I and my brothers were homeschooled through 5th grade. My father was a public school teacher and my mother was a nurse who read a lot about child development and education when we were in preschool. I was the oldest child and when I was tested to enter kindergarten, I could already read quite fluently and the school basically told my parents I would be bored out of my mind. So my mother began researching homeschooling because they couldn’t afford private school and she wanted to provide a more enriching educational experience than I would have been able to get. She used a curriculum for math and grammar, but for history and science and literature I did a lot of what would be considered “unschooling” today. I read a ton of books and learned about what I was interested in and collected rocks and wildflowers and watched birds and played with my microscope, and it was a delightful childhood. But I’m glad I entered public school when I did and was able to take advantage of some of the social and college-prep things like team sports and academic competitions, and AP classes.
I homeschool my own kids because we live in rural Mexico and there are no other viable options. Now that my oldest two are in high school, they are taking quite a few online courses. I feel like they should have the opportunity to learn upper level math, science and history from people who love the material, and I did not have time to relearn it all myself to help them do it “independent study.”
Homeschooling was overall far more demanding on me timewise than I originally pictured, but we have made it work. I have really enjoyed certain aspects and not been so good at other aspects. My kids have done well because they are fairly academically inclined and curious and haven’t resisted or needed special motivating. My son especially has benefited because he is quite precocious in math and has been able to work far ahead of his grade level using online courses for gifted students, and he has had abundant free time to teach himself multiple computer languages and do various coding projects. I think my daughters have really missed the more social aspects of a school experience, though the oldest is getting some of that now with online courses that have classmates she interacts with daily.
I think most people, if they enjoy learning themselves and are willing to invest the time and effort, and don’t have antagonistic relationships with their kids can do a great job homeschooling young children. Around middle school it becomes more difficult to keep up with all the subject matter. By high school I think most kids need to learn from people besides their parents and most kids are not wired to learn independently using books or videos. But there are now lots of options for virtual teaching and learning, learning co-ops, or early enrollment in community college that homeschooling parents can take advantage of.