During my homeschooling years, I often found myself saying, "why would I bother homeschooling if I am going to follow someone else's rules?" I found that most homeschoolers were homeschoolers in deed, but not necessarily in action. They would pronounce they were homeschooling, but then look for a full curriculum in a box or homeschool program online to follow. They might get desks and even turn the dining room into a classroom and have the kids call them teacher(mom) and principal (dad). Sure that's cute, and a good way to present homeschooling to previously schooled kids, but there comes a time when the transition ends and the actual homeschooling begins.
I often get requests on how to homeschool, and I have been struggling with finishing a book for a couple of years because I do not believe that my rules for homeschooling are the end-all, be-all for how a person should proceed. I believe that you should be guided by your intimate knowledge of your children and any advice you solicit or receive should be filtered through your unique circumstances.
On the other hand, I know several public school families who do have the homeschool spirit. Sure they send the kids to school and put up with all the stuff that comes with that, but they do not for a minute believe that the school is responsible for their child's education. These parents overlook homework and check it themselves. They correct (or at least challenge) misconceptions learned in school. They are fixtures at the school making sure everyone knows that their child is a priority (this makes a difference in how a child is treated). Finally, when school lets out the last day of spring, they have a full curriculum planned for the summer months.
In my experience, I have found these parents and children to be more successful than even most homeschoolers. Sure, homeschoolers that truly have a homeschool spirit and the drive this family has to work toward each child's needs will be the most successful, but some of these public school families are just killing it.
We could learn something from them.