An Alternative

by Sarah | September 30, 2013
Advanced Learner, Back to School, Non-traditional Learner, School Environment, Bullying, Flexibility/Lifestyle, Breakthrough Moments, From Struggling to Thriving, Reading
Picture: Self-portrait in Acrylic This is a shortened account by Sarah G. of Hoosier Academies. Please read the full version here: Visit her website I've invariably had a yearning to be thoughtful, scholarly, and in essence, profound. Even in younger years, while learning to read, I found myself absolutely enthralled by the poetic nature of literature and art, analyzing the meaning and intention of it all. I can currently recollect how absolutely shocking and astonishing it was when I came to realize the everlasting significance of knowledge. You will likely find that the acquisition of knowledge can build on to an already outstanding character. So, with this notion of knowledge, the importance of education soon becomes apparent. It was considerably inevitable that I would attend some sort of art school. Since the age of aught, the praise that my artwork would receive was persistent. Familial folks often liked to remark: “Your art is better than kids your age!” and as I aged they would say “You should sell these, you could make some serious money.” To which I would simply respond with a gesture to represent my cognizance of their statement, for I never fancied saying much. On the contrary, I felt the need to make more progress. I wanted a career now, but the perplexity was getting there. My formal education started at the age of seven. The private school I attended was remarkably small and disorderly, for students only had a series of abstract rules to work from: try to attend class, and try not to disrupt it. Trouble arose, however, in the school's teaching methods. Their studies did not meet standards nor my aptitude. My family and I were frustrated when the teachers deemed me an inept reader, and even more so when the rest of the students agreed. The classes were arranged like a hierarchy, and as the grades progressed, the student's rude and obnoxious behaviors toward me did not subside. Thereupon these ceaseless and growing difficulties, my attendance was halted in the 4th grade. In the end, the school left me feeling incommensurate to other children; a child wanting an education. The occurrence left my family inordinately discontented with schools, and therefore, it was concluded that my home schooling would commence. I managed to learn a bit more than I would have at the previous school, but my family could not afford most schooling options. Thus what was previously home schooling soon devolved into a form of “un”schooling. In the course of time, I was nearing the 7th grade, and dubious about my education. While I was presumably protesting about how “unintelligent I am”, my mother reminded me of an alternative. “There's that new online school,” She suggested. “You could try that this year.” In my head, I mulled over everything wrong with such a suggestion, but when I couldn't find anything, I elaborately replied with “Okay,” and in an instant, that response decided it would be so. And so forth, on the 6th of August, I attended my first day of online school. Proper education is not a hierarchy, ergo, my experience was tailored to me, not my “rank”. I was able to plan my days, months, and even years. The new school gave me the privilege to wake early in the morning and finish a day's worth of schoolwork, hours before most students got home. To this day, I am in the 8th grade and can acknowledge that I have studied and taught myself textile crafts, drawing and painting, as well as graphic and web design. All of this would not have been possible with any other kind of schooling. What could only result was a sort of elation. Now I could do everything I wanted to without having to worry about being academically inadequate. Now I could achieve my life's goal of being thoughtful, scholarly, and in essence, profound.
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