I stumbled upon this quote from the wonderful site Brain Pickings, and I can't help but think it'd be the perfect answer to my son Oliver's unique intelligence and accompanying hatred of school.
Why not eliminate schooling between age 12-16? It’s biologically + psychologically too turbulent a time to be cooped up inside, made to sit all the time. During these years, kids would live communally – doing some work, anyway being physically active, in the countryside... Those four 'missing' years of school could be added on, at a much later age. At, say, age 50-54 everyone would have to go back to school. (One could get a deferment for a few years, in special cases, if one was in a special work or creative project that couldn’t be broken off.) In this 50-54 schooling, have strong pressure to learn a new job or profession – plus liberal arts stuff, general science (ecology, biology), and language skills.
This simple change in the age specificity of schooling would a) reduce adolescent discontent, anomie, boredom, neurosis; b) radically modify the almost inevitable process by which people at 50 are psychologically and intellectually ossified – have become increasingly conservative, politically – and retrograde in their tastes (Neil Simon plays, etc.)
There would no longer be one huge generation gap (war), between the young and the not young – but 5 or 6 generation gaps, each much less severe.
After all, since most people from now on are going to live to be 70, 75, 80, why should all their schooling be bunched together in the first 1/3 or 1/4 of their lives – so that it’s downhill all the way
Early schooling – age 6-12 – would be intensive language skills, basic science, civics, the arts.
Back to school at 16: liberal arts for two year
Age 18-21: job training through apprenticeship, not schooling
-- from Susan Sontag's recently released As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980