I've been surprised at how many foreigners have been critical of our homeschooling here. I try to avoid bringing it up with Kyrgyz and Russians; I know that very few have ever even heard of homeschooling, much less consider it to be a good option.
But foreigners from all over the world ask us where are children are going to school, and when they hear we are homeschooling, they list off all our other options as if we didn't even look into them. There are basically three options here. The International School is the most popular choice, especially with diplomatic families since their government will pay for the tuition. We could technically afford it, but it would take every cent from our grant. Even if someone else paid for the entire tuition, I'm still not comfortable in many ways with such an expensive education.
The second choice is a Christian school run by volunteers. Most of the students are from missionary families. It costs about half as much as the International School, but I have to admit I'm a little leary of Christian schools for a variety of reasons. I prefer a more diverse education (some would laugh at that though, since they see homeschooling as the least diverse method of education possible- obviously I don't).
And the last choice is homeschooling. I knew lots of families living overseas homeschooled, and I think it's a really good choice. Sometimes it's the only choice. But there are still people who encourage us to fork out the money for the private schools, or even to put our children into the local Russian schools.
Can I tell you how unimpressed I am with the Russian school system? I can think of few situations where I would ever consider putting my children into a Russian school. My children are learning how to read right now. I want them to learn to read English well right now, not worry about reading Russian. Children are routinely given shots in school. I've spent a lot of time talking to the products of the Russian school system, and I really don't think homeschooling is a poor option.
But after homeschooling for several years now, I know that school isn't about the education for most people. Even one year of homeschooling (most people don't know that we homeschooled in the US too) is too much for many people, even in Kyrgyzstan.