I have two kids, a 12 YO and a 6YO. I have been home educating them both up to this point, but now I am considering sending my 6 YO (6, from now on) to public school. 6 is a very strong willed child, who has difficulty accepting direction from me, and frequently disregards my requests to do tasks or school work. 6 is also prone to “exploring,” for example, will often exit the house quietly when I am otherwise occupied (such as: in the bathroom, helping 12 with school work, or in the laundry room), and then will proceed to visit with neighbors, investigate the crawlspace of the house, or climb up the grape arbor and stand up there, 5 feet off the ground. Or, 6 will simply go outside, find a clever hiding place, and not respond to my (increasingly frantic) calls. As these “exploring” incidents can be initiated very quickly, I feel that the only way to prevent them is to maintain a state of constant hyper-vigilance. This state is stressful to maintain, and runs counter to my belief that children should learn independence and self-regulation. Free play=good, helicopter mommy=bad. Even worse, other parents have remarked to me that my child’s behavior is foolish and unsafe, and that I must not be adequately supervising 6 if the child can slip away so easily. I just wan to tell them, Gee, I’m sorry you want to talk to me/ ask me something/ grab my attention for a moment, but I really can’t afford to take my eyes off of this child for even a second or you will have an opportunity to criticize my inattentiveness. So, it’s not that I don’t want to socialize with all you other moms who barely have to watch their well-behaved kids, it’s just that my child is looking for something dangerous to do 95% of the time. So this brings me around to school: Why not? Why not give another adult the opportunity to supervise, educate, and entertain my child for 6 hours a day? The problem is, no one else agrees with my point of view. 6, 12 (who has been to school and hated it), and my husband are all vehemently opposed to sending 6 to school. I think 6 will do alright- 6 is a very social child, rather independent, and would benefit from positive influence of better-behaved peers. And it’s only kindergarten we’re talking about. So what do you think, should I do it? Would it make things better, or am I just a bad, irresponsible person who is pawning off a problem child on the system?