I posted about this on my FB page and it generated a very interesting conversation so I decided to expand and see what others have to say.
Let me preface this with this, this is not a place for bashing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I want everyone to feel free to share their perspective.
Personally, I can't really see a good reason for home schooling... Unless you live in the middle of nowhere and sending your kids to school would somehow be a huge time consumer. Then, maybe I could understand it. Or, I have heard that some states actually offer serious support to home schooled childen and allow them to be involved in extracurricular activities with the school kids - then maybe I could understand it.
Now... by homeschooling - I don't mean you teach your 3 year old to spell - I am doing that with mine and I don't consider that homeschooling. I am talking about serious - all day long full time education of your child at home instead of enrolling them in a school program from Kindergarten on. I just think you are doing your child a huge disservice for a million different reasons.
Separation from the home
These are just a few things that I think of whenever I hear or read of someone homeschooling.
I think that unless you make a huge effort to ensure your kids are mainstreamed in other areas of their life - their social skills are going to suffer regardless of how hard you try to teach otherwise. You can't really teach how to be social with other people, particularly people that are different than you unless you experience it firsthand.
Learning style & Adaptability- I would think that most parents would have a very hard time not catering to their child's best learning style - which means your child might not learn how to adapt to different teaching styles... goodluck in college with that one... particularly as teachers change their styles from day to day and class to class.
Separation from Home. I really feel that kids need to be able to survive and thrive away from their parents and their home. Unless you plan on keeping your child at home with you forever - this will probably not end well for your child. They are going to have to go out on their own eventually and they are going to have to be able to figure things out for themselves. I don't know if it's in our parental makeup to allow your child to learn from experience and mistakes the way it is for a teacher. We have that innate desire to protect our children from everything we can -so I would think that homeschooled children would be sheltered.
Now, I am totally open to hearing how homeschooling parents avoid these pitfalls and negative "side effects" if you will of homeschooling. I would also love to hear some real time reasons for homeschooling your children instead of sending them to school.
Personally, we are getting ready to look for a house and the top item on my list is checking out the school system before we decide where to move. If the school system isn't rated well, then we are moving that town to the bottom of our list. (although I'm not eliminatng these towns completely) Perhaps that's not something that everyone is able to do, but it is part of the foundation of us choosing where to lay down our roots.
Also, I don't agree with the concept that other people aren't qualified or capable of teaching your child and that only you can do a good job.
Education should not be the teachers responsibility only - parents NEED TO TAKE AN ACTIVE PART in their childs education and I think the combination of regular schooling plus parent participation is the key to a successful experience for any child.