Characters: A 12 year old boy from Washington State who has just moved to California to live in a foster home (there are extenuating reasons for him moving states) where there is a 13 year old girl and two 14 year old boys already (also foster kids).
The issues: I've been trying to find information on a few things (and struggling to get the sort of answers I need via Ask.com, wiki etc):
1) In Washington State, would the 12 year old be in Middle School or Junior High School? What about in California? And would the 13 and 14 yr olds be in Middle School or Junior High School in California?
2) What subjects would be taught in the respective schools, generally speaking? Are the sciences split down into biology, chemistry and physics at that stage? What sort of languages are taught (in the UK it is mainly French, with German in the later years - or at least, it was when I was at school!).
3) The kids are going to be home schooled, not by the parent figure but by a private tutor. Is this still called home schooling? Especially if they go to her house for the lessons (but there aren't other kids there, so it's not a private school). How realistic would it be for a group of private tutors and home schooling parents to get together and buy a small place where joint lessons such as PT can take place, and after school type activities like chess club, science club etc could happen (also, what sort of clubs do schools tend to have)? If not realistic, how could I get this sort of social interaction - youth centre?
Sorry to be such a pain, but I'm not even sure about the UK education system these days and I live here!! Any and all help would be welcomed. I'm trying not to worry too much about it as the story is an AU and so could occur in an AU world as well. Having said that, I'd like to be as realistic as possible.
Thank you. If you're wondering, it's for a Stargate: Atlantis fic.