Well, my oldest is in school. Yes, REAL school. A building with other children and adults and away from me for seven to eight hours a day (depending on how long that carpool line is).
He tested for our parish's (that's Louisiana for "county") magnet system last year and was wait-listed. He always is. I primarily had him take the test just so I could submit the results for our home-study application. Out of no where, though, we got a call last Tuesday that they had an opening in a third grade class - at our preferred magnet school (closest, where several of the neighbor's kids go, top-rated). It happened quickly, and it's been a little crazy.
He went for a few hours Thursday afternoon and for the morning and lunch on Friday. Today is his first full day.
From what we've seen so far, he's way ahead in math (I've had him doing fifth grade math, and that seems to hold true compared to what they are doing in his class). I'm glad he has something he can be confident in, and I think we'll continue to work Teaching Textbooks 5 at home, as well. We own it - might as well continue to use it. The computer component is like a game to him, so I don't think he'll resist "more school."
I'm excited that he'll get consistent exposure to social studies and science. With the two little ones at home, it's been a constant struggle this year to "do more" than the absolute minimum. He's very excited about "making friends." I met several on Friday when I picked him up from the playground. It was sweet to see.
So far, this has definitely been harder on me. My younger two are terrible conversationalist (my 5-year-old boy has speech delays), and the third grade work was much more stimulating than the pre-K and kindergarten stuff. My oldest was also a huge help with the younger kids and around the house - but those aren't valid reasons for keeping him home.
I've been very pleased with the personalized attention so far. The guidance counselor has been very thorough with the process, and no one has given me negative remarks or even looks about him being homeschooled (which, trust me, is not how everyone in the school district reacts when it's mentioned).
I am trying to keep positive on this - even if, at moments, I feel like I'm sending my kid off to a factory to turn out like every other a-hole kid out there. Breathe! It's a good thing! It's good.
I have more time for me, now, which is good. And more time to work with my quirky middle child, which is also very good. And my oldest is happy and excited, so very, very good.
I think this will be an easier time to transition back to a classroom - rather than waiting till middle school or high school.
So, I'm trying to reprogram our homeschool room, with just the little people, and I hope to re-energize things around here.
This homeschooling/schooling adventure has always been about what is best for my kids - it's not about me or about public v. private v. home.
Differences, they make the world an interesting and often wonderful place.