I was taught the same thing -- SSPX school as a first choice, then homeschool.
Now, I have a slightly more nuanced view.
Now, I would look at the parents (mostly the mother) in question, and see how well homeschooling would work. Several things have to be considered:
* Monetary resources available
* How much time mother has. Does she have to work outside the home?
* How many children are involved (related to point above)
* Level of discipline in the house
* IQ of mother
* # of TVs in the home
* Size/layout of house -- enough space for homeschooling? Distractions can be deadly to learning.
* Father's interests -- books and computers? Or sports, wrestling, and video games?
* Hours per day father is home. 1 or 2? 24? Is it ever 0? (don't laugh -- some men have to travel a lot, work in the military, etc.)
In short, Homeschooling success really depends on the family.
With the right mix, Homeschooling would trounce a good Catholic school experience. However, sometimes the (traditional) Catholic school isn't very good. So that's another factor -- what is the private (SSPX, for example) school alternative like? Is it a few rooms with a handful of 19 year old female teachers just biding their time until they find Mr. Right?
I've even heard bad things about the quality of education received in large schools such as St. Mary's, KS.
All that having been said, even if I had before me a mom who was
poor, of below-average intelligence, with 7 children, who had to work part-time, who lived in a small, noisy home with poor discipline, where the dad was only home for 2 or 3 hours a day (plus 8 hours while asleep), and he watched lots of TV in the main room -- the only room where homeschool/homework could be done...
I'd still recommend that she homeschool rather than send her children to public school! I don't see how parents can send their children to public school and then receive Holy Communion on Sunday.
I can elaborate on why I think sending children to public school is a mortal sin. It has to do with the degree of harm that is done to children, the state of public schools, the moral certainty that the child's faith would be destroyed there, etc.
In short, public school destroys souls. Period. Those who aren't killed are maimed. Those who aren't maimed are severely weakened, sometimes never to recover. Better to give your child a 3rd grade education (no further) at home and have them save their soul as a grocery bagger. Money and education aren't all there is to consider!
If I had to choose between my child's mind and his soul -- I'd protect his soul, no question about it. It's a question of priorities.
And YES public schools are that bad. Anyone who disagrees needs to wake up to the reality of public schools in 2011. NONE OF US HAVE GONE TO SCHOOL THAT RECENTLY. I, for example, graduated in 1995. No one had cell phones back then. Today, it's much easier even for nerds to get involved with pagans (romantically) since it's easy to text flirt and send phone numbers around. Plus the atheistic state is much more advanced in what they push on our children (vaccines, sex ed, teaching children to cower before soldiers, etc.)