On our last day of class we visited a group of home schoolers. We drove to a park in Tigard and met up. A group of home schoolers meet together at this park once or twice a week so that the kids can meet up with other kids and the parents can get out too. The kids told us that they loved being home schooled and wouldn't want to go to public schools because as far as they can tell from movies, public school looks boring. They are glad they don't sit behind desks all day and they are glad they get to learn what they want...like fencing. I know a bunch of people who home schooled, some of their complaints was that when they were high school aged they didn't have a whole lot of social networks and sometimes they wished they were at a school. They also had a hard time starting up college where there were due dates and they found they were "behind" in subjects such as math and writing. This may not be the case for every homeschooler though.
The home schooling option was actually my favorite out of every schooling option we visited. I liked that the parent or parents get to spend more time with their children and I liked that the learning was open to how the parent felt the child would learn best. There are a couple extremes for homeschooling: one is that it's just like school where the child is working at a table for 6 hours a day, the other is "unschooling" where the child simply learns things from living life and will hopefully want to learn how to do things that are important because they have a desire to. My opinion at this point is that something between those two, in the homeschooling realm, is the most attractive option.
Lastly, a few days ago we learned about the family with 9 kids that just surfed all the time. This seems to be an intense example of the unschooling, or more like ignore-schooling. There is a great radio piece on NPR here and a trailer for the documentary here.