The Pros and Cons of Alternative Learning Programs
This is a post by Elyse H., our Spring Creek Academy High School Ambassador. If you would like to be part of our Intern Queen High School Ambassador program, then comment below!
A typical school set-up consists of long days, tons of tests, and loads of homework. A typical student hastens through the eight school hours, refuels for an additional two hours of extracurricular activities and then comes home to a mountainous heap of assignments. That typical student used to be me. Then, a unique opportunity came my way.
The opportunity was to engage in an alternative learning program. This program promised only two and a half hour school days, no Friday classes, intimate settings, accommodating schedules, and undivided attention throughout the year. It sounded perfect, but I knew that once I signed this contract, gold and yellow pep rallies would rest in peace, homecoming games would take place without my observations, and finding the perfect prom dress would remain in my dreams. Was I kissing the highlights of school goodbye, or warmly welcoming a new adventure?
In the end, the agreement was signed with pride and sealed with a smile. In fact, I have been smiling since. Many are unaware of the plethora of alternative learning programs available. The innovative methods of teaching they offer tend to have a disregarded presence within the mainstream mix of private, public, Montessori, and boarding schools. However, there are plenty of programs available, and I encourage you to look into this unique opportunity and to engage in a phenomenal learning process.
In any form of schooling, learning is not limited to the classroom. Students further their experiences by pursuing outside interests like clubs, sports or volunteer work. In alternative schools, this is a key factor that plays a distinct roll in the education of all students. I've met nationally ranked tennis players, 14-year-olds who have established non-profit organizations, competitive dancers, and professional golfers. Alternative schools cater to student needs and enhance students’ strengths while defeating their weaknesses.
Enrolling in an alternative learning program has broadened my horizons and changed my perspectives on what are truly the best methods for learning. It is not an easy choice to enter into an alternative learning program. Sacrificing common activities in high school can be a challenge and making an extreme schooling transition can seem impossible, but throughout the process, valuable life lessons are learned. Taking the leap taught me how to adapt to changes, welcome changes and appreciate changes. Taking a chance and entering an alternative learning program can be frightening. However, in the end, you will gain experience and confidence, and those are two priceless treasures.