This isn't one of my happy little posts with teaching ideas. Every summer I am bombarded with people asking if I am going to send my kids back to school this year. With my oldest hitting middle school age, even more people are questioning and some are becoming downright vicious. The short answer is no, I am not sending them to school. Here's the long answer:
I worked in the public school system, which directly influenced my decision to homeschool. I saw what went on and it disgusted me. No, not all schools are bad, but enough are to raise hairs on arms. Most teachers are great, but they are stuck doing their best in a system that isn't set up to educate, but instead to make the US look good on an international level. The student's best interests are not kept in mind, ever.
My younger son is gifted in maths and sciences, but he is behind in reading. Very behind. I saw children like him broken by the system in their early years. Why? Reading is the main skill that earns a school good test scores, and those scores equal money. In school, it wouldn't matter that he can do an algebra problem in five seconds, all that would matter is he can't read a simple chapter book. He knows what an astronomical unit is and the orders of magnitude used to classify stars, but Dick and Jane is beyond his skills. His love of building scale models of space telescopes would likely land him medicated and in the remedial room, labeled as a problem student and below average pupil.
Not all homeschooling is great. Plenty of parents are equipped to properly teach a child, or they teach biblical nonsense history and science as fact. But not all traditional schools are great, either. Which ever choice you make, and they can both be the right choice, go in with your eyes open. Don't blindly trust the school to teach your child. Fill in educational gaps at home and be your child's advocate. Visit the school, often, and call them out when you see them failing your child or other children. Your school shouldn't answer to the school board, the state or the federal government. It should answer to the students and the parents. Demand the best from your school and you just might get it.