I have 2 kids. My oldest went to preschool from age 3 to 4, then asked to stay home. My youngest has never gone to any school (except homeschool of course).
My oldest, who is now 9, just went back to public school (4th grade) about a month ago. She was there the first semester of last school year (3rd grade), and again, asked to be homeschooled again. She is exteremely strong willed, really rebellious, and I just didn't have the mental strength to fight her anymore, so my husband and I agreed that it would be best for all of us for her to go back to public school. While she still doesn't like the learning part there, she does seem to thrive on every other aspect of school life. She has lots of friends, likes her teacher, and gets good grades for the most part.
My youngest (8, also 4th grade), is the one who's always been homeschooled, and wants to be homeschooled. He doesn't fight me the way my daughter always has, but it is often a struggle to get him to do his work, mostly to get him to start in the morning (he'd play with cars and airplanes most of the day if I let him), and he also gets very easily distracted throughout the day.
He's bright, very bright. He ended up doing 2 grades in one year last year, because the 2nd grade material was just plain and simply too easy for him. I let him skip through a lot of the 2nd grade repetitive exercises in his math and language arts curricula, and he loved it! This year I can't do that; he's being challenged, but really not to the point where he can't do it, but he does need more practice. I still let him skip a few pages here and there when it really seems easy for him, but he does need more practice than last year on everything. He is now a full grade ahead!
He's also a gifted little musician; he plays the cello. He loves his cello, plays it at a very advanced level for his age (he recently learned most of the Saint-Saens concerto, mostly on his own, reading the music and listening to a CD, and some help from me - I'm a flutist and violinist, and then lessons, after learning it). Sometimes it's a bit of a struggle to get him to truly practice, although he'd play his cello "for fun" for a very long time if I let him! But true slow practice he needs encouragement to do, but that's a lot less of a battle than getting him to do his school work. He has told me many times that he wishes all he had to do is practice his cello, and didn't have to do any math. He does like to read about things that interest him, such as music, trains, cars, airplanes (the toy versions of those). He does have a great fascination with computers too (his dad is a software engineer, and musician).
I'm at a loss as to what to do with him. I have some health issues (I have an autoimmune disease - Crohn's) that really wear me down sometimes, and those nearly daily battles to get him to do his school work have an impact on my health.
At the end of this week I got the process started of getting him enrolled at Connections Academy (an online school basically, in our state it's free), and he has to do placement tests for math and language arts, because we're trying to get him in at a grade level above his age.
Part of me feels like this really could be the solution, but another part feels guilty about it. I know he'll have a lot less freedom - they said it takes about 5 hours on average a day to do the work in their program, and he does quite a bit less than that each day now. He also gets sick quite frequently, and that worries me too. Initially the fact that that school is going to provide a loaner computer for him to use got him excited, as well as the fact that they now have a music theory program in association with Juillard school of music. But this afternoon he told me he doesn't want to do it, because he doesn't want to have to do 5 hours of school work and have less time and energy for his cello.
I don't know what to do anymore. I've been reading about unschooling today, but am not convinced. At this point I'm probably going to have him finish the tests (I think he'll do just fine with those, and be admitted to 4th grade without any problem), and then see. But I don't know. I do know that I don't like the nearly daily battles to get him to start his school day and focus on his work, and that I do want him to get a good education. He's a very smart kid, and can have a very bright future. I want all doors to be open to him when he's older, so he can choose what he wants to do with his life, and not have limitations because of lack of education.