The BIG secret about homeschooling is that it really isn’t about the academics at all but rather the relationships!
You read that right. While your children will indeed get a good education while homeschooling, the real reason to do this comes down to the relationships. You will be closer to your kids. Your kids will be closer to each other. Ideally, everyone in your family will be closer to each other and to the people around you. That last bit can’t happen if you don’t interact with others!
While I’ve been avoiding the elephant of socialization throughout the things you have been reading, socialization will happen no matter how you choose to interact with society in general. I’m sure everyone can cite some family they know–be they a friend of a friend of a friend or whatever–who has lived what I call The Swiss Family Robinson life. There are also going to people who live their lives in a fishbowl. Neither has much to do with the educational aspects of homeschooling, but they do point to how we as a society hone our social skills.
It stands to reason, though, that honing social skills should be done from an “inner to outer” point of view. The family is the ideal microcosm to foster social skills. After all, the best schools of thought on this issue are always trying to create a “family” atmosphere. What better than an actual family environment to learn how to treat others right?! After all, if you don’t treat the people closest to you with love and respect, how on earth will you ever learn to treat others properly? The Golden Rule in any of its forms serves this well.