Hey Joy, I'm wondering about something... which homeschoolers do you know personally? Because I have to tell you, I think you're way out of line, saying that homeschooled kids are "demented" and that homeschooled kids are "afraid of other children" as you did recently on your show.
I'd like to invite you and other liberally-minded critics of homeschooling to meet and get to know my kids, who are 8 and 3 and have never been to school. You can tell me if they have any qualms about making friends with other kids, and adults too. If you did, I'm sure you'd think twice about dismissing well-meaning kids and families so easily.
For my husband and I, deciding not to send our kids to school to learn is not all about "mommy and daddy", as you believe. It's about the fact that in the big city that is our neighborhood (Chicago) we have tons of things to do, classes (yeah, homeschoolers enjoy classes too), activities, museums, parks, and different people (both kids and adults) to meet, and we get to take advantage of more of these things because we don't have a school schedule to adhere to.
Every so often, I have to resist the urge to knock my head against the wall in frustration when narrow-minded viewpoints and misconceptions about home schooling rear their ugly head. Just the other day I got into a lively discussion about this on another blog I really enjoy and I'm glad to hear the various viewpoints that were presented.
I think it's healthy for people to see the flip side once in a while. It seems the problem with some folks who consider themselves open-minded, liberal and left-leaning, is that they think you aren't for the people unless you are 100% behind public schooling. That's utter nonsense.
Left-leaning people support the right for men and women to choose marriage, whether they are gay or straight. I support that too. They often support the idea that women's bodies are theirs only and that the government must not make laws dictating their choice to have or not have children. I support that too. So, what's wrong with having the freedom to choose your child's best educational environment?
My kids, though we don't spend much time at home, can be classified as homeschooled, since they don't attend school for their education and never have. So would that make me some right wing, seclusionist nutjob whose only ideal it is to isolate my children and family from the evils of public school? (In case you still don't know the answer: you can read more about my political views here and here and my views on raising kids here.)
Progressives, liberals, those who claim to rally against intolerance based on religion, economic status, gender, education, race, get over it already! Go out and get to know some other families who homeschool, home-educate, unschool, whatever you'd like to call it, read up on it. There are plenty of varying methods and views, far beyond your mainstream stereotypes.
Take a minute out of your day to notice those people who are doing things different than you and try giving them a little open minded consideration.