My journey from deschooling to online schooling
The freedom to create our own rules...
In my early school years, I experienced some heartbreaking instances of school bullying. And after a sudden separation of my parents, my situation at school worsened.
Looking at my growing distress in the traditional schooling system, my mom switched to a home-based schooling pattern for me. So, I remained at home with her and continued my schooling under her guidance. At this time, deschooling was an alien concept for me, but this term started making sense to me as time passed.
Initially, this transition from a traditional school to deschooling gave me a respite from school's violence. And I must admit that further transition was relatively smooth for me.
My mother made all the arrangements well in advance for me. And I started enjoyed my learning at home. Within no time, the merits of this schooling pattern helped me to overcome my fears. And over some time, my mental health also improved considerably.
I discovered some advantages of this missing pattern in the traditional schooling system during my home education years.
Here are some of these findings that I discovered in my journey as a homeschooler
The freedom to create our own rules-
Other than breaking free from the negative peer pressure, this schooling design allowed us the freedom to create our own rules and structures. In my case, we devoted more study time on the weekends. Because we had to manage my working mother's burden on weekdays. To ease off my mother's responsibility, I started taking ownership of my studies. And even devoting some extra time in the night for Math practice.
It was fun and relaxing for me-
Being at home made me happy and stress-free. Gradually, I started enjoying my learning within that quiet study space. My flexible study schedules gave me more time to watch my favorite shows. And I also joined swimming classes and the basketball club in the neighborhood. Home education made all this possible for me. So eventually this deschooling endeavor gave me all the time for the things that I liked.
I became more disciplined with time-
As a victim of school bullying at a traditional school, I never developed a love for learning. As a result, most of the time, I needed a push for my work. But as I started with my home education, I discovered a new and more disciplined side of my personality. In the absence of my mother, I managed to complete my lessons independently, and most of the time, all this discipline came naturally to me. All thanks to the personalized schedules of homeschooling, I became more responsible for my learning. This sense of ownership helped my mother to stay worry-free from my side. So it was a happy and welcomed change in our lives.
Non-formal learning is way more interesting than any school-
After the learning curve in the deschooling process, I discovered some super exciting ways to learn. Besides my regular books and study material, I took up options like internet-based research, podcasts, and documentaries to improve my learning experiences myself. This was a great way to learn without any threats such as violence in schools.
AND I LOVED IT TO THE CORE!!
For as long as two years, I loved my deschooling experience until something even better came my way!
It was a friendly basketball match for the boys under 16 years at the club last summer, and I happened to meet an old acquaintance, Sam. During a casual conversation, he told me that he is also a homeschooler but through an accredited online school. It was the first time that I had heard of something like this. But somehow, this idea instantly appealed to me. I invited Sam to my place over the weekend. And as he came, he told us about the online homeschooling concept gaining popularity in the US.
To my surprise, my mother sounded overwhelmed with this idea. She asked a few questions about the learning environment in such schools and loved the fact that they were free from any threats related to school bullying. By the evening, we decided to take a virtual school tour of this school. The next day, my mom contacted the same virtual school and booked a free session.
This session was an enlightening experience for us
Because we discovered some gaps in our home-based schooling pattern that were unnoticed for a long time.
So at this point, we mutually decided to opt for online schooling
The choice of deschooling and switching on to online schooling proved to be a game-changer in my life!
Here's a quick gist of my virtual schooling experience!
My digital school expanded my academic opportunities –
This decision of joining a virtual learning platform opened new avenues of learning for me. Because it was free from peer pressure and gave me some fantastic opportunities to develop my skills. At this time, I explored some great online resources and accessed high-end educational content through this virtual platform. The modules, lessons, videos, podcasts, audio lectures, and e-books provided by my school added an unparalleled advantage to my schooling experience. And needless to say, this choice of online homeschooling was more enriching, fruitful, and structured for me.
Pinpointed my learning gaps better-
Homeschooling gave me the advantage of studying in flexible study schedules through digital schooling. I could identify my learning gaps better. The best part was that I was free from any threats of violence in schools. And this was a perfect advantage for students like me who wished to thrive in a secure learning environment.
The academic support extended by my school comprised of some great teachers who spent quality time with me. They helped me to plan a better learning schedule. For the first time, even in my home-based education journey, I discovered new time management methods and understood more about my learning style. All this was possible with the support of the teaching and non-teaching staff (counselor) at my virtual high school.
And, very soon, I eliminated the defects in my initial homeschooling patterns.
I started segregating time as per my understanding of the topic. And also increased the study time of topics that needed more attention. Other than this, I also made a periodic revision planner and started following it religiously.
All this helped me to develop great skillsets-
This option helped me to stay away from any peer pressure. So, I could develop some great skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. I got to learn from my peers because I interacted and worked collaboratively with them during virtual classes. As we completed projects and assignments together, my interpersonal skills and tech knowledge also improved considerably.
So, both homeschooling and online schooling were enlightening and enriching for me!
Online schooling experience showed me the path to more structured and meaningful learning. And it also filled the gaps of my self-created homeschooling design to a great extent. As a result, I could understand my strengths and weaknesses better. And very soon, I decided on my career path as well.
While homeschooling made way for great home-based learning, virtual schooling helped me explore a better version of myself!
Today, I am about to finish high school, and I'm all set to apply to the best universities!
Thanks to my accredited online school that allowed me to avail 'QUALITY EDUCATION AT HOME.'
And I can conclude by saying that my deschooling endeavor was WORTH IT because of my accredited online school!