I'm considering homeschooling our kids, if I can get my husband on board. The schools here are considered good, but my experiences so far with my 4yo (who has some minor special needs) have not been positive at ALL. They only agreed to evaluate him after I wrote the superintendent, the principal and the director of special education and CCed it to a bunch of fairly important people I know (being a journalist pays off sometimes!).
I went to public schools, and I did fairly well, but I remember a LOT of time spent being bored, when I could have been learning more. I remember not being able to take AP classes because I wasn't able to get to school early (no car, and my mom wouldn't drive me). And I most definitely remember getting to college and finding out that I was not NEARLY as smart as I'd thought I was. (I didn't even know how to study -- I'd never HAD to in high school.) It was actually a very rough time for me, because I went from being Little Miss Smartypants, who all the teachers knew and loved, to one of a VERY large group of smart kids, and far from the smartest of them! I graduated from Michigan State (not exactly an Ivy League school) with a whopping 2.7 GPA. Luckily, in newspapers, no one gives a crap about your grades!
At any rate, I have TONS of other concerns about the public schools:
- The huge time suck that is standardized testing, and the LOWERING of standards so that states can show they're "improving."
- The emphasis on academics instead of playing for very young children (even preschool and kindergarten age).
- The reduction and even omission of recess. (I'm sorry, but I have two little boys, and I know what they're like if they don't get a chance to get their crazies out on a fairly frequent basis!)
- The "socialization" with some kids who, frankly, I wouldn't want my kids to socialize with in any other setting.
- Bullying (big issue for me when I was a kid).
- The emphasis on math and reading at the expense of other subjects, like science, history and language.
Anyway, my husband is convinced our kids will turn out weird if we homeschool. I've pointed out that his brothers aren't exactly paragons of social skills, and THEY went to public school, but he remains unconvinced.