Although I think we're in a grove now, and although Max loooooooves it, it is extremely time consuming and at times overwhelming. (At least I don't think I'm making him stupider by the minute anymore...which is what I thought for the first few months.)
Like I said, we're sorta in a grove and I think it's going pretty well. We've switched to a charter school closer to home and they provide the curriculum free of charge (if you don't count my state taxes) as well as providing some structure and deadlines to get things done. This charter school told me "If you're spending more than 3-4 hours a day on school, you're trying to cram too much in." (As opposed to the last school which told me "Regular school day! 6-7 hours!")
The great part is, it's very flexible. If we set a goal that proves to be too much work or too overwhelming, we adjust it the next month until it's doable. Sometimes I think it's worth the pain and effort and that next year we'll pull Sam out and home school the whole family forever. The next day, I pull my head out and decide Max is going back next year. ...then I hear about yet another wacky California public school policy and want to run the other way screaming.
So for next year? Completely up in the air and undecided!
The one thing that has even made home schooling possible for me? Math curriculum from Teaching Textbooks. I don't have to teach math! Max watches/listens to the lecture on the computer. Does the assignment (or quiz) on the computer, and the program grades the lesson and keeps a record of his scores. There are many things I love about it. And Max likes it too! He does two lessons a day no problem! If he misses more than 2 or 3 problems, I can go in, erase those answers, and have him do the ones he missed again. (If you're interested, you can go to their site and click on the "sample lesson" button to see what it looks like and how it works. It's pretty genius.)
One home schooling bonus: We got to go to Sea World for a field trip! Sea World has a 'home school day' twice a year where they offer tickets for something like $5.75 per kid!
The boys had never been so I let Sammy ditch school and took all four kids.
It was a lot of stressful fun!
(Next time I will leave Gray with a friend and take Doug instead!)