The two main options used to be between brick and mortar schools or homeschool.
The digital age that we are living in has opened up another major option: online learning.
I attended a brick and mortar public school from kindergarten to 5th grade. At the start of middle school, my parents enrolled my sisters and I into Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA), an online public school offered by K12.
I stayed in GCA throughout middle school and high school, and I was one in 600+ high school graduates in May 2016.
GCA formed a large part of the writer I am today.
I’m not one of those people that can say, “I was doing it from the womb.” Once upon a time, writing and I were mere acquaintances that brushed paths only when necessary.
I have always had a passion for reading, however. In 3rd grade I won the top reader award at my school. I had read 382 books that year.
“And?” you ask. “What’s the point?”
I’ll rewind to some spiritual stuff about God then fast-forward to how that stuff relates to your life.
God does not create anything mediocre, and He creates everything with a purpose for being, from the bee to the gnat to the plants and trees to the sun, moon and stars to you and I as human beings.
Every human being has an inherent God-given gift or talent.
For a long time, reading was my sole passion. I delved into writing in elementary school, but it was never really a hobby. It was just a skill that teachers seemed to recognize in me.
In 5th grade, before I knew anything about reporting, journalism or newspapers, for some unknown reason, instead of joining the safety patrol like I had always wanted (5th grade meant you could now run the hallways and direct the other students around), I joined the school’s “Bandit News Team” as a reporter.
“Bandit News” was a live program with student anchors, reporters, and videographers. It aired every school morning. I don’t know what compelled me to sign up as a reporter. I was shy and introverted (and I’m still shy and introverted). Nevertheless, I did sign up, and in a way, that was my first run-in with journalism. Even at that time, however, writing was merely a means to an end and not a real enjoyment or pastime.
When my parents enrolled me in GCA, I was no longer burdened by the limitations of a brick and mortar public school. I didn’t have to read for 30 minutes waiting on classmates to finish assignments that didn’t take me as long to complete. I didn’t have to wait for a certain time for the next part of class to start. I could blast through my school work when I wanted where I wanted, and for the most part, I would complete everything before 10 or 11 in the morning.
Completing my schoolwork super early gave me more free time during the day. I used some of it playing games on the internet, but one day I logged onto my computer and started a fictional story.
But you’re still wondering, what’s the point?
GCA gave me the freedom to discover the gift Allah (God) has given me.
Many people do not have that luxury. Some people are stuck in a passionless job or career field. Others waste their lives away never really knowing why they exist.
Every person deserves the freedom to be able to discover their purpose. We should not accept society’s limitations on how far we can rise in the world.
Allow God or the higher power you believe in to guide you.
Our parents asked my sisters and I if we wanted to try GCA. You know, asked in the way that there’s really no choice but they want to trick you into believing you have one. If God did not guide my parents to discover online schooling, perhaps I would not be on the path that I’m on today. Perhaps I would not be here, writing this article. Or maybe the two paths would have eventually converged.
I believe I was born to write, but were it not for having the freedom to discover my gift, perhaps I would have been trying to draw happiness and purpose from an empty well.