Highly recommended: a GREAT series of posts on unschooling from my friend Jane. I think all parents--homeschoolers or not, unschoolers or not--can benefit from reading because what Jane is essentially talking about is a lifestyle that frees up children to reach their full potential. Yuck--that sounds like such a cliché, but that's really what it's about. In our house we have both schooly and unschooly periods, depending on the prevailing goals and circumstances. But if I h-a-a-d to pick one or the other, I would say we lean towards the unschooly. Our children have been allowed great freedom to pursue their passions and to govern how they allot their time. We don't worry much about grades or "covering" material. We just live together and by the grace of God love and learn our way through our days.
Here are links to Jane's posts, in order:
Gatto (about educational writer John Taylor Gatto, mentioned here in several recent posts as well)
The Company You Keep (about socialization)
One More Unschooling Post (about Jane's kids--a case study in unschooling)
Go. Read. It will be worth it, I promise.