I've been reading for a while and, though a little shy, I would like to post my thoughts. I've never done this before, so I do apologize if it is too long. This subject sort of strikes a sour note with me.
I chose to be homeschooled after I finished the 8th grade. (Why on earth parents allow 13 year olds to make important, life-altering decisions is beyond me...but then again I was allowed to devote all my youth and future to a religion at 14, so I suppose homeschooling was not such really a big issue/decision after all.) I chose homeschool because I was afraid I would become an unforgivable sinner if I continued to be around the terrible and destructive influence of the well-adjusted, self-accepting "worldly" kids I usually chose as friends in school.
I had friends who were also homeschooled and several neighboring congregations had entire families that had homeschooled their children from kindergarten through high school. Many never graduated, or, if they did, it was from some correspondance course through which they managed to complete an entire 4-year high school education in 6 months. (Sally Struthers face suddenly pops into my mind...I think she did a tv commercial stint for this satisfying academic experience.) I went the more traditional route and took a college prep course that actually took me four years to complete. Because I could choose my own courses, however, I neglected any accelarated math or science courses, instead focussing on literature studies and writing. Of course, in my area, the community college and even the vocational schools did not want to accept my diploma, instead insisting I get a GED - but I was too proud to do that, so I figured additional schooling just wasn't all that important since I planned on never needing a real income because I had theocratic goals and Jehovah would take care of everything else.
On the whole, the course I took was not really deficient from an educational standpoint, but homeschooling for me was devoid of any social enrichment. I was a good little girl and began pioneering when I was 16 and spent the vast majority of my days in field service with married women over the age of 35. I should add that these married women were constantly shocked by just about any choice someone outside of the "group" had made. (Heaven help you if you were part of the "group" but weren't present for service one day. You then became an honorary outsider and had your choices critiqued as well.) I suppose their behaviour is not all that far removed from that of your average high school clique, or at least what I perceive them to be from my research compiled primarily from 80's teen flicks and "Mean Girls"...don't know if my sources are very accurate though. Perhaps because I was a great deal younger, their influence was more profound. I became an old curmudgeon before I hit 18, and it was all downhill from there.
I must point out that I do have one "friend" (she doesn't really talk to me anymore, for obvious reasons) who, though she never graduated from Homechool High, seems to be doing fine on an interpersonal level. She seems to have no trouble "relating" to others. Another "friend" of mine, actually went to public school ffor the very first time to complete her final two years of high school. Of course, at that point, she and her family had left the "truth " and I, as result, lost contact with her. I did hear that she went away to college. She was reasonably well-adjusted for a lifelong homeschooler /witness, but then her family was one of those what did "shocking" things from time to time (aka- normal).
The result of homeschooling for me is a continued disconnectedness (Is that a word? May be if I went to public school, I would know!) from my peers. Our formative years have been spent so differently, our experiences so far removed, I usually have trouble finding a common ground to build on. They were forming lifelong friendships, learning to deal with confrontation, learning from their mistakes and experiences, and dating. I was trying so hard to be better than them via my fault-finding ways because I thought this would lead me to happiness and fulfilmment. Or no, rather, I thought that would make my parents happy, and if my parents were happy, surely God would be too. Anyhow, I'm just glad to be older and wiser now...I'm finally learning how to function as an individual, and how to see others as individuals with the right to make their own choices. It's really amazing!