What Is the Ideal School?

Unschooling Is an Ideal Option for Some

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What Is the Ideal School?

A sign outside of Abington High School meant to keep traffic flowing can also be read as great advice.

A sign outside of Abington High School meant to keep traffic flowing can also be read as great advice.

Mr. Dorman, with permission

A sign outside of Abington High School meant to keep traffic flowing can also be read as great advice.

Mr. Dorman, with permission

Mr. Dorman, with permission

A sign outside of Abington High School meant to keep traffic flowing can also be read as great advice.

Coming up on the midpoint of my senior year, I again begin to contemplate if my high school education could have been better.

Since ninth grade, my schedule has included a handful of unleveled classes, one level 2 course, sixteen honors courses, and seven AP courses. My clubs have included Student Council since 9th grade, Green Wave Gazette since 10th grade, Film Club since 11th grade, Math Team since 10th grade, and I’m a three-sport captain on the cross country, basketball, and Ultimate Frisbee teams.

I’ve bought into the idea of being active in high school, because that’s what everybody has told me was the right move.”

— Cameron Curney

I’ve bought into the idea of being active in high school, because that’s what everybody has told me was the right move. “You don’t want to be applying to colleges as a senior and staring at the clubs and activities section with nothing to fill in,” my teachers and parents would echo.

Waiting to hear back from colleges now, I think I’ve been able to explore many avenues regarding the STEM fields and college prep tactics. But, is the public-school route the only way I could have familiarized myself with STEM fields and become comfortable with time management?

Could I, or another student, have benefited from unschooling, in other words designing my own curriculum based upon my natural interests.  If I had designed a learning experience with a strong core in engineering, would I be a more attractive student to those in higher education?

It’s a fair question, and there is a faction of families who have elected to find out just that. They allow their children to take charge of their own learning and have been met with seemingly positive results. According to a Mind Shift article “How Do Unschoolers Turn Out?” by Luba Vangelova, students who are unschooled see “the experience enabled them to develop as highly self-motivated, self-directed individuals.”

Do you think high school students should have more of a say in what they are learning in school?

  • Yes (100%, 1 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Maybe (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 1

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After looking at the more focused option of unschooling and comparing it to my own high school education, I like public school more. I feel like it allowed me to be more of a Swiss Army Knife. I’m fascinated with engineering and the sciences. But I think if I mainly focused on them, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy many of my favorite public high school experiences, like playing on sports teams and being a part of a school newspaper.

Being able to talk in groups with other people my age about our shared experiences and developing relationships with many of the caring teachers at Abington High, I think has prepared me well for success  higher education and independent life beyond.