I am not new to homeschooling. With the exception of the first half of fifth grade, I was homeschooled from fourth grade through high school graduation. I have always been grateful for my education. It provided an excellent foundation that encouraged me to never stop learning. Homeschooling, for me, was about a lifestyle of learning rather than a specifically structured educational format.
I, like everyone else on earth, have hang-ups and foibles. However, I believe that homeschooling prepared me to be a well-adjusted, confidant individual.
My husband attended public school throughout his formative years. He feels that his experiences were detrimental; that the bullying he experienced was emotionally crippling. His love of learning was born in him despite his education, rather than because of it. He dove into books to ward off the world, as a wall between him and his tormentors. It took many years beyond high school for him to discover the experiences and develop the relationships necessary to heal and open up.
Obviously, not every homeschooler grows up to be a confident, well-adjusted adult, just as a public school education does not automatically squelch self-assurance.
I am grateful for the wonderful teachers and PTA that have enriched my children's education within a flawed system. (I do not doubt the commitment and dedication of these people!) I do not look down on people whose children remain in public school. In general, I think we parents all need to cut each other more slack.
Our journey has led us here. We will homeschool our children because we believe that this will provide them their best foundation.