Calling all Students

Dale R. Reed (
Mon, 20 Apr 1998 06:43:30 -0700

Teresa Gallagher wrote:
> I, for one, would love to hear what any students have to say, either
> positive or negative.

If you surf to you
can read a very interesting piece by a student presently attending a
cyberschool that was inspired by the Sudbury Valley model. Dale

by Whitney Ricketts

I made the decision to homeschool last year when I was in a public
middle school. I`d been
in alternative schools until then and what I found at this more
traditional middle school
shocked me. Drugs were sold on school grounds, and kids physically and
verbally abused
others on a daily basis. The teachers seemed afraid of the students and
only intervened
occasionally. I was uncomfortable in the chaos and it confused me. My
passion for learning
was disappearing, along with my respect for my peers.

Leaving this school was easy. Starting to homeschool was hard. I didn`t
know exactly how
to begin. I sat down with my parents and together we made a plan,
focusing on what I
wanted to learn. I really worked hard and learned a tremendous amount
of things.

In June, I started to slack off a little. Having the responsibility of
directing my own
learning provided an enormous amount of freedom, but I learned I had to
use that freedom
wisely. The easy choice was to slack off, which is what I did for a
couple of weeks. But I
want my education to open doors for me, and slacking off won`t help me
reach that goal.

To help with this, I joined PSCS this year. I take nine classes this
quarter, and participate
in a number of other activities, as well. Outside of PSCS I am tutored
in Latin for one hour
a week, and I volunteer at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I am also on
the Kirkland Youth
Council, where we are organizing a teen summit, and I am a member of an
intergenerational committee organized by the office of the Seattle

My favorite PSCS classes are Advanced Math, which meets twice a week,
and Youth Action
Team. The math class has a real congenial atmosphere and everyone is
very supportive of
each other. The Youth Action Team helps me organize what I want to do
in the community.

It`s also important to know that within my schedule I include time to
have tea with my
mother, read the newspaper, play with my sister and brother, and walk
my dog.

I love my schedule because it allows me to live a real life. I run
errands, take the bus
everywhere, go to many meetings, and I learn from my freedom. My
favorite thing about
my schedule is that I get to make it. If I feel that I need more time
to work, I can drop
some classes, and vice-versa.

The first, most important factor in my education is my parents` trust.
They trust me to
learn what I need to learn when I need to learn it. They are also
willing to help me. If my
mom had chosen not to listen to me last year, I would never be where I
am right now:

$   Seattle, Washington U.S.A.  $