My son is 4 and since he was a baby I've been considering home educating and researching it on and off. I came across unschooling ideas on MDC and that really resonates with me and think I'd go in that direction... DS has attended preschool 15 hours a week since January, mainly b/c I thought he'd benefit from more varied resources than i felt I could provide (single mother on low income) and because, also as a single mother, I felt i needed a break - he is very high needs and intense and I have no family around to support me, although he does see his dad regularly. Anyway, I've noticed a negative impact on his behaviour since starting preschool, which includes an inability to play alone anymore - which he was quite happy to do regularly before, but he now insists I play with him at all times and every single time I need to do a chore or take care of my own basic needs he is very upset, signs of exhaustion manifesting in increased frequency and severity of tantrums, and much, much rude talking and shouting to me, hitting/kicking on a daily basis (which he rarely if ever did before), etc. I think this is a combination of his frustration at having to follow others' timetables and priorities at preschool at a young age, and his separation from me (he's always been very attached and although has never been upset when dropped off at preschool, I think it comes out in more subtle ways). As the school application deadlines approach rapidly and I've been going to some school open days - and not liking what I see - as well as talking to home ed-ing and unschooling parents I know, I am strongly leaning in the direction of not sending him to school next Sept.
I have been tentatively feeling out the topic with him of him not going to 'big school' and learning at home with me, and other grown-ups and other children (we live in an area where there are tons of home ed groups), but he says he wants to go to big school. He knows that's what all the children he knows do or are going to do, and he's already 'in the system'. Although he often doesn't want to go to preschool on a given day, when I've told him he doesn't have to go (in general) if he doesn't want to, he insists he does. I don't know. Anyone else had this situation? Any thoughts? Thank you! Another issue is his dad, (who he sees weekly) in all previous discussions about it (we've not had one for a long time b/c it became so emotive, and he now thinks I am just going to send DS to school), has been TOTALLY and completely against home schooling, believing it to be an act of parental neglect and deprivation. So I have very considerable opposition to face if I take this route...and I don't know if I can actually go ahead and do it if he doesn't want me to.