Long story short, we have always homeschooled, and had planned to for the duration of our kids' school careers. But life has changed a lot in the last 2 years. DH lost his job, we have moved twice, I had to go back to work, DH really couldn't be the homeschooling parent (he just didn't have the personality/patience to do it) and it just won't be feasible to homeschool our girls anymore. Dh is starting a new job soon, I am working as well, and I am trying to go back to school, all in the name of getting our family to a better place.
DD2 is 5 and will be starting kindergarten next week. I think she will be fine; it's early in the game and she is above and beyond excited about going. What I am worried about is DD1. She is 9, and we took a very relaxed almost unschooly approach when we started out. I am positive her reading is on a 4th grade level, she likes to read graphic novels as well as horror/mystery fiction, we read together all the time and she has surprised me by how far she has come with her reading. I am very concerned about math though. That has been a big struggle for both of us, it took a little while to find a curriculum that we both liked, there was a big power struggle going on between us when we'd work on math together too, in addition to all the transitions and big changes we've had in the last couple years. I know she is at a second grade level in math. It has been hard to keep a consistent schedule to work on it with her; she picks up on what we are learning really quickly but at the moment we have only made it as far as adding/subtracting without regrouping. I am really beating myself up over the fact that we lost so much time and couldn't get it together to help her more in this area. I feel like such a failure because I know she'll be so far behind and I think of all the things I could have done differently. Like I should have just stuck her in school from the get-go. Or I could have pushed her harder (but I don't see how, it has was so hard to motivate her and get her to cooperate up until recently). Argh I feel like I screwed it all up.
How will this work? If we start her in school are they going to keep her back in 3rd grade because of her math level? Will they put her in 4th but give her extra help to get her up to speed? I am so worried that they will look at me like I'm a negligent mother or something because she's behind. I am also worried that this is going mess with her self-esteem, she is a really sensitive kid. I feel like even though my intentions were good I just completely screwed things up regarding my little girl's education.
I know that she will probably be fine. I need advice from people that have done this before on what to expect in this situation.