I'm not big on one size fits all for Education. I have been a non-conformist for most of my life, but especially since I was a teenager. I beleive that everyone has the right to learn what they want, when they want, and at whatever speed they want. The faster kids should NOT be sitting in a classroom twiddling their thumbs waiting for the slower kids to catch up.
I can still vividly remember at the age of 10 sitting in a classroom during a spelling test. The teacher was taking something like 4 to 5 minutes for each word, and I had the word written down in 30 seconds. So I would spend the remaining time reading a book. The teacher kept telling me to put the book away, but I resisted. I knew I would be so bored just sitting there waiting for the slower kids to catch up. By the way - I still got 100% on that test.
I have always supported the idea of Homeschooling. Despite my attending local public schools, I also consider myself to have been homeschooled (or afterschooled) by my father during my teenage years. Most nights while he and I were doing the dishes (we did not have an automatic dishwasher) I would ask the question - either something that was in the news, or something that was bothering me, or just somethng I wanted to know more about. And listening to my dads answers helped me to learn.
Even today I still do this. I have weekly Skype chats with my father and almost always something I mention, gets a mini-lecture from dad so I am always still learning. I guess this now makes me an Independent Scholar. Which means taking the Homeschooled education to the next level. Instead of your parents teaching you, now you teach yourselves.
Another educational philosophy that I would have loved to been able to enjoy, is the Great Books Education system. This educational philosophy can be run from elementary or primary schools, through middle, intermediate or junior high schools, and high schools, all the way up to colleges and universities.
Great Books Foundation
There are differences between the various LISTS of books on any Great Books list. The trick is to find the list that suits you, or mix and match the books until you develop your own list. And not only do you have to find these books to make your list, you have to find each book at 3 different levels -
Junior (between ages 6 and 9)
Intermediate (chapter books with pictures - ages 10 to 13)
Senior (the Original sources - ages 14 to 17).
All translated into English of course.
This system uses the Great Books system for teaching children. This can be used for both homeschooling and also in a regular classroom. But the books are re-read every 4 years at a higher level appropriate to the child.
The Trivium - The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the Trivium.
The classical Greek pattern of education - The Trivium.
Elementary school "grammar stage," - the foundations and the basics - memorisation
Middle school "logic stage," - asking why
High school "rhetoric stage." - being able to make a logical argument
Using the trivium as your model, you'll be able to instruct your child in all levels of reading, writing, history, geography, mathematics, science, foreign languages, rhetoric, logic, art, and music, regardless of your own aptitude in those subjects.
The classics have been re-written for all age levels so that the best way to learn, is to read from the appropriate age level one for each year - The Ancients, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern - and then repeat for the next 4 years at an intermediate level, so that by high school, the child should be reading the original sources.
And the last educational system I would have loved to have experienced is the International Bacculaureate System