Homeschooling is so different now than it was even 10 or 15 years ago. There are so many options now and even the public school systems are stepping into help. We study Math, English, Science and History at home. Two days a week the kids attend an alternative program through the public school system for enrichment classes. They choose 5 classes each semester and attend each class for 1 hour twice a week. They take things like, Pod casting, Flash Animation, Robotics, and Pioneer History. The list goes on and on. Even more amazing is that the state pays us to attend. We are re-embersed $550.00 per child for their educational needs. You can use it for so many things! We use it to pay for Piano lessons, Guitar lessons and art supplies.
The curriculum that we use at home costs us about $200.00 per year for each child. That is for the four core subjects. Some people use the re-embersment money to purchase curriculum but that is not an option for us because ours is religiously based and therefor doesn't qualify.
As time has gone on and we now have 3 school age kids we still take the time each year to re-evaluate their education. At this time they all attend the alternative program and study at home. Trinity attended kindergarten at the local public school. For her it was a good fit and we have been thrilled with that decision. As the third child she really needed at that time something that was all her own and separate from the others. My point is that there is no one way to educate and there is no way that may work for all your children all the way through graduation. It is important to look at each child, each year and make the best decision for them at that time. We have found that the freedom we have by homeschooling is such a gift to our family. We are able to vacation during the off season and midweek for less money and with less crowds. We can visit friends or spend the week with grandma whenever we want or need to. We really notice the difference when someone is sick, the weather is bad, there's a family emergency, or grandpa wants to take us sailing for a week because the weather is going to be perfect!
This is all just one humble women's opinion of course but I do feel strongly about it. Our children are our greatest treasure and I believe, our first mission field. The old adage is still very true, they are only little so long and it goes so very quickly. My children have a solid belief system and a feeling of family oneness that I truly do not think they would have had. There are days when I cannot see this clearly through my glazed over, sleep deprived eyes but it is still true none the less. My oldest is turning 13 this year and I can see now some of the results of these hard choices and I am so excited for him and relieved for me...Yeah, one less regret!