Quoting Chim Richalds:" I always planned to homeschool but she tells me all the time she is so excited for school, etc, so I ... [snip!] ... and it just seems sad to send her out in the world like that, I know I am crazy but it doesn't make me less anxious."
What were your reasons for home schooling?
I can't fully agree about respecting her wanting to go and the choice being hers at 3 or 5 years old. As the parent it's down to me to make the best choice for my child, education and where they spend many hours everyday is a huge choice. My reasons for unschooling are because of the institutionalization of children in schools, the general crowd control measures and the methods of teaching and the obstruction to natural learning. It goes against his personality but also everything i believe in for what i want for him. He is far too young to decide whether a school is the right environment for him or not. They are too young to understand the pro's and cons and the long term implications, so it seems really silly to me to give that choice to a very young child (when they don't even know what they are getting themselves into. The affects of schooling aren't always reversible or so short term either, and i don't think it would be so great to have them start and then drop out if that were to happen).
I'm also not sure why they have to go to preschool, even if they are going to school at 5? I have friends whose kids started preschool the semester before school started and know of others who went straight from being home all the time with mom to going to school at age 5. It went better for them than some of the kids who went to daycare or preschool earlier on and were still very unsettled by school aged 4-6. So i don't think going to 'prepare' is always the case either.
i'm open (and seeking) different types of preschools and schools for varied exposure and childcare, but i don't believe a child can be left responsible for that decision on a whim or gut feeling at that age. The decision may be more reversible where you are though, so i can see that changing my opinion but only slightly.