My kids have been in Public School for a few months...99 days to be exact. I don't know the number because I am a crazed helicopter mom,I know it because my 1st grader came home with a note saying that tomorrow is the 100th day of school and she can wear pajamas all day.
Since we are now on the verge of triple digit days and more than halfway done with the school year, I feel qualified to give an assessment of how our foray into public education has gone. Being prior homeschoolers for several years I have noticed several differences.
1) Sickness. Every few weeks I get a sick kid, which leads to a sick mom. I have learned that I get FAR sicker than anyone else. In the fall I had Strep and it was horrible. My husband said at one point he thought I was dead while I was sleeping. On Christmas I came down with the flu, and was couch ridden for days on end. Husband thought I was dead at some point then too. ONE week later I got the puking flu and was so dehydrated I should have gone to the ER to get fluids,but being stubborn I kept downing Gatorade even though I would throw up a minute later. I survived and managed to avoid the hospital. This time I thought I would die because I was all alone on the couch to keep my germs isolated and everyone was upstairs.
2) Papers. The kids bring home mountains of papers and I get them all confused and mixed up. This leads teachers or school staff to call me and politely remind me in a terse tone that I needed to send something to school
3) Snow Days. They are still as awesome as they were when I was a kid...unless I had planned to write a paper for class that day and have three talkative children talking while I write. This does not always lead to a coherent paper.
4) Comfort Zones. My kids have been blessed with awesome teachers that push them past their self imposed comfort zones while being supportive. I am not able to do this to the extent they are because when my kids look at me with tears in their eyes and say "Im scared" my mom heart breaks. Example- my middle son tends to be a bit shy in groups. His teacher wanted him to lead a presentation each day for a week in class and he came up to her and told her he was too scared. She offered assistance and prompted him through it. Within a few days his confidence was up and he did it himself.
5) Being Different. My 10 yr old has been told he is "like a kid from the 50's" because he does not know who Lady Gaga is, he likes Leave it to Beaver, and he is very polite to adults. He replied "That is a great compliment, thank you!" My nearly 7yr old girl is getting pressure about any difference she may have "Everyone has their ears pierced in 1st grade, why don't you?" She has a hard time with it, but is hopefully learning to stand on her own two feet.
6) Hearing About My Kids From Their Teachers. This is really nice. I get to hear things about them from people with no prior connection or bias. It is great hearing that my kids are compassionate, helpful, insightful and kind to their classmates.