People are confused about my schooling more often than not. I go to EdVisions Off Campus. I am not a homeschooler, though I do almost all of my schooling from home. (Mind you, I love homeschooling–but it wasn’t for me). I am a public school student, and when I graduate I will get a diploma, just kids who go to a brick and mortar school. I have to meet all the same state standards as other kids, and I am just as social as other kids. The difference is how I go about achieving those goals.
Project based learning is really just like it sounds. Rather than reading specific curriculum and testing on it, I sit down with my adviser and discuss a project to help me learn about a topic. Though we are about 150 miles apart, we meet about twice a week one on one, for 30 minutes daily in group of other students online, and at least 3 times face to face throughout the year.
Project planning is an education in and of itself. For example, I might want to research the Civil War as part of my history requirement. I have to determine how much time I will spend doing research, what resources I will use, what questions I am looking to answer and how I present my evidence to a proposal team to get the credits I need. I might want to visit Civil War sites as part of my project, and I would add that in. I may write a report, create a slide show or even do a presentation about what I learned. All of this, I have to plan out before I start my project.
The bonus to learning this way, is that I remember what I learn so much more. In 2016 I was lucky enough to travel to France with some other students from my school. Now, when someone talks about what an engineering marvel the Eiffel Tower is, I can relate because I’ve been there! I have looked down from the top of it! When someone talks about World War II and D-day, I can say that I’ve walked those beaches. I’ve seen the craters left in the landscape from bombs, and the debris and shelters that still linger.
Project based learning has worked great for me, but it isn’t for everyone. I have to manage my time in a way I never had to when I was in “regular” school. I have to be much more responsible. I will share some of my projects and thoughts with you, and if you have questions, I’d love to read them!