Readin', ritin', and rithmetic aren't everything. I believe that most homeschoolers know this. Which is why they are investing more time into their own children, and educating them in the way that they believe is right. But, beyond the basic core subjects... there is really a whole lot more that we need to teach our children.
Bringing out good character qualities are lessons that will not only last our children a lifetime, but also serve them well in school and the workplace. When we take time to instill honesty, justice, kindness, and even mercy into our children... we are investing not only in them, but our future as a country, and also our future grandchildren.
Teaching your 8th grader a solid foundation in good character is essential to making them a person who can adapt and function within a variety of situations. When children are taught good character, for some reason it seems to also make them more confident and self-assured. Meeting the emotional and moral needs of our children is a part of homeschooling beyond the books!