54.7 million is the number of students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools, both public and private, in the U.S. in 2011. Which is equivalent to saying 54.7 million students were incarcerated in the year 2011 in the United States. There are many similarities between our school system today and the prison system. The lunch, the security systems, the classrooms with no windows, the lack of voice, the fact that no one wants to be there, the list goes on. Now I don’t want to sit here and get extremely technical and share millions of statistics with you, I want to just simply share my school experience with you.
There are many things that attribute to the reason I feel like school is simply not the place for me, but I’ll stick to a few. I believe the first time I realized I didn’t fit into the school environment was when I was in first grade and I was harassed and beat up on the bus by a group of fourth graders for no reason. It was that moment I realized how different I was, throughout the whole incident I had no desire to fight back and the part that is so interesting to me now is the school I went to was considered one of the best schools in the suburbs of Milwaukee. Which is quite frightening I can’t even begin to imagine what the “bad” schools were like. I have been to several different schools throughout my life and have tried many different methods of schooling. I’ve been to private school, public school (just for the summer) suburban schools, charter schools, virtual school, home school, you name it I’ve probably tried it.
My last year of middle school was when I realize I absolutely could not take the school system anymore. I practically failed eighth grade because I took majority of my time researching ways to convince my mom to homeschool me instead of doing my homework. I didn’t finish my extensive research until around the end of my freshman year when I was finally able to convince my mom why homeschooling is the best option for me, and as a lot of you may know I am RayGirl #2 so of course I had to find a way to get RayGirl #1 on board. Once I had everyone convinced that this was the best and only option for me I was able to start planning my life as a homeschooler. At this time (end of freshman year) I thought I was the coolest kid ever walking to the library during school hours with my proof that I was homeschooled (which I carried everywhere) sitting in my wallet. I was determined I was going to be one of those people who stopped going to traditional school and invented something amazing and told there story around the world. That was my goal.
Towards the end of the homeschool year I had an opportunity like no other! I was invited to go to an international conference and speak about teen dating violence in New Orleans. It was an awesome experience that I wouldn’t have had if I had stayed in a traditional school environment. My sophomore year of high school my mom went back to work and I didn’t have to option to continue being homeschooled, I was devastated. I only complained the whole summer, that’s it, well maybe a little longer than that, honestly I complained until the first day of sophomore year. I went through so much sophomore year but surprisingly I managed to complete it without convincing my mom of some new form of schooling that would allow her to work and homeschool me at the same time.
When junior year came around I was completely done with the school system I was determined to never step foot into a traditional school again no matter what. So like I always do, I went in front of the computer and I began to research my options. At this point I was going to drop out because school just had that bad of an impact on me, I wanted out. My research took about four months. I finally found an awesome program for high schoolers online. I discovered my solution, which was virtual school.
Lets fast forward to now, am I in public school? No. Am I in private school? No. Am I homeschooled? No. Am I doing virtual school? Something like that, Lol (I’m not sure how appropriate text talk is in this post but hey it’s my blog I might as well be myself). Anyway I am enrolled in a high school in Arizona and I will be finishing up my senior year there. At this point I’ve tried everything. Some things worked and some things didn’t but through it all I’ve learned sometimes you gotta’ do what’cha gotta do. The fact that I am going to a traditional school next year will not stop me from promoting home school. I truly feel like it is the best solution for a lot of students right now. You ever heard the saying, you don’t know, what you don’t know? Well I apply that to everything and if you don’t know there are other options out there such as homeschooling that can truly benefit you, then you are going to stick to what you know. That is why I feel like it is my job to spread the word and I hope you all do your research and begin to spread the word as well.
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