Antinor01, if you don’t mind, I was also homeschooled (though not specifically Gothard) and can add a second point of view here.
I was homeschooled for K-12 with the exception of Kindergarten and fourth & fifth grades, which were spent at a private Christian school. (Not coincidentally, these were the years that my little brothers were 1-2 years old. Poor Mom could only do so much.) Like many of the other homeschoolers I knew, I took advantage of a program in my state called Running Start, in which juniors and seniors in High School can attend a local community college, the state pays for it, and it counts for both high school and college credit. I got an associate’s degree at the same time that most of my age group was getting a high school diploma, which made my lack of a formal high school diploma a non-issue.
I kicked some serious butt. So did most of the other homeschoolers I knew. My state required yearly standardized tests for homeschoolers, and I think the practice helped. The last time I heard numbers mentioned, homeschoolers averaged somewhere around the 70th percentile nationally, even including the higher proportion of special needs students that are homeschooled.
I was accepted everywhere I applied to, and was offered top scholarships at the two that I seriously pursued. In part this was because I had a ridiculously high SAT score, the other reason was that I had an AA as mentioned above.
Other than the general ‘hahaha homeschoolers, amiright?’ cultural reaction, I didn’t get much mockery to my face. The one group that did make fun of me for it was the girls in my church’s youth group. It was actually the adult leader of that group that perpetuated the worst of it. ("Nerds! All of them! Nerds! Oh, hahah, what about you, FlyBy?) Needless to say, I stopped attending after that. I have no trouble believing people’s descriptions of incredibly nasty behavior from people who call themselves Christians. (I later found a group at another church who were actually decent and kind human beings.)
The short version: I’m a member of a facebook group called “I was homeschooled, and I’ve got your social skills RIGHT HERE.”
The longer version: I went to a very homeschool friendly college, and going to community college took the worst edge off of my social non-conformance before then, so I was able to make the transition to the ‘normal world’ pretty smoothly. Most of the kids I knew went to community college or attended at least some high school, and had varying degrees of difficulty learning to blend in with their peers.
I had a normal sized circle of friends growing up, mostly other homeschoolers. We got along fine with each other, and I found out early that as a group we had no problem communicating and working with adults. It was only kids my age that I didn’t understand and was noticeably different from. I don’t think this was a bad thing. In our little world, the cool, admired kids were the ones who did stuff like build model rockets and raise goats for 4H. The social status games that went on in junior high and high school just weren’t present, and none of us felt bad about missing out on that. Maybe we were nerds, but we were having fun during our early teens.
Out of the fifty-odd kids I knew, we’ve all gone on to be productive members of society. There have been no unwanted pregnancies, no serious trouble with the law, no drug addictions (to the best of my knowlege), and the black sheep of the group is the guy who (gasp) dropped out of college. There’s been an average spread of mental illness. We’re pretty normal, successful adults on the whole.