Do you think the people you know irl homeschool in order to provide a superior academic education or for some other reason? Do they think they're providing a superior academic education to what they could get at a public school (or a private they could afford) or do they just think some other aspect of homeschooling is more important than the academics?
I know this question wasn't directed to me, but I would like to throw some answers out there because I find this whole discussion to be very interesting this evening.
We know quite a lot of folks that homeschool. It is popular in this area. In many years of homeschooling, I have only met one "homeschooling for religious reasons" family and I don't think they followed any of the mainstream evangelical churches, so they are probably an anomaly. I have met many folks who homeschool (including us) because they needed an alternative to traditional school. Kids with chronic health issues, families that travel, kids in elite sports, kids who have a passion they want to focus on like music or dance. Kids that don't seem to "fit" at the B&M school and kids looking for extra challenge. Kids with LDs and kids without. There seem to be as many reasons for homeschooling here as there are homeschoolers. Back when I first started (2005? 2004? hard to remember now), it was a bit unusual but now I find that it has become a more mainstream choice.
I would agree with Catherine that I have not seen a trend to more negativism towards homeschooling on the boards over the years. There have always been the folks looking for help and I hope that doesn't change. I see myself in some of the "my kid wont do their work - what can I do?" posts and think back to the rough days we had starting out. I understand about the OP's feeling that we should be warning off people because it IS a lot of work. However, we should probably share the successes and triumphs as well. Hop over to the High School board in the Spring and enjoy all the Brag Alert and College Acceptance posts!