Although I do realize it is several years before Fuss heads off to school, I find myself leaning more toward homeschooling. It's not necessarily for the reasons you would think. I vaccinate, so that's not an issue. I do not care that she isn't being taught "values" in school. That's what parents are for anyway. The things I am most concerned about run more along the lines of the quality of education she will receive knowing just how bad a lot of the schools are now. Our state isn't the lowest-ranked in the nation when it comes to education. Apparently, we're somewhere in the middle, around #34 (source). I'm not 100% certain that's where WV ranks since most of the sites are membership-only and won't show a comprehensive national average. However, I know that thanks to the "No Child Left Behind Act" many children who are already considered "advanced" are turned down for pre-school and Kindergarten based solely on if their birthdays fall a few days short of the deadline while those considered "delayed" or "mentally retarded" are often shoved into a school ill-equipped to handle them. Each teacher is responsible for 30 students and usually has at least 1 "special ed" kid in their classroom. Most are not allowed to have aides. The aides that are available are generally required to be with the worst students. Don't get me wrong, I believe EVERY CHILD should be educated! However, I think each child's education needs to be tailored more individually than our current system allows.
This is why I'm considering homeschooling. I want Fuss to have every opportunity to excel that I can grant to her. How can we expect 30 children to learn exactly the same way and at the same rate? It is improbable, if not impossible, to expect ANY of those children to learn ANYTHING! I still remember sitting at my desk doodling during many of my classes because I was bored with the teaching style. Plus, so much of it was repetitive. I learned the same Geography lessons from fifth grade to eighth! Hubby can read things and has a near-photographic memory for them. He got bored quickly in school. I was the people-pleaser, the "A" student, the one all the teachers wanted. I know my Fuss. She has the potential to be an "A" student. She also has the (very real) potential to be a troublemaker if bored or unfocused. How do I expect her to handle being advanced when she is forced to sit and listen to the same lecture five times due to a few students who can't keep up? Every child is different. Every situation is different. I think if our school systems could understand that, we would do a lot better.
That still leaves me with the question stated initally: To homeschool or not to homeschool? At this point, I don't know. I'm doing my research and looking for insight. Fuss can already count to 7 and says her alphabet up to J by herself. Yes, I am biased. I also know that our 90-year-old pediatrician is impressed with her each time we go in. I know she has wonderful manners and other people find her quite pleasant. I want her to have the opportunity to do dance, cheer, play soccer, anything she wants. I just don't want to be the reason she is stopped from any of those things by my choices now.
Any advice from my loyal followers? Links to great homeschool sites or groups? Please post below!