For my schooling, I did a combination of homeschooling, unschooling, and public schooling during Kindergarten-12th grade.
Kindergarten - Homeschooled (taught to read and do basic mathematics)
1st-4th - Public schooling (3 different schools, we moved around a lot due to divorce and my mom not getting any support from my father).
5th grade - Unschooled/home schooled - My mom had set goals we needed to accomplish but it was up to us on how to get there. There were some required reading and math things but I learned most of my vocabulary and reading skills from books and video games.
6th grade - Half public school, pulled out due to bullying and finished the rest doing a combination of home schooling and unschooling.
7th grade - Unschooled, with set goals again. Certain math learning requirements, and I was reading at a college level at this point so all of my reading/writing requirements were dropped. Learned most of vocabulary and social interaction skills from online video games.
8th grade - public schooled for half, got pulled out due to depression hitting an all time low, finished through a school-appointed tutor. At this point I was attending a youth group and volunteering with kindergarten students so I suppose that's where I learned more social interaction skills. Still played online video games.
9th grade - Unschooled for half, second half I was public schooled, depression became an issue again and I missed maybe 1/2 of my classes. Aced all my final exams that year, online video games provided a lot of my physics and math and logic education.
10th grade - Public schooling, but missed 3/4 of classes due to depression issues. They made a deal with me that if I passed all my exams for that year I'd be exempt for the rest of my classes. I aced them all, except for the environmental science portion of my biology class, so I finished that up with a small essay.
1 month of 11th grade - Public school, same as 10th grade, got pulled out real quickly.
11th-12th grade - charter school. At this point I had almost all the required classes I needed to graduate, I just had to fill in credit requirements so I took some economics and history classes and language classes. I had math and science completed in 11th grade, 12th grade I failed because I didn't do any of the work because it was boring. I retook and passed.
I am in my 2nd year of university now, and am pretty much one of the only ones in my year that is writing and reasoning at an above average level. My social interaction levels are also above average. My school is a pass/fail system with emphasis on learning and core abilities - there are 4 levels and you need to pass them twice in order to graduate (along with passing all of your required courses for your major) and I have half of them done already, so I would say that homeschooling and unschooling have had no negative effect on my education.
I didn't actually learn all that much in public high school, I didn't go more than half of the time and I passed the final tests with As easily (I never studied. Such a good, disciplined student
). I think maybe I am abnormal, though.
I always learned better through self-learning and exploration. I refused to learn the times table in 4th grade because I thought it was dumb (stubbornness runs in the family!).
I think it helped that my mom actively engaged us (I have siblings, though not all of them followed the same path as I did) in our learnings and welcomed deep, philosophical conversations all throughout my education. She also taught all of us to read before 1st grade and I picked up on the basic mathematics really easily in kindergarten.
Her required reading and mathematics competency were higher than what was required of people in my same age group, so I feel like that is why I was so bored in high school. The online games I played really helped too. I learned most of what I know about economics, advanced mathematics, logic, physics, reading and writing, etc. from online video games (Everquest and World of Warcraft) and I also had a lot of social interaction on those games, from people of all age groups and all over the world. Some of my best friends today are people I've met online, and I've visited one of them (I was 18, I don't think my mom would've let me go if I wasn't already an adult).
I don't think I would recommend this for anyone, but it really worked for me. I really appreciate my mom's flexibility in allowing me to learn the way I learn best but she also imposed some requirements (like reading the Federalist Papers, and doing religious education, and math ability requirements, and science reasoning and logic).
The only thing I regret is spending so much time in public school in high school, because it really damaged me emotionally at the time. At the same time, I liked being in public school for the foreign language learning aspect. It's difficult to self-study. The charter school in 11th-12th grade allowed me to do 3rd year French, 2 years of Japanese, and 2 years of German, though, so that was nice.
Conversely, my brother (who has Asperger's) benefitted from public high school in many ways and in many ways it was more damaging to him than it was to me. The bullying was worse for him (I wasn't bullied past 6th grade, really) but he was able to be part of the football team which gave him a sense of camaraderie and belonging, and he worked with a speech therapist that helped him with social interaction (not speech, he was fine with that) who ended up being a huge advocate for him in school when the higher ups tried to get around the accommodations required in the IEP.
My sister would have benefitted from more homeschooling/unschooling - she was bullied heavily throughout school. She is an amazing and productive woman today, but that is mostly due to therapy, my mom's opennness, and attending the university I am attending (small, welcoming, accommodating, friendly. It's a call-professors-by-their-first-name type of atmosphere).
Um, so, I guess the point of this is that public school is perfect for some kids, but detrimental to others, and it's a shame that there aren't more options out there because kids really do all learn differently and need different things from their education. The charter school I went to in 11th-12th grade nearly lost funding because of some teacher's union thing. The atmosphere was definitely unfriendly in regards to homeschooling and charter schools.