And to what effect and extent has this experience served your education?
I have two degrees and am doing pretty well. I think that's all that matters. Of course, depending on what a person is going for however. In my case, i didn't need to be the top of my class... i needed to socialize and get connections. It all depends on the goal which i think can be achieved through public school.
Life is like public school?
Life is like the chaos found in public school, but hidden. People hide who they are as they grow... those impulses are not controlled in HS years so you get to see the wide range of differences. I don't think people that are home-schooled lack a social life... i think they would lack seeing these differences.
public school is perhaps the worst place to see individuality
I don't think you are understanding my angle. Individuality as in a goth kid dressing up goth. Trust me, as a goth, skater, surfer kid myself... that never goes away. I'm still that person but i hide it bc i'm an "adult" now. Kids in these years don't hide it and let themselves be known. Public school is a great time to see this individuality. Also, it's a great time to learn how to navigate it.
The way you are talking about home-schooling is very controlling. You control the education, you have slight control on who your kid would be around... all of this seems very pampered. You're kid will never see a skinhead and get the opportunity to observe or even talk to them to see where they are coming from. I was never a skinhead, dressed like people they disliked, and am a different ethnicity. But, still i found a way to become friends with them and see that they are people too. Even uncomfortable at the beginning bc i thought they'd hate me. It's little things like this you are hiding them away from. If i never had that situation happen... i may still be afraid of them, or think they're just trash... or whatever preconceived notion that comes with that territory. Now... the important part is i asked people i trust what does "skinhead" mean. I knew what they stood for and who they were before trying to make friends. I knew i disagreed with them. That is the preparation i'm talking about that you need so you don't get brainwashed or manipulated... that's important too.
All one needs to know is that homeschooling is better.
This is a very broad statement and not nuanced at all. There are situations in which i may agree with you... like i first said, it all comes down to the kids goals. If they want to be musicians, i'd say go to public school. If they want to be effective salesman / business, i'd say go to public school. If the kid wants to be a doctor from a prestige school, i'd say get home schooled. It all depends on the future goals. Some careers don't need what i'm talking about and need what you're talking about... vice versa. I'm not saying home schooling is bad, i actually think it may get you better grades. But even there i'm not sure... i think if one an still crush it in public school with all the distractions, that's a talent within itself.
So, i disagree with a general statement that home-schooling is "better." That's just not the case in every situation.