Step outside the classroom into online learning.
First in a Two-Part Series.
“We don’t need no education.” The first line of the classic Pink Floyd song “Another Brick in the Wall part 2” and the mantra of school children throughout time. We all remember our years in school and the many experiences they entailed. Whether you can recall all the way back to elementary school, cringe through thoughts of middle school, or happily ponder the glory days of high school or college, school was school and we all had to muddle through as best we could. Today, things are different. It’s as if all the elements of the school experience from K-12 and beyond, have been on steroids for the last 30 years. And maybe I might just agree with at least a part of the sentiment expressed in the song. Not that education is unnecessary, but maybe our method of attaining it is starting to show it’s age.
My own school-age memories could be categorized as “flying under the radar.” I always had a little group of close friends. Our moms didn’t set up playdates back then, we just made friends and figured it out on our own. For the most part, we all got along. If there was someone in school I didn’t particularly care for, I didn’t make it my mission to embarrass or belittle them, I just kept my distance.
The “flying under the radar” descriptor fits for my academic performance as well. I never made the honor roll. In fact, in college, I was on academic probation after my first trimester. A little too much time at parties and not enough time in the library turned out not to be the best approach for academic success. But I got my act together and graduated with a respectable GPA.
Throughout my educational career, I jumped through all the hoops required by the state and the University. I took all the standardized tests and the ACT. I worked my way through the graduation requirements for high school and college, and in doing so, I endured a lot of classes that were completely uninteresting to me. I followed the rules and emerged from the hallowed halls with a sense of accomplishment and a degree that allowed me to get a job in my field. So why have my feelings about a system that worked so well for me changed so drastically?
Since having my own kids I’ve watched them navigate the same waters I did, and they are not like I was. They are wicked smart. They question everything and their questions are valid. They have been the victims of bullies. In every other aspect of life, they are happy, easygoing kids, but they have school-related anxiety. At first, my advice to them was this; just put your head down, dig in and get through it. But when problems persisted to the point where my youngest, then in 6th grade, could no longer even go to school because of all the anxiety he was feeling, and my oldest was failing classes left and right, I knew things had to change.
I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say the option we chose
has been a lifesaver for our boys.
I couldn’t just pull them out of school. Educating your children is not an option it’s required. School attendance is mandatory. Truancy is a big, scary deal. Right about then, feeling like I was going to lose my mind, the solution presented itself. My husband suggested online school. I then proceeded to completely lose my shit. Eventually, I got it together and really listened to him and what he was saying was this; school isn’t just school anymore. We had options. Real, think outside the box options. I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say the option we chose has been a lifesaver for our boys.
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