Actually, I think Sam should give his own answer, and Katie should answer as well since she’s been given a choice as to whether or not to go to school or be homeschooled.
My answer is that it has offered the best combination of academic challenge and a positive, supportive environment available to us in the past five years. I had planned to homeschool any children I had from day one, but life didn’t work out quite as planned. I wasn’t impressed with the school system, or “school” in general. While Katie performed very well academically, she wasn’t being challenged, nor could any school system cater to her needs and interests the way we could at home.
The fact that doing so allows me to spend far more time with one of my favorite people in the world than I could if she were in school definitely is a big plus!
Katie did choose to attend a private school briefly last fall, and would/will return there if the opportunity presents itself. That particular school excels in individual attention, and the price of tuition reflects that attention. It’s possible that she’ll attend that school or another very good one next year.
I wouldn’t be feeling nearly as positive about any high school as I am had Katie not been given these last few years mostly free of peer pressure. She’s got an extremely strong sense of self and has proven more than able to stand up to anyone who tries to push her around. I definitely credit homeschooling with the opportunity for unimpeded personal growth.
Finally, one of the contributing factors to our decision to begin homeschooling when we did so back in 2000 was Katie’s diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Mornings were and are her worst time. That’s still a concern with attending any school, but now that she’s older she’s much better able to judge her own energy and pain levels and be proactive in taking care of herself.