What's everyones view on this?
There can not be enough choice in the marketplace for education. Unfortunately there is a giant monopoly that locks students into an area by edict then forces innocent victims to pay for the whole mess that drives out choice in favor of bureaucracy.
@OP: Nice. I was homeschooled and I will just point out that the "socialization" argument is annoying, ignorant and actually somewhat inflammatory. I think Daniel Muffinburg has pointed out that the "socialization" argument presupposes the sterile public environment created by the truancy laws - there would be children at the park between the hours of 8am and 3pm if it weren't for them all being corralled into buses and shipped off to government school, as required by law. But even then, children of parents who opt out of the system still socialize in these hours with younger children who haven't started school yet and with children their age who are also being homeschooled. They get the rest of their socialization after school-hours with neighborhood kids who do attend school and on weekends with neighborhood kids or at church or other social groups.
In addition, the socialization that homeschooled children receive is of a better quality both because parents can select who their children will not play with (unlike in government schools where your kids are quarantined in with misbehaving and behaving children alike) and because homeschooled children are not segregated by age, they learn to navigate the more complex, non-peer social relationships that will actually form the majority of real-world relationships they will encounter in adulthood.
I think the unschooling idea has merit and may be a good fit for certain families. Other people will prefer more structured approaches with tutelage, etc. The real issue is this: do the parents own their child's education? The 19th century regimental government school model says no, "society" owns it. Like all socially owned things, childhood education has been ravaged and left in utter disrepair. The homeschooling movement is a reasonable backlash against the fundamentally anti-human and anti-poor mandatory government school monopoly. When we restore parental ownership of child education, we will see an explosion in child development never before seen in human history. We will be as embarrassed as the Russians after the collapse of the Soviet Union. "What the hell were we thinking all those years??"
Thanks for sharing the documentary. I've been interested in unschooling for awhile. I was homeschooled, half-unschooled you might say, since we only used a curriculum for some subjects. I actually find that I benefited least from the curriculum subjects, which leads me to believe they are right about letting children pursue their own interests at their own pace. I do have some problems with homeschooling/unschooling, but these are either particular to my own educational experience or due to the present social structures that Clayton alludes to. Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society is an interesting book on the issue.