This is such a complex issue for most. I don't think I have met very many home school families that planned from the beginning to home school. Most of them like me were lead to do so by scripture, and the lack of faith in the current school system.
So my story starts out like most I think, my oldest attended the preschool on base 3 days a week and I starting helping her with letters, numbers, and colors at home. The usual stuff that they usually go over in preschool right. Then almost two thirds the way threw the year the government cut costs and with it restricted the number of kids that could attend. Since we were senior enlisted at the time of course we lost our spot to a junior enlisted child. Which is the way it should be don't get me wrong. The problem was that we made to much to qualify for the on base preschool but didn't make enough to be able to afford the off base preschool. So since I had been helping her any way I figured I could finish getting her ready for Kindergarten.
I started off doing the lil work books that you buy in the store, then I discovered my favorite blog 1+1+1=1. She had developed this wonderful curriculum for not only preschool but Kindergarten. I started my princess off in the preschool stuff but she quickly caught on and I was soon doing Kindergarten with her, I was using the Raising Rock Stars Curriculum along with Saxton math and other interesting things that I found on Pintrest.
We then got orders to Japan at that point I thought, "heck I can keep teaching her, then we can travel." Let me mention that princess #2 had made her appearance by then so school was done during her nap times since her older sister didn't nap anymore.
Fast forward to Japan, at the beginning of what should have been Princess #1's kinder year we were already half way thru with the Kinder curriculum. But when we got here she made lots of friends in our neighborhood and when it was their first day of school she asked to go to school. Well after some prayer and thought I packed her a lunch and took her to school. By this point in time she was able to read simple books and write all of her ABC's upper and lower. Did I mention she caught on fast. The rest of her class was not as advanced and the teacher had to start at A and take them threw the alphabet. This was torcher for my lil princess, so she got bored and started doing what most lil ones do when they are bored. Play and talk, which was not very much appreciated. I started to volunteer in the class at that point to try and help. Which it did. Amazing what mommy's presence in the room does. However I also got to learn about the school and its students. Kids had no guidance for appropriate clothes, speech or manners. Swear words were often said, girls were dressed in outfits that I wouldn't let myself be seen in, and finally after having one of the lil boys tell us quite vividly about Friday the 13th a movie him and his dad watched together, I had had enough.
Now I am not a saint and I know that this is 21st century and since I am a sailor I do have some "immunity" to these things. However I saw a change take place in my lil one that I did not like. She was losing her Godly view and was becoming like some of the sailors I work with and she had only been in school for 3 months. When I talked with the school, which I did all the almost everyday since I was a regular volunteer at that point, they saw nothing wrong with this. I was even told swear words were a normal part of speech and there for not wrong, they just tried to encourage them to use them when appropriate. SAY WHAT!
I pulled my princess out and ordered her first grade curriculum, we joined a home school group and that was that. Well sort of, I want to tell you I want the best for my child but I am human. After almost a whole year of school I was pulling my hair out. My lil learning sponge had started to slow down even refuse to do school. After talking with her father and more prayer I decided that battling the world was easier than battling my sanity and hurting my relationship with my daughter so with a month and a half of school left we sent her back to school. Now mind you she was a good way into her first grade work and her "class" was just finishing Kindergarten. However God had a plan, instead of her being put back in the class that she was in she was put in a different one. And that teacher was amazing, there was still a lot of things I didn't like but she assessed our princess and gave her work that was appropriate for her level. And guess what she got past the hurtles that we had been stumbling on. Although everyday was a battle, she didn't want to go to school and most often left my arms crying and begging to have mom as her teacher again. It broke my heart. At the end of the year princess, myself and the teacher were all in agreement that she would thrive in home school.
Since then we have been a team, there are days I don't want to do school and days she doesn't want to but we try to motivate each other.
Now we also have lil princess joining us for school. She started preschool this year, which again I turned to 1+1+1=1. It worked great before and so far she loves it.
Bottom line is Homeschooling is hard but I would rather have a very long day than have my children exposed and have to deal with the "world" at such a young age. They will have plenty of years of living in it, however this way I can be assured that they have the morals and the tools to handle what the world throws at them not just survive.
There are many that would argue with me but after prayer and looking back on my own struggles, this is what I have determined would be the best for my children.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.