I have seen it done in conjunction with moves that do not affect the kid because no one knew about holding them back except the administration. When done without the move, it would be tough. Some will transfer their kid to a private school and then back to the public school. I don't think there is all the ridicule that is suggested because when it is done all the little Johnnies know why it is being done. When that particular little Johnny is starting as a freshman on varsity all the ridicule goes away. I cannot imagine the home school thing unless you are a stay at home parent plus they would lose a year of school ball.
As has been said, it is not to be taken lightly. I think the kid has to be on board with the decision.