We began homeschooling in October of 5th grade. We home schooled in the summer, so we knew we could do it, but we weren't committed yet. Then, 5th grade started, and the teachers started drilling the kids on -- wait for it -- math facts. Yes, the task was to complete 60 multiplication facts in one minute, and fully half the class couldn't, so the teachers remained on math facts for more than a month. This was in an "excellent" public school district in MA, and it was the last straw for us. We pulled DS for homeschooling, and he has been so happy, really a new child. No longer is he pale and exhausted after seven hours of dealing with boring work in a stressful environment, with hours of busy-work homework to go. He is happy, has plenty of time to practice and compose music, and is reading what he wants to read (now in 6th grade): Ibsen, Dostoyevsky, Shakespeare. We take standardized tests every so often, and just this month, he tested well above the High Honors level for CTY in both math and verbal based on his SCAT, so clearly he is keeping up academically, and then some.

There are definitely challenges in homeschooling. DS takes a number of music classes and is in music ensembles, so the social side is fine for the most part. Drama classes help too, and he spends all three months of the summer in various music and drama camps, so he gets a heavy dose of life outside the family. The major time sink is curriculum choice: there is no easy answer, and we have been disappointed by some of the curricula we've tried. Still, the great thing is that we make the choice: when Teaching Textbooks was too easy, we just stopped using it and switched to Singapore Math. When Mom's "brilliant" idea to read big swaths of Aristotle was too difficult, we switched to an above-grade-level history text and supplemented with smaller chunks of the Nicomathean Ethics instead. And so on.

Best of luck to you!