I am asking, because that is the situation we are in. We live in an Eastern European country where elementary school (starts at age 6.5) is absolutely compulsory, unless for medical reasons the child cannot attend. I have posted about it a couple times before on this part of MDC. I tried looking into K12, or other correspondence schools. I tried seeing if bending the rules would be possible because we are foreigners. I inquired if enrolling my kids in a private school, taking tests but not attending every day, could be the solution. The answers are that homeschooling is illegal - and the possible penalties are monetary, and then if the kids still are not in school, even prison. But, and that's a big but, the authorities are highly inefficient and corrupt. Unless someone reports us, and knows our full address, nothing will happen.
My current neighbors are extremely, extremely nosy. I am willing to move house, but that's the general culture over here. I have been harassed for babywearing, letting my toddler walk, putting him in a stroller... I have been harassed for being a solo parent, for being a foreigner, for my baby crying at night, and the list goes on. I am already asked on a regular basis where my kids will go to school. They are 4 and 2, and school (well, the compulsory preparatory program) starts at 6.5, or possibly at 6, depending on which of the authorities you believe. Despite the fact that my four year old has more knowledge now than is taught in first grade, I a, sure neighbors will report me. I can lie, but they will notice the kids being at home, or out and about, during school hours. And of course, I don't want that kind of trouble.
Yet, I am absolutely convinced that homeschooling is the best option for us, for so many reasons. Over the last year, I have been working with my oldest. I am half American, half European, and in the European country school starts at four, so over there, we would already officially be homeschoolers. I am thinking about moving abroad, but am not sure if we can pull it off (that's another thread entirely!). I know one family who homeschooled for three years before being legally threatened, then they put their kids in school.
What would you do? Would you still homeschool? The local school environment is appalling in many ways, so that is a big factor for us. Has anyone got any experience with this, perhaps many years ago in the US? Any advice to make it work?