After all this time, we still quite regularly encounter people who worry about the children's welfare. Some of these people are passersby; some are long-time friends and family. The well-meant comments my kids have mentioned to me range from "Don't you ever get tired of being with your Mum?" to "You're homeschooled. You don't know anything!" to long explanations of common-knowledge things that they assume my kids must not know. To me, people usually quietly mention deep concerns about my children's "socialization" or "keeping up with their peers" or their ability to "make it as adults" or "in the real world". Or they assume my kids are geniuses, or have learning disabilities. Or they just roll their eyes.
The fact is, my kids are just kids. I am not sure exactly what grade level they function at, and I'm happy about that. I ensure that they have some regular activity that helps them develop basic life-skills, and this includes a bit of workbook practise (but I allow them to skip whichever pages seem silly or boring). Generally, I allow them to choose their own activities. Sometimes they read all day; sometimes they draw, craft, play lego, or do dramatic play all day long. When they get involved with something they generally keep at it for many hours. I'm not sure if the extra-long attention span is a result of not having a TV or of being allowed to take as long as they want, but I do think it's a good thing. It can indeed be difficult to schedule social time, because so many of their friends are in school so often, but therefore most afternoons are spent visiting with friends, and it's certainly not an issue.
I can't see the future. I don't know if my kids will "make it in the real world", but, just as I have confidence that they will succeed when allowed to follow their hearts, I have confidence that if the "real world" doesn't turn out to be what they want, they'll shape it to fit their dreams.
Anyway, I came across this video, which is a nicely thought-out adult unschooler's response to some of the criticism we face:
...and this one...