Thanks to all of you who commented with words of support on my first home schooling post. It has been a big decision and it's nice to feel validation--especially when the school I'm pulling her out of is so coveted relative to other schools in the city that real estate prices in its catchment area have soared and parents who want to secure spots in its limited-enrollment kindergarten classes now start lining up outside the front doors by midnight on the school's mid-winter enrollment day.
As I noted in my previous post, I've been deliberating about this for years. And over the years more and more reasons for home schooling have piled up. None of them have anything to do with my daughter's teachers, all of whom have, in their different ways, been very good to her. Instead, the most compelling issues are:
1. She was increasingly bored and miserable at school, tearful on Monday mornings, elated on Friday afternoons, and plagued with preoccupations and nightmares about unfriendly classmates.
2. She spaced out frequently during class and missed out on a lot of material and activities.
3. Her grades suffered because of this. Recently, she also lost substantial points on her science fair project for not making sufficient eye contact and not speaking loudly and clearly enough during her presentation.
4. She hates Investigations Math, personal reflections, dioramas, projects, and the daily homework sheets almost as much as I do. And these things plague all of the otherwise decent area schools, public and private alike.
5. To get ready for the one potential alternative, what I've taken to calling the True School of the Future (more on that later), she needs to start learning French as soon as possible.
In addition to these issues, there were a few others pertaining to the idiosyncrasies of our school's parent-staff relationships, though none of these were decisive:
6. I'm under the impression that the principal despises me.
7. In comparison with many other parents, I'm an outsider. I no longer volunteer at the school, and I am not friends on Facebook with any of my daughter's teachers, nor do I (or my daughter) hang out with any of the teachers socially after hours.
8. Some of the insider parents, when they volunteer in the classroom, are tasked with grading homework assignments including those of my daughter.
I have no evidence that any of these latter factors have had, or later would have had, any ill effects on my daughter's educational experience, but how can I be certain?