Agony of School Starting...Public or Homeschooling?

I know there are a lot of problems with the Public School system. I also know there are a lot of good things. I have read some amazingly good things about homeschooling too, I'm even on a bunch of homeschooling email lists that I even take the time to read (most of the time).

But am I homeschooling? Tough question. It is summertime right now, and my husband and I are both currently unemployed. I really wanted my daughter to go to gymnastics class and to more swimming, maybe even summer camp this summer...but I couldn't afford it. Even the places that may have had a sliding scale, I didn't have money for gas to get her there or I missed the deadline.

So I'm feeling like a pretty lame-o mom right now. She is starting first grade, and we just moved. She was in school last year and did great, though she did not get attached to her school nor express any sadness at never going back, something that surprised me because she even won awards there, one she was selected by teachers as a student of the month and the other a humanitarian award voted on by her peers, I know she had friends and she had fun, at least some fun.

I have made the effort in the new neighborhood to get her into an option school, here in Seattle that means an "alternative" school that you can choose instead of the local public school for whatever reason. I went this route to get her into a K-8 school because the middle school years were really hard for me and I feel like this kind of a school would be easier, at least that's what I hope.

School starts soon, in about a week. I don't have money and while I could get money any day, the kind of work my husband and I do generally pays pretty quickly (social media/technology consulting mostly) and so things could change any moment. 

But I'm here at this awkward crossroad thinking, I can't do a good job homeschooling because I can't afford to do all that we will want to do, and to make things even worse, we are at the point that we are spending almost all of our time (husband and I) looking for work. We are as present as we need to be, probably part of why we haven't found work, but we need work. I'll be blunt, rent is due tomorrow and we still haven't figured out where that's coming from, and the fridge is about empty.

So what to do, what to do, that is going through my head constantly. Why haven't I been able to make it work? If I really want to homeschool why haven't I magically been able to get lucritive enough work that I don't have to spend much time at it and I can get it done while the kids sleep (like right now)? Why can't I at least make enough to pay a sitter for a few hours a week so that I can have those hours for worktime?

I'm telling her that we will try the school, that she will surely make friends and that if it is a bad school she will not have to continue going there. It burns inside to even write that though. She tells us she doesn't want to go to school that she wants to stay with us. I want that too but I am seeing that we haven't been able to adequately provide while caring for all the kids the whole time. 

She is a precious sweet girl, and I know how awesome she is. She will most likely go, maybe clam up, and be really pleasant. I worry not about her behavior, but how she feels inside. 

-- :: Where it all comes together...


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