Middle school was hell, especially the first year. I was a small, quiet, shy late-bloomer thrust into an overcrowded building teeming with hormones and noise. Other girls tormented me in the bus line. I hated being yelled at by adults in the hallways. I was so unhappy that my mom actually considered homeschooling me, but my dad wouldn’t hear of it. Other than math, my honors classes were still very easy. In eighth grade “Honors Social Studies” we spent weeks working on group presentations about the branches of government and then our teacher told us to “just forget about it”.
My mom and I moved to a new neighborhood so that I could attend a fancy high school in the nicest part of our new town. The quality of education was quite good there, except for history and literature. I often felt stressed out by the workload though, and I didn’t fit in well with my (largely upper middle-class) peers. Looking back, I think I received a decent education in math, science, grammar, writing and French. (American public schools are usually very weak on foreign languages, but I lucked out with an awesome teacher in high school.) If I had been homeschooled, I could have worked at my “edge” all the time. Instead of being bored in class, I could have kept progressing at my own pace. I would have avoided being a victim of preteen bullies and had more time to play and explore.