It depends on what the reasons are for homeschooling. I think when most people ask "Do you think homeschooling is good for children?" what they really want to know is if keeping kids out of public school is bad for them in terms of social interaction.
If this is the real question, than it is important to look at both your own child and the school system. I homeschool my daughter, but my son goes to public school. I feel comfortable enough with the school system to let him choose whether or not he wants to go to public school.
In many situations, we can see that "socialization" of children has many negative effects. Nowhere else in life will a child ever be confined to a room with 25 people that are his exact same age. In real life, we interact with a wide variety of people of all ages and learning is not confined to a "laboratory" type setting of facts and figures.
Homeschooling - done properly - simulates real world learning. Children are able to interact with a wide variety of people each day and have the opportunity to be exposed to real world situations, problems and solutions.
Realistically, not everyone has the desire, ability or opportunities to homeschool their children, and that is where public school comes in. It provides a way for everyone to get an education. Even though I believe a real life education is better than a public school education, a public school education is certainly better than NO education!
The only social drawback I see to homeschooling is that properly homeschooled kids tend to be more mature, practical and grounded than a majority of public school kids. This makes it a little harder for them to make friends, however the friends that they do make they tend to choose because they have similar interests and not just to be "cool" or "popular."
A good homeschool experience can help your child grow to be a more mature, self-confident person who knows exactly what they want out of life as opposed to the situation that often happens in public schools where you have children that merely act in whatever way their peers do and often turn out with a substandard education at best.
I can't give a blanket answer on that one, as I think some kids truly are better off in public school than in homeschooling and for some kids I've met or have heard of, homeschooling wasn't really that good for them--because of how the parents chose to do it (or not do it, as the cases were...)
On the whole though, I'd say, yes homeschooling is good for children. Let me explain:
I think in the elementary years, homeschooling is probably good for any child with dedicated and reasonable parents. It can help the learn the basics at their pace, help them have a better sense of who they are since they are not surrounded by kids of the same age each day, help them have more time to be kids since school work doesn't take as long to get through, help them be more focused on family than on friends, and more.
At the junior high level, this still applies and a definite benefit is that the child's "society" does not consist of kids who are dying to be accepted, dying to impress others, etc. While I often bring in the question of psychology into my answers, I've realized sociology needs to be looked at, too--in specific, how the social interactions in organizations or other forms of society influence other members of the organization. When you combine developmental psychology and sociology, homeschooling during the jr. high years can be extremely beneficial for the student. I know at least a few kids who started homeschooling in jr. high, while maintaining contact with their public schooled friends, and they were so happy to be at home and not in the jr. high environment. So much nonsense goes on that they don't need to deal with at an age where they are still making their final transition into high level reasoning, yet still wanting to have a place in the world. (Despite certain rationalizations found among naysayers, there is no sociological nor psychological reason why a child needs 12 years of dealing with bullies, idiots, etc. to be able to do so as an adult.)
At the high school level, the playing field might even out a little between homeschooling and public school, depending on the schools. Why do I say that? Because kids at the high school level are at a different developmental level than the other stages. They are much closer to adulthood, have hopefully developed a good ability to think things through while at home, have usually reached a general sense of self by that point, etc. I know a couple of homeschooled kids I think should go to high school once they hit that level--in part because of some of the amazing programs they have here that would thoroughly interest these kids, programs that just could not be done at home and in part because these kids are quite gregarious yet increasingly sure of themselves, so the high school socializing shouldn't be a problem. I also know some homeschooled kids for whom high school would just not be a good fit and they are more than happy to be working at home (and participating in the multitude of activities they are involved in!).
So, a long way of saying... it depends. But on the whole, yes.
Source(s): Former elementary teacher; former student of psychology and sociology; current homeschooling mom
Don't listen to the fools who think homeschooled children don't socialize. Homeschooling is good for some children but not for all. Some children need the one on one teaching and self paced learning. A good teacher is also required, whether that teacher is a parent or a hired tutor. All of the homeschooled students I met were polite and well educated. Socialization is important for homeschoolers and should be treated just like any other subject. Going to public school does not garauntee good socialization.
Depends entirely on the family, their methods, their ability, their organization, etc. Generally, yes -- it can be extremely good for children, particularly when the public schools are NOT (and in the US, that is quite often the case).
By the way - people who have actually done research about homeschooling know that the old "socialization" issue is NOT an issue. These kids do not live in a vacuum. Homeschooling doesn't mean recluse.
School is not about socializing. It's about learning. And parents who homeschool and do right by their children provide loads of opportunities for their children to learn with other children.
Also, if any of these people who claim to be experts about the socialization issue would walk into a public school and see the kind of "socialization" going on, they'd stop spouting about things they know absolutely nothing about.
I am a huge advocate for homeschooling. Although, I don't believe its for everyone. It takes a lot of time, patience, and the right attitude to homeschool your child. Also, some children excel in public school some don't. It depends on the child, resources, attitude, schedule...
As far as socialization..a child doesn't need to go to public school for socialization skills. It just depends on how active the family is. What a child sees is what a child learns. If Mom and Dad have good socialization skills the child will regardless if they are in public school or not.