Originally Posted by cyberfish
Well, it's going to be Virginia. And I discovered that since DD will be 5 before the end of Sept., she's required to be enrolled in kindergarten or have homeschool paperwork filed. Not sure which direction I will take. Apparently there's a democratic school in the area where you can pick your hours/days and reduce tuition (which is not as bad as I thought) by volunteering. And there's another school there that takes homeschoolers part time. And I've been told the public schools are "excellent."
I may try to visit a public kindergarten and maybe meet a teacher if possible before moving there. I'm trying hard to think about all the really great early childhood teachers I already know personally (and there are several) and approach with an open mind for my daughter's sake. I really just want her in the best place for her.
The shift in the tone of this thread after this post is pretty remarkable! Before this update, the uncertainty of everything did sound pretty scary. But now it sounds like you have good options and concrete details to learn about and develop a plan from.
I am a public school teacher (and I won't bother echoing the sentiments that not buying into your child's school program is problematic--even though that's how I feel) and I just want to point out that, even though I'm sure you know this, public schools in this country are incredibly diverse. People often over-generalize their feelings about public school and end up short-changing the really good ones. Yes, they are all subject to stupid federal laws, but that really doesn't have a huge impact in the day-to-day happenings in a good teacher's classroom. If you do go the public school route and end up sticking around long enough to be subject to standardized tests (in Maine, they start in 3rd grade), know that in some states it is possible for parents to opt out of state testing. The school can't tell you that, but it's something to look into. I have a student who doesn't take the tests and the only reason his mom knew she could say no to them is because she's a teacher in the school.
My public school actually does take homeschoolers part time. It's a tricky arrangement and has taken a few years to figure out how to make it work without disrupting the regular school day, but we have several kids that join specials classes. Their parents are available to drop them off and pick them up for a 40-minute class, so it wouldn't help a working single parent, but it's an example of a public school that can be flexible. If those kids were enrolled as school students that wouldn't work, but since they are homeschooled, as far as the state is concerned, it does.