Ask any one of the instructors, administrators or staff of CMASAS why they are passionate about online school education and they’ll probably tell you a personal story, a story of how online school impacted their lives.
Hi! My name is Kimberly and I write blog posts for CMASAS and help with social media. It is such a privilege interacting with all of you, this online family. Online school deeply impacted my life, and I wanted to share my story with you. I was homeschooled from kindergarten through ninth grade and was enrolled in a couple different online schools and virtual learning programs over the years. My time as an online school student was unforgettable and I learned so many lessons that have helped me pursue a remarkable life.
Here are a few things that I learned through online school — lessons that I hope all CMASAS students will capture, cherish and share.
I am the master of my own time.
I will always remember being a freshman in college and for the first time feeling stress and anxiety in regards to time — the time that I did or did not have available to me, what I would or would not do with it, how it would liberate or constrain me in chasing my dreams. Once I began feeling stressed about time though, I was able to look back on my years as an online school student and realize how much I had learned about time.
Online school taught me that time is a gift and that I have the power to use it how I choose. Online school taught me how to be disciplined and get a task done quickly. It also taught me how to savor something enjoyable, not worrying about time but giving myself the space and freedom to explore and dive deeper. I learned how to schedule my time so that I could fit in the things I wanted to do, be responsible for the things I had to do, and still have time left over to spend it with someone else. Virtual learning taught me how to be creative with my time, that my days didn’t need to look like anyone else’s and that if I was smart and worked hard, I could use my time however I chose. These are lifelong lessons that got me through college and are ones I will carry with me all through adulthood.
Sometimes the world around you is the very best teacher.
Not being stuck in a classroom for eight hours every day allowed me to be out in “the real world” every moment of my time as an online school student. This taught me that yes I could learn things from books, teachers and lesson plans, but also that I could learn from strangers, animals, sunsets, long hikes, and listening to people speak different languages (even if I didn’t understand them). Having the real world as my classroom taught me that if I paid attention I could observe history in the making; that if I listened I could learn from other people’s words; that if I not only observed but also participated in the world around me that I would learn things that no book could teach and that I would never forget. I believe that because I spent more time exploring city streets, climbing mountains, and swimming in oceans than I did in a classroom that I learned to be far more discerning, empathetic, and analytical than my average peers. Having the world as my classroom taught me to enjoy learning and embrace it as a posture for life.
I can be a confident individual and a friend to all.
The vast majority of homeschooled or online school students are not immature, awkward and unsocialized. That is a stereotype that needs to be shattered because I believe it’s a lie that some parents and educators believe that’s holding them back from giving their children the freedom of an excellent education. As an online school student I learned more about myself and other people than I believe I would have in a traditional school. In grade school I got to spend mornings with my dad and his co-workers at his office, learning about business, finance, and hard work. My awkward years of middle school were made less awkward because instead of being surrounded by 30 other kids my same age, I had two best friends - a girl three years younger than me and a woman 30 years older than me. I have befriended, worked through conflicts with, adventured with, and learned from so many different people, all because my family and I utilized the freedom that online school gives.
Online school is not for everyone, and traditional schools serve so many students really well. But I wouldn’t trade my experience as an online school student for anything. Those transformative years enabled me to be a lifelong learner and I am humbled to share my story and play a small part in the stories of CMASAS students.