When homeschoolers stop

I know a lot of homeschoolers, and have known a lot, since I have been doing it for 20 years. Most of them continue all the way through to college, but a few drop out, for various reasons. Some need both parents to work, and there is just not a lot of time left for homeschooling. Others seem to be unable to have their kids do any work. They get overwhelmed easily and are usually looking for some sort of co-op setting where they don’t actually have to teach their kids the hard stuff. I have to admit that I am more than willing to send my teenagers to the local university as soon as they are capable (usually around age 14). But giving up never occurs to me. We are together all the time, and sometimes it gets REALLY old, but I think in the larger scheme of things, that this teaches all of us how to get along, how to negotiate, and how to forgive. I do think for some kids that public school is the safest place for them to be during the day, but I can’t imagine putting my kids back in public school and feeling like that somehow was a good solution. I did have my two younger boys in public school for 4 years while I was building up my teaching studio, because their dad just was not cut out for teaching, but I regret doing it. The younger one had trouble every year, since he has Asperger’s, and he was so relieved to come out. The older of the two did fine in 4th and 5th grade, but as soon as he entered middle school, things deteriorated. He is not as mature as his older sibs who never went to public school, and I blame the time he spent in middle school for his delayed maturity. He tends to be less mature anyway, so I did him no favor by leaving him in as long as I did. As he has grown in maturity in the last 1 1/2 years since he has been home, he has confided in me about some of the dumb stuff he did, and what really goes on in middle school, at least with teenage boys. Sometimes I ask myself what I am protecting them from? I think it is the quasi-real life image that is public schooling. When they take classes at the university, they are always amazed at how, suddenly, what you look like, what you wear and how ‘cool’ you are suddenly matter not in the least. My second son, who is 20, has been going to USM since he was 13. He is one of the most poised and mature people I know of his age. Most of the kids that I know who HS-ed all the way through, tend to be thoughtful, calm and discerning adults. Why anyone would substitute mass-schooling (who didn’t have to) is beyond me.