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Need advice for weird online school situation

AboutToTravelAboutToTravel Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I'm currently a freshman in high school at a large public school. It's alright and I'm not withdrawing due to any reason related to school.

My dad is currently saving money and wishes to buy an RV and sell our house and travel the country. I'd always have access to the internet cause since my dad will still work at union halls we'd stick close to towns and cities and would be in one place for 2-3 months. He wants to bring me with him. I would LOVE to go! If we were to do this, I'd go to online school. This would be after my sophomore year so we'd be traveling for my junior and senior years.

I've never been homeschooled of any kind so I don't really understand how it works. What are some well respected online schools where I can take college level/AP courses? I want to go to a school in the top 20, probably.

What should we look for in finding an online school? Also, I am willing to hear anyone's experience with online schools! Thanks in advance.

Replies to: Need advice for weird online school situation

  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 5,116 Senior Member
    Lots of choices. Maybe have your dad join the Yahoo Group HS2Coll to get ideas for online courses. You don't have to do one "school"; you can piecemeal courses. Here are a few:

    MIT EdX
    Online G3
    The Potter's School
    Lone Pine Classical School
    Stanford OHS

    Lots more to choose from. My sons have all taken courses from various online schools including AoPS, Coursera, OnlineG3, The Potter's School, University of Missouri, etc. We did more at the local community college and homeschool co-op, but the online courses were good for the most part.

    You need to figure out the homeschool laws in your home state and abide by them, as well.
  • EarlyCollegeStanfordEarlyCollegeStanford Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    You could consider Stanford Online High School, but I do not know if I would recommend it.

    If you would like to find out all the basics of the school, you can see their website. https://onlinehighschool.stanford.edu/about
    The way the school is organized and how their students interact is highly unorthodox but surprisingly effective. Many people struggle to understand precisely how it works, so please read up on it before you continue or else the rest of what I have to say might be confusing.

    It is a highly competitive, expensive, and reputable online high school. I remember last year they reported that 60% of their students who applied to UC Berkeley were admitted. Many students also get accepted to Columbia and other LAC's in the Northeast every year. I also personally know a few girls who got accepted to Duke, Carnegie Mellon, Tufts, and College of William and Marry. I, myself, am going to UNC-Chapel Hill. I am definitely in the bottom half of the graduating class of 2018, but I went there for only one year. Generally speaking, they know how to prepare their students for elite universities.

    Bear in mind though, it is not for everyone. It is probably the most expensive online school out there, and for good reason. Most of their instructors have PhD's in the disciplines they teach and care deeply about the success of their students. Even most colleges do not have professors like that– people who have command over their discipline AND are passionate about teaching it. They also have dedicated and highly qualified advisors, counsellors, and other support staff. In fact, my HR instructor had a PhD in biology from Stanford! It is also quite a premium experience. Their website, student portal, tech support, and course resources are all very thoughtfully designed and aesthetic. Also, most of their students come from affluent backgrounds, so expect to be socially excluded for some live/in-person events, some of which are on the campus of Stanford University. About 1/3 to 1/2 of the student body is from California though, so Palo Alto is an easy trip for some of them.

    Being a competitive school founded by one of the highest ranked universities in the world, it is no surprise that Stanford OHS brings with it an exceedingly stressful learning environment. They accept world-class swimmers, models (Yes, there was once a student who did fashion modelling in LA while going to OHS. She was accepted to Stanford University upon graduation.), tennis players, and fencers as students who manage to balance the intense academic workload with competitions and tournaments. Last year, they even had a page on their website that showcased the achievements of these students, so you could be reminded every day that there are students out there–your age and at your school–that are literally curing cancer or winning international-level olympiads. Many students also cram their schedules with AP or university-level courses, which the school offers plenty of. Said students can overshadow the rest of the student body and create a sense of endless self-inadequacy. Our 2018 senior class president explains more, here https://itspossiblelab.com/, on her blog. My point is, unlike at some other schools, it is impossible to become a "top" student here since even if you manage to become the best fifteen-year-old golf player in the world, you may find another student who has conducted published medical research with nobel laureates at an international university, or something like that. No one ever feels intellectually validated or secure– it's miserable.

    That being said, they offer plenty of AP/college-level courses, are highly respected, and can get you into a top 20 school as long as you put in the absurd amount of effort and resilience that it takes to survive here. 90% of the misery comes from the competitiveness and academic rigour, and the other 10% is from being online almost 24/7. I, personally, did not have a great time there, but your experience might be different.
  • EarlyCollegeStanfordEarlyCollegeStanford Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I would also like to add that although I can be quite shy or awkward, I prefer constant socialization. I was in public school until I was in middle school and grew up in SoCal. That's probably what bugged me about OHS so much. Perhaps I should have said it was more like 50/50 between academic rigour and online 24/7.
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