When I got older - about seventh grade - I started disliking it. I didn't have a social life, no real friends to speak of, and I was lonely. We lived in a rural area, so we didn't have the cool homeschooling groups that are available in the city.
By the time I hit ninth grade, I was thoroughly sick of it. I hated it. My parents - after three years - took note, and they enrolled me in a private school for the rest of the time.
I think homeschooling is an excellent concept. It is a great way to educate. I'm certian now that I was much better off at home than in the public school system.
However, the loneliness was great at times, and I didn't know how to relate to people my own age when I did start going to private school. I still struggle with feeling out of place and with confidence when it comes to people my own age. I always feel just a bit uncomfortable. I'm sure I'll grow out of it as I get older.
However, that's not to say that homeschooling is bad! Not at all! I just think that parents need to make certian that the child is getting the interaction they need with someone else besides just the parents. That's very important.
As a homeschool dad to a just-turned-eight-year-old, I worry about this, too. I'm not after "socialization" because that is a two-edged sword. Frankly, I don't want my son to internalize the behavior and thought-process of the typical eight-year-old.
The other side to this is that I don't want to raise a hermit, a misfit, a loner. We try to do that by encouraging (and, yes, sometimes insisting on) "extracurricular" activities...Scouting, Junior Golf and Tennis, Tae Kwan Do, outings with kids from families we like and trust.
Our goal is not to pick our son's friends, but to put him in situations where the pool of possible friends is of as high a standard as possible. So far, it's worked fairly well. We've hooked up with a homeschool group headed by a family we admire, and whose son is just old enough to be an excellent youth role model for our son.
The upshot of this is that we're involved in so many activities. We do our part as adults in volunteering with these organizations. Our homeschooled son has more opportunities for healthy interaction with other kids than the typical public-schooled student (if one takes time in class out of the equation). My nephew is a public school kid, and I love him very much. For him, his life is school and home. Nothing else. I think it's a pity, but that's my sister/BIL's issue, and I wouldn't begin to advise them.
That got a little long-winded, but thanks again for your thoughts.