This ended up being really really long. Sorry.
Background: So, over the last couple of years I've tried to convince my Ex-H to let me homeschool our DD. She's incredibly intelligent, and everyone including him recognizes this. Our state has abysmal records. None of the schools in our area passed the national tests for the last 3 or 4 years. Even the teacher friends I have don't recommend our school system. DD still has another year before she would be required to start kindergarten. I've loosely been doing pre-k at home with her a few days a week, and she's just blowing through all of the work I give her. She's starting to ask to learn more about math, space, how to read, and comes up with other very specific examples of what she would like to know like counting by fives (heard this on tv), how to tell time, specific grammar structure like past and future tense ("Mama, how do I say it if I stir cookies yesterday? What if I stir cookies tomorrow?"), and many other things. I've also looked at the state requirements, and she is meeting or exceeding those for kindergarten, and in some cases 1st grade. I'm thinking about starting her with a kindergarten curriculum next year (a year early) because of her intense interest in learning, and to give her more challenges than she's currently receiving with all of the pre-k material we've been working with. (I want to clarify that in no way do I want to "push" her, I want to follow her lead and what I'm getting from her is "I want to learn more.") I know there's nothing stopping me from doing this since she's not required next year to be attending school in the first place, but I do wonder how it will impact her if the following year she ends up having to go to "back" to kindergarten anyway.
Ex-H's Argument: I've brought up the issue of homeschooling with him a few times over the last couple of years, but haven't really had more than a 10 minute conversation about the subject. He's never been a researcher, and tends to only think about his own experiences and basic understanding of any given subject. The few things that he has brought up include the fact that he doesn't believe in homeschooling all the way through high school. His mother homeschooled him through 1st grade, and when he states that fact he makes it seem as if that was a very long time to be homeschooled. He says at that time he was doing 5th grade work, and that set him up to be underchallenged throughout the rest of his schooling, so he's not even sure if homeschooling at a younger age was beneficial. He also brings up the socialization aspect of school, and says he feels that is a very important aspect of brick and mortar schooling that she would not be able to receive if she was homeschooled. These three things are the entirety of everything he brings up when I mention that I'd like to homeschool. 1) Not doing it through high school 2) being underchallenged when she does attend regular school and 3) not receiving enough socialization. The last time we talked about this was when I picked her up on Sunday, and he actually said he'd like to talk more about it on Wednesday after I pick her up from her "dad dinner day."
What I plan on doing: Usually if I can give him a well-researched alternative viewpoint to his own, make him feel like he's involved, and avoid any mention or expectation that he is "wrong" then he tends to be reasonable and at least come around a little bit. I figure I'll start off with asking him some questions to see where he really stands on some things, like what are his goals for her education? And I'll bring up the failures of our state and local school systems. I'll bring up the state standards, and how DD is meeting/exceeding them. I'll ask him about his feelings regarding homeschooling through high school, and where that comes from. I'd like to see what age he feels is "too old" for homeschool. I plan on finding a gentle way to tell him that if she is homeschooled through high school then I could make sure that she was continually challenged, but I will have to choose my wording wisely with that topic. I'd like to ask him what would make him feel more comfortable about homeschooling, and suggest things like yearly standardized testing to make sure she was meeting or exceeding grade expectations. As part of the state requirements for homeschooling I would be required to keep a weekly log of activities, so I definitely want to explain that those would be available to him, and that I would even make him copies every week if he wanted. I also would tell him that I would give him a list of the curriculum I would be using in case he wants to research it himself. Also, I would ask him how much forced socialization he felt she needed. She's currently involved in ballet and gymnastics, but there are other social activities she could be involved in now, and a ton more once she hits five years old (in January). Plus I would point out that we both have large social groups that include children, and while it's not "forced" socialization like in school, activities, and groups, that it does count as socialization with her peers. I think if I go through all of that with him then he's likely to at least allow me to "try" homeschooling for a couple of years. Also, I'm thinking that if I go ahead and still start with a kindergarten curriculum this next year I would go ahead and do my weekly reports as if I was already following the state requirements for homeschooling, and then I would have those and all the completed workbooks and things from that year to show him 1) that I was capable of teaching the material and 2) that DD was capable of learning while at home.
What I'm asking: First of all, thank you if you made it this far. I know I went on and on. I'm trying to work this all out in my head, and it's been on my mind for quite awhile, and almost constantly since I last spoke with Ex-H about this. I'm wondering if anyone else has had any experience with this, and if you could share your story with me. Also, I would like to know if you think my plan is a good one, or if you have any advice for me. Plus, are there any any other points you think I should bring up with him? I do think that he should have a say in his daughters education, but I believe so strongly in homeschooling being the best option for her, that I'm not sure how he could see it another way. Maybe you could give me some insight about where he is coming from, but I do admit that I would very much like to convince him to let me homeschool her. Basically, what are your thoughts about this whole situation?