I am constantly surprised by how people react to the concept of homeschooling. A new one for me recently was that one mother was saddened for her child that one of her friends was "taken away" from her at school, to be homeschooled. The mother was also irritated that another kindergarten homeschooler was allowed to return to class for the final weeks, ostensibly because the kid wanted to have all the cool parties, this information granted to her through the kindergarten grapevine.
I wish there were another word for what we do. It's very cool, but there are some irresponsible homeschoolers out there who do play with the concept, maybe abuse it a little. I am not talking about the people who unschool, or the conservative Christians who are attempting to isolate their children, but the ones who may indeed be just toying with the rules a bit to convenience themselves. Clearly, especially given G's current status as an ancillary student, I do believe in making use of the tax dollars we have spent. Possibly, the K student in question had been done for quite some time with his own curriculum (HS usually seem to be ahead of the game when left to their own pace) and did want to hang with his buddies. I don't know.
The thing that startled me was the concept postulated by the public school mother that the homeschool mother didn't give any thought to how the children in the class would react when the first grader didn't come to class.
With all the considerations you have to weigh, all the concessions you have to make, the studying and the explaining you have to do, the curriculums you have to research / purchase / write / reject altogether, it would never, ever enter my mind to think about G's possible, future classmates and how they might react to knowing there was a homeschooled child in their social circle... or not. I have to wrap my brain around this one some more before I can fully articulate how odd, and how bothersome, this stance struck me. That another person can be so immersed in the mainstream culture to the point of thinking that homeschoolers have to explain ourselves even to their children... it floors me.
I have linked to an article on the New First Grade, and how first grade has changed all over the country. I know from my experience in SC that this is happening there, but as the article alludes, Washington state seems to have held its ground in protecting its kidlets. I had considered (for about 15 minutes) allowing G to go to kindy, because it is supposed to be all fun and games. I scrapped that idea because I knew I wouldn't allow her to go back for 1st, and I didn't want her to have that memory in her head as a guide for what the rest of it would be like.