Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How I Cheated On A Math Test: My Education Journey (School Series PART TWO)

I have a weird education story.

It's not so much weird as it is unusual. I've been through a lot of methods. I've done a lot of things. I've learned a lot. And I think I've turned out all right. I think.

So, in a way, this is the story of how I cheated on a math test, watched DVDs for school, and had that homeschool life. And ended up in public high school, which is where I think God wants me to be.


For kindergarten, my parents sent me to the local public school. It was a good year. I had friends. I was not bullied. One gray moment was I wanted to bring my Easter book to school because some people didn't know about Jesus, but the teacher (very gently) told me that we weren't allowed to speak of such things at a public school. I don't remember much about the aftermath except that I was embarrassed and I didn't want to go to school, but I went anyway, and it blew over. 


After kindergarten, we moved and my parents enrolled me at a different public school for first grade. I still have vivid memories of walking to school with my mom and my brothers; I remember being embarrassed when my mom wore pink pants. (Don't ask me why. I was a weird little kid.)

First grade was a lot more dramatic than kindergarten. My mom told me I came home tired a lot, and I struggled with math. Subsequently, during a math test, I looked behind the upright folder at my desk partner's work. My teacher questioned me about it. (Looking back, I'm pretty sure she caught me.) She asked, "How did you get that answer?"

I said, "I don't know," and burst into tears.

I don't remember much of it now, but I still remember that.


At the end of the first grade year, my parents told me that for second grade, they were going to homeschool me.

Don't ask me why I was averse to the idea; maybe I was operating under the delusion that first grade had been rainbows and butterflies. I accused my parents of switching schools on me too much.

Sooner or later, however, I started to warm up to the idea. I used ABeka DVDs, which are basically formatted so that the homeschool-ee watches/"interacts" with an actual class that uses the same ABeka curriculum. My brothers and I attended a one-day school that taught history and science, and this progressed through fourth grade until fifth.


In fifth grade, my parents enrolled me at the local University Model school. For those of you who don't know what a UM is, it's basically a half-homeschool, half-private school. I attended school two days a week in structured classes with other kids, and these classes gave me assignments to do on the other three days of school. It was half-and-half. For fifth grade until eighth grade, I grew up with the same kids, going through different teachers and wrestling with life.

With University Model schools, it's very free in a sense. Although teachers assign homework to be done on specific days, you don't have to do it. Aside from coming to school on the two days, you can do your schoolwork whenever you want, wherever you want. You can work ahead; you can do two days' work in one day; whatever you put your mind to do, you can do, just as long as you get it done before the deadline.

The academic part of the UM wasn't hard at all for me.

No, the area I grew in most during my time at the UM was the social aspect of my life. As an introvert, I'm already not the most bubbly, attractive person, and I didn't really know about the latest trends. Socially, I grew the most in the junior high years of my UM career. I finally managed to figure out sarcasm in seventh and eighth grade, and I learned to hold my tongue sometimes. I learned what fashion was (but judging from the number of T-shirts in my closet, I didn't exactly put that knowledge to good use). I stayed true to myself while growing in maturity.

It was a good time.


Ever since they'd taken me out of public school in first grade, my parents knew that they wanted me to go back into the government system for high school. They wanted to guide me through the areas of secular education while I was still at home, because they'd heard of stories where kids are homeschooled all through high school and then leave and party at college (or something to that effect). They didn't want that to happen to me, so they enrolled me at the public high school in ninth grade.

Which is where I am now.

Which is what I'm completing right now.

What can I say about public school versus homeschool?

It's different, most definitely. The shorts are shorter, the mouths are looser, the homework copying rampant. 

But the transition was easy.

I've made friends. I actually became reacquainted with some people from first grade. (Amazing how God works in your past.) I've met new people, and I don't care about people not liking me because pleasing everyone is impossible in a school of over a thousand.

My shorts did get shorter (a little bit). My mouth didn't necessarily get looser, though, and I haven't copied homework. I fall into pitfalls sometimes, but I have my family and God to pick me up. I have Bible Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. There are a lot of Christian kids and teachers on campus, and I've been blessed through this school year.

Can't wait for what God has for me in tenth grade.


P.S. What's your education journey like? How is it alike or different from mine?(Feel free to comment, but please make sure to keep everything edifying :-)

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