Not sure how much of a contributor this is, but a major shortfall of homeschool programs in my state (Alaska) is the lack of verifiable accountability of any particular homeschooling classroom. Some families are exposing their children to a wide variety of socialization opportunities and learning pathways. Their children are possibly getting an education, both academic and experiential, superior to that offered at the local public schools. Others are homeschooling for a specific reason that naturally limits their child’s exposure to diverse social experiences (religious or cultural reasons often account for this type). Academics are often stressed, but other learning is limited to a single cohort (church, for example). Then you have a third group. Homeschooling for whatever reason…lack of trust in the government (can’t say I blame them) or negative experiences with the education system, they start with the best of intentions but are simply not able to adhere to the attention to detail and disciplined planning required to keep their child on par with their peer group. The problem is most programs are funded for a certain number of students. Until they are full, they pretty much accept anyone who applies, they dole out materials and extracurricular vouchers and allow parents to do whatever they want to with them. There is periodic testing and evaluation but it is poorly moderated. Follow-through is non-existent.
One child in a program may surpass his peers in every way while another may as well not be attending school at all.
This is a huge problem and, ever since my ex-husband ran one of the early homeschool programs here, has always been my problem with the whole concept.
Like charter schools, homeschool programs need a lot more accountability to the state if they are to continue to receive government funding.