I was forced (by societal standards as well as parental demands) to attend public schools. So, I went. But, I did not pay much attention and did very little homework. Nevertheless, on my own, I absorbed as much of the Encyclopedia Britannica as I could. I read the dictionary randomly just for words that sounded interesting. I read every science book I could get my hands on. I flunked Geography classes yet knew all about the Galapagos Islands, Tristan da Cunha Island, Antarctica and even Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands (see the Thor Heyerdahl novel about it.)
I can't add two numbers together because I never memorized the tables for addition nor multiplication. But, later, I was TEACHING computer mathematics (hexadecimal, binary, decimal, AND, NOT, XOR, and the like). I know the difference between the Rhumbline distance calculation and the Great Circle distance calculation. I understand Limits, differential calculus, statistical functions like curve fitting (linear, logarithmic, exponential, as well as quadratic curve fitting!) Fourier Transforms, trigonometry, astronomy, anatomy...
I could not dissect a frog yet (later) I safely performed minor surgery on my friend's head to remove a sebaceous cyst.
I could not conjugate the verb "I am" in French class (Je suis, tu es, il/elle est, nous sommes .....) yet I was carrying on penpal letters for years with 20 or so people from places like France and Cote d'Ivoire entirely in French.
I got none of my "education" from formal schools. I learned all this on my own. This is NOT to say I'm super smart. I'm not. I have just a normal level of intelligence... enough to keep from drooling on myself. This IS to say that formal education is not the best way to learn. Open exploration is. Follow one's nose. Throw out the garbage that society loves to shove down your throat... I won't get into THAT long list of topics! :)