Alternative schooling more beneficial?


ChristinaMost of us probably went to a normal high school where we would sit at a desk and listen to our teachers lecture, then when the bell rang we would move to another classroom and listen to that teacher lecture.  In between classes we would try to meet up with our friends for five minutes just to catch up on what has been going on with our day since we last saw them about an hour ago.

Yes, it was structured, but that might have been a good thing considering it helps us understand time management and living by a schedule for college.  It can also be beneficial for when we have full-time jobs since we will have to learn to be organized and get everything done by a certain time.  But, public school may not have helped everyone.

I know that when I came to Illinois State University, I had a very hard time managing my time.  I would go to one class then come home and not know whether I should do my homework or just lay in my bed on my computer.  It seemed as if I had so much free time when in reality, I didn’t.

An article in USA Today explained how online school or homeschooling could possibly be a better way for kids to go.

“Many parents, thus, are embracing alternative education — like homeschooling or online school — not only as a way of escaping the often poor instructional quality and questionable discipline of public schools, but also as a way of escaping the rigidities they bring,”  Glenn Harlan Reynolds of USA Today explained.

There are benefits to online school or homeschooling such as being able to learn how to be more independent and making your own schedules.  The student can decide how much they want to learn at the time and how long it takes to master the content.

Reynolds later explained that “without a public school schedule, vacations can be taken when the family wants to, not when school bureaucrats schedule them; school days can be moved around to accommodate parents’ work schedules and medical needs. Most importantly, kids with more flexible school hours are more able to enter the workplace, which can be more educational than many things that happen in school.”

I remember  absolutely hating my first couple months of high school.  I came from a small Catholic school and going into a high school with about 500 kids in my grade was extremely overwhelming. The structure was the same: go to class, take a five-minute break, eat lunch, more class and then go home.  But I still did not enjoy it.  I begged my mom to homeschool me, and then realized that was not something I would have been happy with in the future.

It really all just depends on the person.  I knew that if I was homeschooled, I would not have met all my great friends, joined all the clubs I wanted to join and learn with a group of people rather than by myself.

I believe any kind of schooling is beneficial and one can take out of it when they put in it.  It might be easier for us to begin college already knowing how to make a schedule and manage our time.  I know I would have done much better my freshman year if I knew how to do that.  And, yes, it would be nice to be able to work more and understand a subject in a whole different way than a classroom would teach.  However, as time goes on, we learn how to manage our time and keeping a 10- to 20-hour a week job.  The beginning of the semester is always the hardest, so let’s all learn to just be patient and organize our time in order to have a successful rest of the year.

Christina Danno is a senior English and philosophy major and columnist for The Vidette. Any questions or comments regarding her column can be sent to 

2 Responses

  1. Jules

    I’m definitely not a fan of the current public education system of teaching. I can’t stand listening for teachers lecture for 50 minutes, let alone 90 minutes if you’re on a block schedule. The small breaks in between classes and small times allotted for lunch made me feel like I was in a prison. The only thing keeping me sane in high school were those few teachers who really displayed their passion for teaching, a few close friends, and sports.

    Our public education system is becoming more and more regulated by policymakers that are detached from reality and don’t understand that one size does NOT fit all. Parents need affordable options of how to educate their kids. We also need to bring back the prestige of teaching and reward good teachers.

  2. David Shaw

    I agree with Jules, and would like to add that research also shows that students not taught by the public show more intellectual growth, academic success, and emotional maturity than those taught by public institutions.


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