This is just breaking my heart. Hanni is in pre-K, and has had an ongoing issue with letting an adored friend mistreat her. Now the problem seems to have expanded. The teacher is reporting to me that when other kids do or say mean things, Hanni says it's okay for them to treat her like that. At home I've heard her say things like if she stands up for herself, So-and-So won't be her friend anymore. (The teachers are, of course, working to stop the mean behavior as well as working on Hanni's reactions to it, but they can't control everything every minute.)

I'd been hoping that she was more socially adept than most of my family tends to be as youngsters, and in many ways she seems to be. She is friendly, alert to social cues, enjoys playing with kids at preschool. But on the other hand, she is starting to show signs of serious nerd-dom. Her current preferred outfit is a rashguard with a bathingsuit over the rashguard, capri pants (yes, it's winter), and socks pulled up almost but not quite to the bottom of the capris. She looks like a total dork, and is blissfully happy in this outfit. She's not the type who will only talk about her current obsession, and her play is very age-appropriate ("We're bears! This is our cave! Let's snuggle in our cave!"), but her vocabulary and way of talking is insanely adult, and she likes odd turns of phrase.

I don't know how much any or all of this is off-putting to the other kids. At any rate, many of the kids in her pre-K class have older siblings in public school, and they bring that vibe into the preschool. I'm wondering if Hanni is starting to get targeted for being an oddball.

It's clear to me at this point that public school is out of the question. If she's needing extra nurturing and social guidance in this highly nurturing little preschool, imagine what would happen to her in an overcrowded public school. (Our local is the "best" school in the county, but frankly, in this day and age that's not saying much.)

Now I'm starting to wonder, would things be particularly better at a private school. There is one private nearby that emphasizes social-emotional development and community, but they don't let kids work above grade level and they use Everyday Math. Then there's an "advanced" private school, where they do a really good job of figuring out where each kid is at academically, but I've heard reports of bullying there.

In my heart I really really want to homeschool her. She's just such an obvious perfect fit for homeschooling. I'm just really worried about the strain of making that work. (As some of you know, I'm a single mom with a demanding career -- flexible hours, but not a lot of spare energy. Some money to throw at babysitters, but not an infinite amount.)

Anyway, thanks for listening -- just needed to express all this.