My middle girl is in 1st grade this year, and it is her first year at our local public school. Its a 'good' school by test scores/great school reviews but it is a public school nonetheless.
The first day my daughter was pushed around by a bigger kid on the playground. That aside, she loved her first day. Her second day she came home telling me school was boring and all they talked about was rules rules rules. ALL DAY LONG. She said "mom the just kept talking about the rules... they are trying to rule me!" if only she knew how true a statement that was. They send home this rule packet, and it felt so punative and negative. It wasn't welcome to our school it was here is 5 pages of our rules. Be quiet. Ask permission. Wait your turn, etc. The kicker for me is I must sign a form stating that I have read their discipline policy which states that 1st and 2nd graders can get half hour detention! I absolutely don't agree with this. I don't want my children to grow up thinking that they have to follow (stupid) rules without question. I want my children to be critical thinkers. I hate the institution of public school, always have.
My background is that I was the 'problem child' in school as a kid. I did poorly, had little parental involvement, and thought my entire life I just was not smart or that I was a step above stupid. It wasn't until I was in college and a math teacher handed me a recommendation to the honors college that I started to wonder.... turns out what public school taught me was that I was stupid because I didn't follow the rules. NOT what i want for my little girl :(
She attended a montessori school for preschool and K. We all LOVED it. She had the best teacher ever, and the environment was amazing. She learned so much! Unfortunately we can't afford to send her to to montessori beyond that. My daughter is bright (I would not say gifted but definately loves learning and picks things up very quickly) and her 1st grade class is doing things she knew going in to preK. She loves to read and they are working on letter sounds. She knows SO MUCH about the solar system because she loves it so much and they are going to talk about the moon. It seems that everything is just a very watered down version of what she already knows. Socially, there is a group of 'popular' moms that hang out before and after school, and it seems that if your not one of them, your kids don't have many friends.
Anyway, I hate the public school concept. I haven't been able to sleep much since she started, and I worry about her all day. I don't want the school to change her, she is a pretty amazing little person. However, I am far from perfect. I am not very patient. I have a hard time sitting still for very long (I probably have adhd) and I am not a good teacher. I have an exceptionally high needs toddler at home. I don't think I would be a good homeschool mom, and I worry that keeping her home would be just as bad as sending her to school. I don't know what to do, and I am feeling desperate.