Originally Posted by pookel
The impression I've gotten from other Europeans is that school in Europe, especially at the high school level, is more like university here - less goofing around, less wasted time, more serious study of subjects students are taking voluntarily. If that's accurate, then it does sound far removed from homeschooling, but it sounds like what I think formal schooling should be like, if you are going to take formal schooling.
I feel like the public school system in America is the worst of both worlds - on the one hand, regimented, authoritarian, rules-based, focused on conformity and meeting norms, but on the other hand, lacking the serious academic focus that makes that kind of formality worthwhile.
The school I went to could be described as follows:
1) less goofing around
2) no wasted time
3) significantly more serious study of subjects with "real" complicated georgraphy, "real" chemistry, "real" literature, "real" biology as well as a mandatory class where they teach you how to make clothes, cook, etc. by the time you are in 4th-5th grade.
4) students must take all the classes (absolutely no choice). If they don't like math or not good at math, they still must take very challenging math classes (that at times are much harder than the math I took in my 3rd year of university here). Everything that is taught in school is considered to be general education (i.e., the minimal amount of knowledge that any adult should have).
5) my school was definitely regimented, authoritarian, very much rule-based, focused on conformity and meeting norms.
6) School starts at the age of 7 and ends when you are 17.