I hear of people here who homeschool and find they only need to school 2 1/2 hours per day in order to teach the required curriculum (in a classroom setting, the teacher spends the majority of the day on classroom/behaviour management, transitions, etc.) They are able to spend the rest of the day doing a variety of things they wouldn't be able to do as much of if the kids were schooled institutionally (sports, various fieldtrips, volunteer work, etc.). These other things provide the socialisation required and the school district actually provides a class one day per week where all the homeschooled kids can come together with a teacher in a classroom atmosphere. Sounds like the best of all worlds to me (and I am a teacher in an international baccalaureate private school). Let's not forget too that the reason we school in institutions the way that we currently do is because it is supposedly the cheapest method (in an institutional setting), not because it is the best. The schooling system as we know it was originated in places like Germany where the powers that were wanted soldiers and factory workers who would fall in line, and not think for themselves (now, most teachers I know personally nowadays work hard to foster critical thinking in their classrooms, but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that the institutional approach is always superior.
There is a lot of ignorance and myths surrounding homeschooling. Yup, some of it is done by ignorant fundamentalist half-wits, but most is not (at least around here). There really is a huge variety. I know one family, for instance, that intend on doing it when their babies are bigger - they are a very liberal, non-religious couple who managed to purchase beautiful, rural waterfront property that they will run an outdoor school off of, and want to rear their children with their environmentalist, simple living, outdoor ethos.