Public school vs. homeschool
An editorial in the Intelligencer (out of Canada) raises up the "disadvantages" of homeschooling based on the same stereotypes we hear everywhere else. It starts out all right, but quickly moves into the common stereotypes:
A significant example is the amount of time - not to mention money - it takes to prepare and teach daily lessons and organize activities. Parents who chose to home-school would have little time to themselves and would have to pay for most of the resources needed to educate their children. It is unlikely many parents can match the resources offered by a government-funded school system.

Actually, that is an advantage. It takes less time. It takes less money.

time + money ≠ success

Look at all the time children waste in public education (scroll down past the blackness). Look at the amount of money dumped into the system. Look at the reports indicating that learning is going nowhere. And how homeschools, with no federal money and spending far less time on structured learning activities beat them at their own measurements of success. As far as time to one's self goes, that is sort of a personal matter. I don't envy the career woman who is continually torn between job performance and the needs of her family. Where does she have time to herself?
But perhaps the greatest disadvantage is the difficulty in developing social skills.

I've heard that somewhere before. But what social skills are they learning?
Social skills cannot be learned merely through everyday interactions, such as trips to the mall, church, sports and clubs or visiting with neighbours. It is imperative kids learn how to have relationships with their peers - and that can rarely be accomplished in a home-schooling environment.

Really? They are learned by sitting still in a room with 25+ people who are the same age as you, where you aren't allowed to talk and have to ask permission to go to the restroom? Many don't even have recess anymore. Maybe schools are different now, but when I practiced my social skills in school, I got moved to another desk.
Kids need more than book smarts, they also need to learn about real life - with its perils and pitfalls - and develop the skills they need to cope with it. And those skills cannot be learned merely by enroling children in sports, church or community groups.

Ah, so social skills are learned by "real life." What is "real life"? I can only guess that means swirlies, stolen lunch money and being called "four eyes." Those kinds of experiences are invaluable to the development of the self-esteem of the child, his general sense of well-being and his ability to interact with his peers.
It is that lack of exposure to the real world that poses a danger for home-schooled children, particularly those who are taught by their parents right through their teen years.

It is dangerous to be safe. I bet all those popular kids in the most elite of cliques are doing horribly in their professional lives today. After all, they were never subjected to "real life". Unfortunately, those kids who are subjected to "real life" never really grow out of it. And they suffer increased rates of depression and poor self-esteem, even as adults.
When it finally comes time for them to leave the nest to attend college or university, they may not have the necessary skills to cope with the social aspects and pressures post-secondary living entails.

Give one study that supports this oft-touted concern for the secluded, isolated homeschooler who only has church, sports, homeschool groups, the neighborhood kids and other clubs to "socialize" in. Only sitting still in a desk counts, though.
Many home-schooled youth won't know how to handle the unexpected mixture of freedom and exposure to the parts of life they have never personally faced. Simply hearing about the dangers of life is not a substitute for reality.

Public schooled kids are doing great with the freedom they've been given.
What has always been forbidden or mysterious - be it alcohol, drugs or sex - can become too great of a temptation to resist for some of these home-schooled youth who may be intent on taking part in much they'd missed as quickly as possible.

What is freely available and offered under pressure can become too great of a temptation for a young person who has not yet developed the maturity to stand for values which have never been clearly taught amidst the chronic separation of parent and child beginning at six weeks of age for many of our children.
It is far better for our children to learn about the realities of life and how to cope with them while they are young. Then, when it does come time to leave the nest, they can do so with more confidence to handle what life throws their way.

Except it doesn't seem to be working on any level. What I see in our graduates today is not confidence but apathy. When they graduate.

But don't take my word for it. If my links above weren't enough, The San Francisco Chronicle published a very nice article on homeschooling, with further comments by The Daily Goose and Key Words.