image via pinterest
Written by Christine Martin
There is no question that education, as it has conventionally been offered, needs to shift with the times. In traditional form, schools often lack addressing the specific learning needs of children. Some kids experience boredom, while others are being left behind. There are a number of reasons for this: limited funding, a push for standardized testing, over crowded classrooms, to name a few.
An alternative to this is the combination of home schooling and online learning. While neither is a brand new concept, parents are finding these options to better suit the needs of their kids.
Meet Andres. A 7th grader in California, his school experience has changed greatly from last year. With the support of his mom taking a home schooling role, Andres takes part in the Online K12 Public Schools. Their mission states:
To provide any child access to exceptional curriculum and tools that enable him or her to maximize his or her success in life, regardless of geographic, financial, or demographic circumstance.
Curious about his experience, I asked Andres a few questions.
1. Describe how you felt, when you went to school.
When I went to my elementary school, I didn’t learn well because the teacher didn’t always have time to help, and sometimes would leave me behind.
2. What were the things most difficult for you to learn?
Reading/English was kinda hard for me there because I would get distracted.
3. Did you like anything about school? What?
Yes, it was organized. It had everything they needed for you to do; you wouldn’t have to get everything yourself. Like in homeschooling it’s hard to get used to the program. Typically, if kids don’t get the program within the first 2 months, they’re kinda lost.
4. What do you think about homeschooling and online learning?
It’s really kinda hard for me. Well, it teaches you more and there are more hours than regular school which is a pro for them but a con for me. But, my mom says that if you do home schooling you get a better education. I would agree with her.
5. Is it more or less work?
It’s more work. You do have opportunities to get distracted since you’re on the computer, but not as many as at school since you’re around friends.
6. Do you miss being with other kids in class?
Uh yeah, I sorta do. If you have really close friends, you don’t have to worry about that; you can ask them to hang out with you sometimes. Some of my friends understand why I do home-schooling and some of them think it’s weird.
7. What’s the best thing about online learning?
You get lessons done faster; I do like that they have explanations on a video because I can watch it over and over.
8. What’s the worst thing about online learning?
I would say...your parent has to grade all the work that you do so you get kinda scared because you don’t want your parents to get mad at you. They’ll be harsh because you’re not as studious as they want you to be...at least that’s what my mom is like.
9. Do you feel you are learning more than you did?
Reading is still hard for me now because I’m not very good at English. But, online makes it easier to understand because you can always go back as many times as you want until you get it. At a regular school, you get it only once from the teacher.
10. What’s your favorite subject? Why?
It always has been math because math seems to me like a puzzle and i’ve always loved figuring out puzzles. So when I do math I try to figure out what the correct answer is. It comes easy to me; I’ll learn it and remember it and do it in my head. What sucks is that teachers always ask how I get the answers and I don’t like to write things out; it’s easier to do it in my head and faster.
11. What advice would you give kids who are trying online learning for the first time?
If you don’t like it at first, just keep trying, because it will come. You’ll get used to it and it will get easier along the way once you understand the concept.
12. What can you do now that you could not with normal schooling?
Online learning allows you to make your schedule flexible. Sometimes you only need to do four or five hours of school. You can stick on one subject. You can switch your days around and times you have to do it. For me, that helps with acting. If i had an audition and they wanted me to go during the time I had school, I can now switch the schedule to make it fit the time.