).
Bottom line: Public School is NOT evil. Homeschooling is NOT weird. Public school is NOT perfect. Homeschooling is NOT perfect. And this is all because any form of schooling is only as good as the teacher administering it.
And that's all I have to say about that. =)