I've read several books by John Holt and was truly inspired by his ideas. You know what it's like, when you read or hear something and it sounds great not in the way of being a completely new idea, but rather, in the way of being familiar - as in, you've vaguely thought about it yourself some time, but didn't quite know how to word it:
"... the human animal is a learning animal; we like to learn; we are good at it; we don't need to be shown how or made to do it. What kills the processes are the people interfering with it or trying to regulate it or control it."
Deep down, what I'd really like to do is step back and take my hands completely off my children's learning process. However, I will confess I'm a little afraid to do that, and there's also the matter of social pressure. When your educational choices are unusual, you may feel under a lot of pressure to provide results that are as good as - no, better than - everyone else's. "Yes, I home educate my children and this is why my 4-year-old is reading fluently and recites poetry in three languages". You need to prove that you are doing alright, that you aren't headed for disaster with your weird ways.
If you've got a late reader, or a child with special needs, or a child whose social skills need polishing - in short, if you are facing any problem at all with your child's education and training, there will be people who chalk it all up to your educational choices, especially if such choices are considered radical in your community.
I know someone, now an adult, who had been homeschooled. He is by all standards a successful person, the father of four children, runs his own business, etc. However, his personality isn't exactly outgoing. So, whenever his name comes up in conversation in connection to homeschooling, people go, "Aha! Of course K. is so anti-social - he was homeschooled!" - everyone is just ready to pounce on his example as proof that homeschoolers produce kids with no social skills.
Naturally, the world is full of grumpy people who went to school, and of friendly, sunshiny people who had been homeschooled. But apparently, the easiest thing is to take any quirk, challenge or weakness and blame it on what's unusual, "abnormal" with this person's lifestyle choices.
One of my daughters, in particular, serves as the perfect illustration to John Holt's unschooling philosophy. She loves learning but hates being taught. She'll do wonderful, creative things, she'll ask hundreds of questions and walk inspecting her surroundings through a magnifying glass by the hour, but she'll instantly rebel as soon as I initiate something because I think it's "educational".
So what is the answer? I have none. Just some thoughts along the way.