Chelsea Biciunas

As I entered high school, I was faced with the choice of how to best maximize my education. My options included public school, homeschool, and online classes. I chose a mixture of all three. This choice bridged gaps that would have been present had I chosen any individual option.

I sat on stage as my peers were honored for achieving honor roll. Would I receive a certificate this time? My band classes were all A’s, but was that enough? What about the fact that all of my academic courses through our homeschool were also getting A’s? Once again, I didn’t really fit the ‘norm’ and people didn't know what to do with me.

As I entered high school, I was faced with the choice of how to best maximize my education. My options included public school, homeschool, and online classes. I chose a mixture of all three. This choice bridged gaps that would have been present had I chosen any individual option. The online classes I took were courses that were not available at the high school or at the local community college, and the band classes I took at the public school were not possible in any other setting.

Taking classes in multiple formats has given me freedom. I have freedom to choose classes that I am passionate about, and liberty to work around sports and work schedules. As I heard the complaints of my friends that they couldn’t take the classes they want to, I realized with gratitude the many opportunities I am able to optimize by taking courses from many sources. Instead of taking this freedom and settling for a bare minimum, I learned to strive for the opposite. I took initiative to press into my studies.

By utilizing all these options I had the freedom to pursue my interests, work at my own pace, and explore subjects that wouldn’t be available otherwise. Instead of being in a formal classroom for hours every day, I was given flexibility to work, volunteer, be active in my church and community, and participate in sports.

This unexpected freedom forced me to take initiative, to work hard, and to dig into my classes. I had to learn how to work by myself, how to manage my time well, and how to motivate myself and think that these skills will be vital during my college years.

My education does not resemble a typical classroom experience, and I’m satisfied with that. Taking courses online or at home, I have the opportunity to learn at my own pace, and deeply pursue areas of interest. The presence of other classmates and teachers in my online classes provides accountability and academic competition that would likely be present in a normal classroom. At the end of the day, I’ve realized it doesn’t matter whether or not I received the honor roll certificate. One of the greatest things I’ve learned through high school is to embrace the opportunities that come through various means of education.

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FROM
Forks, WA

HIGH SCHOOL
Biciunas Homeschool

POST-SECONDARY
Grand Canyon University



2018Lisa Mullis