I haven't read this whole thread yet, but wanted to comment on the theme of the first few posts.

Re: socialization, I actually feel much more comfortable with the socialization of my child due to the fact that he is homeschooled. He's out in the world every day and deals with people of all ages/shapes/sizes/abilities with ease. Check out this article for many more reasons why homeschoolers prefer their brand of socialization:

And regarding defensiveness, well, I don't feel defensive at all. I even had the gifted coordinator for our state's department of education tell me that the best educational choice for our son is homeschooling. I know for a fact that his needs cannot be accommodated in schools. It is what it is. Given our situation, I know homeschooling is the best option.

I do sometimes feel the need to adjust expectations when I meet someone for the first time and they assume that I'm a homeschooler who fits the evangelical Christian mold that characterizes the majority of US homeschoolers. Homeschoolers are rare enough, and those who make that choice for secular reasons are rarer still.