How was your homeschooling experience, Acrophobe?
So far, so good for us. We've been doing formal academics with Alex for a year now, at her request. She was a very early reader and has always had a need for structure. Sage is still too young for anything very formal, so I just go over basic phonics with her right now.
We love homeschooling. They wake up when they wake up, we do all our schoolwork in the morning, then they have the afternoon for outside play, extracurricular classes (of which there are probably too many) and playdates.
Flexibility is key. We want the kids to work at their own pace and follow their own interests as much as possible. We will homeschool as long as everyone continues to be happy with it. We like that they can avoid school fads, bad school food, and bully issues. (We're secular, so none of this is for religious reasons). They have good friends, both homeschooled and regular-schooled.
Back to hiking -- when they're older, and only if Sage also one day shows a love for hiking, we could take many months off and do a few long trails, or go hut-to-hut hiking in the Italian Alps. Or do some other trip that suits everyone's idea of a good time. Homeschooling enables us to potentially take off and venture outside for weeks/months.
Bottom line is that we have more options. Our family likes to have options, neither my husband nor myself have ever taken kindly to being hemmed in.