My child is home educated, and we know plenty of the above kinds of kids (overbearing or quiet) BUT we know far more of the "right" kind of children, the not overbearing, not too quiet, normal children.
We go to some groups, but only because sophie is interested in the subject matter, not because of some idea of socialisation. it's a myth, your child will be socialised whatever environment they're in and forced association is not the same.
what moivated me are:
bullying and the school not doing anything about it. physical and mental abuse from other children. to the point that my child has had to have therapy to try and get over the nightmares, and is still working through her fears about writing.
knowing there was a problem with the child's educational welfare and development and the school's refusal to acknowledge it; we took her out, a month later having seen what she's capable of in real life we took her for preliminary testing by an eductional psychologist. she's dyslexic and dyspraxic, both of which I had mentioned to the school but they again did nothing about it. sophie was regularly left without proper break times because of her inability to do the work set and the school's refusal to help. it got to the point where she didn't ask for help any more because she was afraid of being told off. want to know the "best" bit? this school is said to be one of the best in the area for mainstream SEN help!!!
constant admin errors, some potentially threatening. for instance me telling the school in writing that she's lactose intollerant, giving them a letter from the paediatrician and then being told by her (a 4.5 year old child) that she'd had a petits filous, then couldn't have her lunch because it hurt so much and nearly pooped herself in the afternoon. this happened a few times with various foods. I wonder, what would happen if she'd been milk allergic?!
she also has a problem with her immune system and when she begins to run a fever, she needs medication administered as soon as possible (there are signs to look for which I notified the school of before she jined and was assured they would adhere to) and have me phoned immediately to pick her up, otherwise it becomes uncontrollable and we end up in casualty. 4 times in a year and a half of term times they disregarded this, and 4 times we ended up spending a night in hospital. that's 4 times in a total of about 14 months spent in a classroom. too many.
she had to have her tonsils out (poor little beggar) and I informed the school how long she would be off for; with her immune problems the consultant recommended 3 weeks to be on the safe side. we tried to make it coincide with school hols but it got so desperate that they were poisoning her body, so we had to take her in for the op early...all was agreed with the school, yet one week into recovery and post op complications I got a text from them. not a call, a text saying "your child hasn't turned up at school today. please explain or educational welfare will be involved"... nice. I called ,I explained, I directed them to the written permission, I received a vocal apology yet 3 months later I got a letter stating Sophie's attendance was so low they were involving EdWelfare and the truancy people.
don't get me started on religion either. it's all well and good children receiving religious education, wonderful. it's lovely that schools are inclusive and I believe it makes for more well rounded individuals, but when your own religious views are undermined or ignored regularly, and your pagan/agnostic child comes home and insists on prayer to Jesus before meals and bed and wont understand that although this is acceptable in school, it's not at home, something is wrong. she had got to the point where, because it was "wrong" according to a member of staff, she refused to take part in sabbat celebrations at home, refusing to even sit near the fire and talk. Yet this past Yule, she was the one who insisted we cast a circle because she's gaining confidence in her own beliefs again. I've never forced her to join that part of my own celebration of seasons, she chose to. We've never tried to force a belief system on her; hubby is an open minded atheist and I am pagan and we both think she should make her own decisions, but for her to refuse to even join in the non religious time chatting with her family by a fire in the garden because it's associated with a religious practise she'd been told was wrong, IS WRONG. at the groups she mixes with various different faiths and we talk about them a lot, among parents there's an unwritten rule. answer questions if asked, but don't push your system to anyone else. don't preach.
the bullying issue is worth mentioning again. she's started being willing to wear home made items and show them off again. she'd had that confidence knocked out of her at school. I'm not someone who sews 12 purple stitches into a piece of tie dyed cotton and calls it a dress either, I make professional looking items, so to have her refuse to wear formerly favorite items was a blow. a week out of school and she'd asked for an owl jumper to match my own.... she wears it so often I may have to make her another as she's starting to outgrow it! she's started planning herself a skirt to sew, has picked fabric, worked out a style... she'd have done none of this a year ago for fear of being laughed at. now, even if she'd not wear it out in public, she will at least go and show next door's (also home educated) kids because she knows the honesty they'll give. if they like it, they genuinely like it. if they have minor criticisms, they're given diplomatically and in a way that doesn't freak soph out.
We'd considered home ed when she was born, but after she loved preschool so much we felt she deserved to have a chance to see if school would be right for her. it wasn't right for her and i certainly wasn't right for me.
she's caught up with her writing now thanks to a lot of help, her immune system is finally starting to work properly and she's not had a fever in 2 months (a record for her) despite going to groups with new people, we've got a lovely local education officer who is involved when we ask her to be and lets us roll along on our own when we don't. Soph's attaining higher levels of understanding in science and maths than other children her own age, even though she doesn't write a lot down...and her reading has improved no end.
I'm not totally ruling out mainstream education per se, but a return will be sophie's choice. I and the hubby will be mentioning the other routes to higher levels, not just standard senior school.
A lot of myths fly around about home educated kids and He in general. a book to read to get a better, more rounded idea is School's Out by Jean Bendell. it's quite old, but it dispels most of the myths.
sorry if this is a really long post, but you did ask lol.
oh how I love my tea, tea in the afternoon. I can't do without it, and I think I'll have another cup very