We've decided it's time to send our oldest to the public school for part of the day. Each day for about three hours he will get instruction in reading, art, and recess :). During that time I'll teach his little brother and chase his little sister around and carry a baby that's due in a few months.
In so many ways, the decision flies in the face of so much of what I read about the homeschooling vs. public school debate.
Scare tactics, like those used by the HSLDA, that any involvement with "government" schools, the derogatory term used for them by some militant homeschoolers, means you are putting your entire family at risk for social services to come take your kids away.
Criticism by Christian parents who believe the Bible requires you to homeschool your children can make you feel guilty for even considering any other alternative. As soon as you add "God told me" to a statement it automatically carries more "weight".
Bloggers who detail their homeschooling days in such a way that everything appears to run smoothly and she is "super mom", but they neglect to mention the fact that they have a housekeeper who comes or young teenagers who assist with smaller children. In other words, they project an image that regardless of how many children you have you SHOULD be able to keep an orderly home and teach all the children so that your husband returns home to find you smiling and not crying.
Yes, academically homeschooled kids score great. But did it occur to you, as it did to me a few months ago, that if you had the kind of student-teacher ratio in all the classrooms that you have in homeschooling homes, you'd get better scores? Or the fact that many families attempt homeschooing and it doesn't succeed so guess where they send their kid? The public schools, which are comprised of a vast demographic of kids from every social class and family type imaginable. Everyone is tested, not just the "smart" kids, which certainly affects the scores of the entire group.
Here's my point: Each and every school, family, parent, and kid is different. You absolutely cannot make sweeping statements about what everyone else should do in how they choose to educate their child. Yes, I would LOVE to have other homeschooling families here. In fact, it would make the whole experience a hundred times better for all of us. But it's not reality.
So this is what we're trying. Do I have reservations? Yes, some. But right now, this seems like the best choice for our family.
Time will tell.