My opinion on homeschooling is biased since I home school my two daughters and have home schooled my two older sons from K-8th grade. My two older sons went to public high school and suffered the stigma of being home schooled.Other kids ridiculed them being home schooled. I would like to say home school is ideal, and perhaps it is if you want to instill your religious values or your local school district has too small a tax base to support its students with an enriching programs beyond the basics, but like public school, home school produces kids who have too few skills to function in the "real" world.
Many people turn to homeschooling in reaction to public school's failure to meet their child's needs. If my neighborhood school were an awesome school with enthusiastic teachers there to teach and not concerned about obtaining enough years for retirement benefits, a principle whose only job was to be a principle, the arts were a part of the curriculum, and the students were inspired by the school community, then I would enroll my kids in public school in a heart beat. But my neighborhood school budget is cut back so far that I can offer more to my kids at home one-on-one. Our small family community and larger community of friends and neighbors is more supportive than what I've found in public school.
Homeschooling is a full-time job-an unpaid labor of love. The approaches to home school are varied. Some choose unschooling and child directed education and others choose a more classical approach, and still others will choose a Christian approach. The end results will vary.
To address Mr. Fraser's concerns about home school students being deprived socially is simply not true for a majority of home school students. Home school students interact with a wider variety of people, from old to young, in an array of social situations most public school kids do not. Although I do concede, Mr Fraser's assessment that home school students are not surrounded by differing points of view is true. A home school parent must make a concerted effort to ensure a wide variety of opinions and view points are engaged, and this is perhaps the most difficult aspect of homeschooling beyond the elementary years.