I just read this long piece in the Washington Post about a student in Virginia who basically had to fight tooth and nail for a proper education because his family was exempted from sending him to school on religious grounds:
"[Josh] Powell was taught at home, his parents using a religious exemption that allows families to entirely opt out of public education, a Virginia law that is unlike any other in the country. That means that not only are their children excused from attending school — as those educated under the state’s home-school statute are — but they also are exempt from all government oversight.
School officials don’t ever ask them for transcripts, test scores or proof of education of any kind: Parents have total control."
You can read the rest of it here, but basically the young man eventually wrote to the local school board explaining that he wanted to go to school, but they rejected his request for enrollment because that's not what his parents wanted (and I guess because he was a minor at the time). At any rate, he figured out how to work the system, and he's in college now, but holy shit this is messed up.
I don't nor intend to have children, but I think parents should be able to home school their kids if that's what they want. However, I also think there should be some sort of government oversight to make sure the kids are actually learning. Apparently some states do require home-schooled students to take a yearly standardized test to monitor their progress, but obviously Virginia is not one of them.