I would LOVE to homeschool my children. Unfortunately, our decision is to send the kids to formal school. I have a few factors working against me, hence. When i say homeschool, i am not just talking about the preschool years. It includes the entire primary school. So, why not?
1) The traditional husband
My man still holds a very old school view on this; children must attend formal school. To successfully homeschool, it takes both parents to agree. Otherwise, it would really tough for the homeschool parent to do it alone- without the support of the other. The husband is probably my primary obstacle. But even, if you remove him from the picture, i may still hesitate.
The husband, like many parents, feel homeschooling is socially damaging. I know most homeschoolers will be rolling their eyeballs out on this one. I kind of agree and not agree; sitting on the fence on this point.
I think the issue about having friends can be easily sorted out by going out on play dates, enrichment classes etc. So i am really not concern about this. But i am concern about the lack of social experience at home. For instance, learning to submit to another authority figure other than the parent, learning how to cope when you are not invited into a social clique at school, learning the various types of personalities out there & how to manage them etc. The home environment is still very much protected. You get to choose who you want to have play dates with. Usually, you will choose those who you get along well with, won't you? And, how many types of characters can you meet at home? The home environment is very much protected. While i think it won't be too late to overcome, but when the kid finally gets 'out there', won't he get a culture shock? And while everyone else have more or less found a coping mechanism, my child is struggling to learn all the social rules.
On the other hand, i think our local primary school environment is way too harsh for a young child. All that ranking and race to be the top is just too destructing on the child's esteem and character. If he's at the bottom, he will inevitably believe that he is just no good- what if he brings this belief all the way to adulthood? Don't think the top student would be spared either. Perhaps he may adopt a 'i am better than them' attitude, learn how to discriminate the 'lower' level students. Of course these are very extreme situations, but it can happen & has happen, can't it, hasn't it? If i were to homeschool, this would be one of my major reasons to do it- to protect my children from the ugliness of our school system.
I honestly believe this is my most major obstacle- myself. The sole task of educating my children is just too daunting and huge for me to handle. I don't know if i can do it. Our primary school education has changed, and still changing, so much since i left school that i don't know anymore. What if i teach them wrongly? What if my methods are not right? Won't their education be ruin by their own mother- gasp! Homeschooling Primary 1-2, or even up to 3, would be quite a breeze. But i think from there onwards it would be extremely tough, judging by how ridiculously challenging our papers are. It would also take alot of research and hard work on my part. I don't know if i have enough stamina to run it for 6 (at least) years, multiply that by 2 for two kids! If my kids do not do well for their PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination), i will fault on myself & myself alone. I think i will carry the guilt for the rest of my life. That thought alone is enough to give me nightmares.
All that said, i do not doubt the goodness of homeschooling. In fact, i strongly believe in it and encourage all you mothers who have all the factors going for you, to go for it! I admire and very much envy your courage & favorable position to do so! I wish i had more courage, i wish had it all favorable for me. But, right now, i am happy to do it alongside with the schools- though i don't really agree with it sometimes. And i guess, there are some plus points doing it this way too!