Our oldest dd will be middle school age next year and we've got some possibilities open to us. This year she has gone to public elementary school and that has gone okay. Prior to that she was at a small crunchy private school and that was pretty good, but not academically or otherwise stringent (not a big concern of mine, but DH thinks they let her do what she wanted a little too much) and the friend pool was pretty small and she never found a great fit friend-wise.
She says she wants to be homeschooled, but although I am very homeschooling friendly (have great friends who do it and am fairly plugged into the local network) I'm not sure it's the best thing for our particular kid. We could do it, though, as I WAH part-time. She has a very good friend who homeschools.
She's also been accepted into a charter school which is about a 25 minute drive away. It has an environmental and arts focus and is smaller (150 kids total?) and 6-12. She would know one other kid there and she would be in a different grade. She's friendly, but not good friends with this girl.
Our local middle school is as good as middle schools get — lots of course offerings; a funny, involved principal; they seem to be on top of bullying unlike another middle school in town, etc. She would know a few other kids there. She has one friend (not a close friend, but definitely a friend) who would be going there. Much bigger environment of about 700 kids.
So we've got a lot of options to weigh. I feel a little like I'm in a game of Twister with my left foot on the blue charter school dot and my right foot on the red middle school dot and my left arm stretched over to the yellow homeschooling dot. I think any one of these options could work. I'm not at all dissatisfied with what I've seen and heard about the public middle school. It seems really awesome as far as public middle schools go. The charter seems like it could be really great and my girl is all about art and the environment. Homeschooling would open up a lot of options for us as far as not being tied to the public school schedule, but we'd have to make a decision about dd2 (8), too.
So to help me consider all my options I'd be interested to hear what you really like about school for your kid. I'm not interested in hearing horror stories or the negatives. I can imagine those only too well on my own. I'm interested in WHY you LIKE your kid's school, be it public, private or charter.