Interesting question. [my responses are in blue]
Does it mean that homeschooling is always the only route ? No, but the default to struggle shouldn't be 'how about school?'
A couple of people have referred to this. Can you link some threads where the default has been "how about school?" I honestly cannot say I've seen them. I've seen threads where many people have offered advice and a few people suggest school as an option in the broad spectrum, but I can't remember ever seeing one where the majority of posters concurred that school was the best alternative. I would love to see some examples--they might influence my perspective here. Maybe I'm just not clicking into them? I feel like I'm struggling so much myself these days that I don't feel that I have a lot to offer anyone else!
Is B&M school never an option? It is an option. It's probably not the option you lead with
Who is "you"? If 25 people reply to a post about struggle and two out of the 25 suggest school, is that the "lead" suggestion? Or is it two people thinking that all the other posters suggested everything else, and hey, maybe school is also one other option?
Even if it serves the family better ? It might serve the family better, it might not. Tricky for us to know. I know I can share the positives and negatives of dd's school experience, but I'm totally unqualified to tell a family school will serve them better!
I can think of at least one example where everyone in the family is better off because one child went to school, especially (and DRAMATICALLY) the child herself. I won't go into it, because it's not my story to tell, but it has made a huge difference in the way the family interacts, the way the other kids thrive, and the mood, confidence, and level of success of the school child. Is life perfect? Of course not. But school was absolutely the right choice for this kid. And if there's at least one exception to the rule, then that means there are others, and absolutes and legalism will harm them in the same way that any other absolute can harm someone.
Public school cannot possibly offer a better option ? Define 'better'
I think there are biases (for all of us) around what 'better' is. I think we might want to be careful about asking fellow homeschoolers, 'what would better look like for you ?'
Why? Maybe their "better" is not the same as your "better"? I think that's exactly the kind of question we should be asking, followed by others. Does better look like public school? Why? Why not? What are your goals? Are they being served by homeschooling? Can you change your homeschooling to reach them? If so, how? If not, are you sure? And so on. (Or did you mean that we want to be careful that we DO ask homeschoolers what better would look like? If so, of course I agree.)
Acceptance that some people homeschool for non-academic reasons, and that so long as they meet minimum standards of education (what the child would recieve at their local ps) this choice is acceptable.
I don't know anyone who would disagree with this. The argument has been against educational NEGLECT--e.g., people who teach their girls only what they need to be homemakers, that college isn't for them, that let their kids wallow in the basement playing video games and call it "computer science," etc. I've never heard anyone here argue that anything less than an Andover-style education at home is unacceptable. Well, actually, I can think of maybe one person who might say that, but they don't actually homeschool anyway!
An understanding that some homeschoolers object to the premise of institutional schooling, and respect for that position.
I can respect that position (I'm not entirely sure that I love the premise myself, but it's what we have to work with), but I can't respect when someone refuses to accept that the alternative may still not be the right option for any given family. Sometimes you just have to choose the lesser of two evils. And I would wonder how one could hold that position while having a child in an institutional school. If you feel so strongly that you reject the premise, why wouldn't you keep your child home by hook or by crook? You don't have to answer that, of course. It's totally your business. But what it means is that having your child in an institutional school option benefits your family in some way--someone's life is improved by having the option. So if that's allowed for you, why can't it also be true for someone else?
That it is a valid choice to homeschool K-12.
Absolutely it is. I'm doing it with two kids, swimming upstream against mental health issues that make school a fight every single day (and I swear I lose on the majority of them) and LDs that do the same (yep, still losing *sigh*) But it can also be a valid choice to recognize that homeschooling K-12 isn't working for some reason (mental, physical, financial, educational) as well. I don't see how one can argue respect for the first kind of choice while not offering respect for the other, even if it's not what one would choose.
That families do not have to be perfect in order to homeschool; homeschoolers can deal with life's challenges and continue to stay out of the institutional system if that's what they want.
Again, of course. But at what point do you consider that homeschoolers are no longer successfully navigating life's challenges? What is your low bar? Does it have to be everyone's low bar, or can they choose a different one? How free are other homeschoolers to choose a bar lower than yours? What if lots of homeschoolers are choosing a bar lower than yours?
Just a few ideas.