Totally butting in late to this thread, but my radically unschooled 11.5 yr old (at the time) decided to go back to school in the middle of sixth grade and while we tried to talk him out of it (middle school is the worst time to go back IMO and i encouraged him to wait til high school) he wouldnt budge. he was sure that it was what he needed...he wanted to meet more kids. So i sent him. He did fine at first (socially...i didnt really care about the academic part which freaked the teachers right out...but he did very well academically and was clearly ahead of his peers in many areas esp reading/writing) but ultimately it just didnt work out well for him. And his personality was changed, he was a different kid coming out than going in. Hopefully one day i'll have that sweet openminded kid back but he'll be 16 and so far i rarely see that side of him. Sometimes i cry just thinking about it. I will always wonder how it would have gone had i refused to let him make that choice. I really bought into the "let the child choose" advice (and that made sense at the time since he was very self-directed) and of course there could be SO many factors going into the change (puberty, me adopting a baby, etc etc)...but in the end, if i had to do it over, i would make a different choice. I would do ANYTHING i could to meet his social needs without throwing him to the wolves that is middle school.
Of course...other people have had kids go back to school and they do well. Im not anti-school...my 10 yr old goes to the local elementary and does very well socially there and i will be sending my younger boys there as well (currently in preK for another year)....but yeah it didnt work out so well for my oldest.
queenjane -- Thank you so much for sharing about your perspective! What I'm seeing right now with my own dd, at this moment, is that she's come back alive in a sense. She's so happy now that she has a goal to focus on.
I'd honestly been kind of feeling like I'd lost my radiant little ball of energy -- but I see today that she was never really gone: she just needed a broader canvass. She's been growing so much and she needs her world to expand, too. I'm certainly not saying that going to school is the only way to expand one's world, of course, but this is what she really feels she needs right now.
I agree that middle school sucks, it sure did for me, but dd hasn't seemed this happy for a long time. I'm not going to jerk the rug out from under her now that we've promised that we'll do everything we can to help her prepare for the eight grade and then try to get her enrolled in a school in the fall of 2013.
In the meantime, she'll be starting Coming of Age and youth group at church, and we'll still be involved in our Wednesday homeschooling co-op because her younger sister is still homeschooling, plus, of course, dd1 will still be a homeschooler this year.
Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.