Today at the chiropractor's office, the new receptionist looked up from our paperwork with sort of a sad face and said "Aw, you're homeschooling. You know, blankety blank blank school is a really good one, didn't you want to send your kids to school?" Actually, no. I never did. And it is not because I think there is anything wrong with the teachers or the schools or the "system." Or at least it wasn't at first, LOL! Originally, I just didn't want to send my baby away for the day when we were perfectly fine at home together, and learning much more one on one than he ever could have in a classroom. I tried preschool. Philip loved it, I hated it. Probably because it was a 45 minute drive to get there, drop him off for 3 hours, while I had nothing to do but go back home and then come back again, the whole while Tyler was screaming in the car seat because he absolutely hated car rides. I finally couldn't take it and just after a couple of months (or less) I took him out and started "homeschooling." He was just over 3 at the time and believe it or not, we talked a lot about how we both wanted things, Philip and I. I started doing research and eventually decided this homeschooling stuff was here to stay. At the insistent coaxing of my husband, we did send Philip to Kindergarten. Evan was 5 weeks old, there was no way I could convince my husband that I could do as well as a trained professional at that time, hehe! Philip LOVED it. He was probably the most popular kid in his class. He was late on a weekly basis, and most of what he had to say outside of school was how he was so proud of himself for "staying on the green" while "blankety blank got on the red!!" Philip is a people pleaser. I am sure the teachers favored him over the other students as he was always doing EXACTLY what they expected. One day while I was visiting Philip for a lunch date, there was a substitute teacher for his class, and an aide I'd never met. Long story short, the aide man-handled and shamed (I am NOT exaggerating or joking at all) one of the other kindergartners for chewing with his mouth opened. I immediately thought of my middle child and how (the most definitely not concerned with pleasing others child, LOL) if a teacher or aide, or anyone in fact, EVER dared to touch him like that, they'd be dead. Then, instead of thinking any further down that path, I just decided that as soon as that year was finished, all my kids would be homeschooled. I have heard lots of stuff from "Why do you think you're better than a teacher could be?" to "My mom took me to this museum and that *insert wonderful field trippy place of learning* and on and on, and then when summer was over, she sent me back to school." And of course I always hear, from people who love me and have my best interests at heart, "Why do you do this to yourself??" I just have to say, I love it! Of course I need more little breaks, more often because I am with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what. And my kids and I absolutely love spending our days together! Goodness knows we have our bad times, but doesn't any Mother? A stay at home, a working, a single, a whatever Mom you could possibly describe is probably doing more than any one person should on a daily basis, in this day and age. We weren't meant to do it alone, but throughout history, there isn't a time recorded that separates Mother's from their children for as long as we do on a daily basis in this and other first world countries today! I simply will not judge another person for sending their kids to school, just as I won't judge another mom for choosing to or having to work outside the home. I think it is a personal choice that has to be made with the best interests of your immediate family in mind. The interests of my husband, children and I include being with each other for more than a few rushed and hectic hours a day (which is what happened when Philip was in Kindergarten). My husband works such a crazy schedule, he'd never see the boys if they were all in school! Each of my children is at or beyond the level he should be for his age at this point in time, each of them is perfectly contented with the way things are, or believe me, as vocal as they are (where'd they get that from?? LOL), I would know it. And just in case anyone is thinking of the old standby question of "How in the world do you socialize them?!" HAHAHA! Have you met my kids?? I do not beat them (anymore, hehe) or run a strict house, not even close. Yet, any time we are with other adults, at a company party, at a company fundraiser, at a restaurant, inevitably another adult will comment on what well mannered and mature children we have. I am not taking one bit of credit for that, that is all them. Philip is a people pleaser by nature, Tyler is too shy to be disruptive (if I'd have known he would be so conformative in public, I may not have been so against sending him to school, LOL), and Evan is too cute for anyone to care. I'm just saying, (yes, this is partially a pep talk for myself!) they are getting everything they need, so Miss. Receptionist lady and anyone who feels like judging me or feeling sorry for me or my kids, please don't. It's hard. The days are long. The doubts are there. But it's OUR choice and WE are happy with it.