I guess somewhere deep down I always knew I'd try it at some point. Being military, we move too much to hit good school districts everywhere. We also like to talk about buying an RV and spending a year on the road after DH retires, homeschooling the kids and seeing the bits of our great nation we have yet to see. That is why I have tried to keep an open mind about it. I do love the idea of it. Projects! Field trips! Workbooks! School supplies! Books! Did I mention I tend to go overboard with things too? I do.
Again, being military, we have to consider our situation for each year. We lived in Kansas when DD was ready for Kindergarten and the school was WONDERFUL! Beautiful, every amenity, art teacher, music teacher, PE teacher, science lab, planetarium, full day - that was a no-brainer to me. I knew every kid and parent. DD learned math and reading and science and made beautiful artwork. We all cried the December day we had to leave that classroom but duty calls and we were moving mid-year.
Enter new school in Washington. I admit, I was not very pleased to be going from full day in a wonderful school back to 2 1/2 hours in an unknown school. Really, 2 1/2 hours - she went to preschool longer than that. I considered not enrolling her since in Washington you are not required to put your kids in school until they are 8 years old. It's true. Look it up. 2 1/2 hours seemed more of a hassle than it was worth. And it was. In the end, I did enroll her so she could make friends and have something to do. We found out as were moving that DH would be leaving for a year six weeks after we got there so it was a good thing. I knew I would evaluate our situation every summer anyway.
I might have tried this last year if DH had been home. I thought about it long and hard but I just couldn't see taking on one more thing. DS was two, I had never homeschooled and I would have no one to back me up. I made the decision to try first grade at school, again watching closely and evaluating how the year went. While I liked her teacher and felt like she learned what I wanted her to over the course of the year, I have some philosophical problems with her school and feel like a lot of her time there was wasted. Twice last year she missed more than a week of school and was able to do all the make-up work on her own in 45 minutes. For seven days' worth of work. Plus, they are changing the bell schedule this year so that school does not release until 3:45. That is just way too late in my opinion. Add any activity and she has no time for playing and being a kid. These are some of my reasons. There are more.
I make no judgements on those who send their kids to any school. I make no promises that I won't send her back next year if this just doesn't work out. I just feel like I have to try it and that this is the time. Trust me, a lot of prayer went in to this decision as well. Every time I asked God to take the desire away if it was not in His plan for me, the desire came back stronger than ever. Even if this is the only year I do it, I pray the things I invest in my child last her the rest of her life. The good ones, anyway.
I know I will make mistakes. Lots of them. I know it won't always be fun. I know I won't always feel like it. So, for now, it's just me - a very disorganized mom - trying to be obedient and homeschooling my child this year. Pray for us!