We lived in a state where kindergarten was optional until we moved to another state a month ago. I "homeschooled" my daughter this past school year, using materials I had from when I was a teacher, and I used her interests and abilities as my guide, not a curriculum. When we moved to this new area, we put her in public school to help her make friends and to give me a little time to get settled here without her in my hair all day. We figured it could be temporary (only for the last 9 weeks of school). May sound selfish but that's what we decided. I'm glad we did.
I taught in public school so I know what goes on, but it is definitely eye opening having my daughter there. She watched Hannah Montana in music class the first day she was there. We had never seen it. They watch a movie at nap time every single day, and she has been scared by the Wizard of Oz and the Jack Frost character in the Santa Clause 3 movie. She watches movies in library, art, and music pretty regularly. She reports each day of who misbehaved in class. Her teacher reads the class a chapter book with a character that has a sassy attitude and uses words like "dumb" and "stupid." She is in contact with older kids up to sixth grade every day in the cafeteria and on the playground.
I guess I have mixed feelings about the idea of "sheltering" my daughter from negative influence. I know most of this is "normal" but I'm not sure I can go along with it. 7 hours a day is a long time for my daughter to be under the influence of people I don't know. So far I don't trust their judgment regarding what is appropriate for children. Also, I might mention that the school is under a government take over by the state right now and it is considered a "failing" school. The red flags have been going up pretty often around our house to say the least.
I have been in contact with a homeschool group that I plan to meet soon.
There is no question that I would provide a better education for my daughter and that she would not be exposed to bad influences if I home schooled her. My major hangups for her are loneliness and lack of school opportunities. My major hangups for me are the overwhelmed feelings I get when I'm with her all day every day. It has been a luxury to have time to keep things straight around the house while she is at school, to say the least.
I am all for self-sacrifice and having a less than perfectly organized life and house for the sake of my daughter. I'm just really wrestling with this decision. I know either way she will be just fine. It's not the end of the world.
And by the way, I kept her home with me today because she was scared to go back and watch the rest of the scary movie, and because I wanted my kid back. We did school, chores, had a nature walk, and now she's having rest time. Thank God for rest time! She said, "Is my school OK that I didn't go today?" I said "The school is not in charge of your life." But I have a feeling it would be, at least in part, if we sent her there indefinitely.
I would appreciate your input. Thank you!