Alternative education

I’m doing a research paper for school on alternative education(i.e. home school, early college, programs like youth options in Wisconsin, ect.). I know most of the people in programs such as the ones I mentioned have above average intelligence, and a lot of the people here on CD have above average intelligence, so this seemed to be a good place to ask people.

I’m looking for experiences, opinions, or anything really, that is related to alternative education.

If you don’t want your name included as a reference just make a note.

Eric Haskins

I am a junior in college (Comp. E). I think I have a paper written somewhere about my experience… I’ll try to find that and attach it to this post later…


Anything in particular? I’m a homeschooler who is also taking courses at a local community college. Flexible scheduling, participation in FIRST (through the homeschool group), lots of stuff like that. (Oh, and I request anonymity.)

Things you might be able to answer would be, what have you been able to do that you normally wouldn’t, how do you think it will effect you future, and anything else you think would be interesting.

The first one is the easiest–robotics. For all the dots on the map in the L.A. area, few schools have a team. I’m not sure how homeschooling will affect my future, but working at home has made commuting a lot easier.:rolleyes: Having a flexible schedule means that I have been able to do more acitivities. How many schools would say “go for it” if you asked to leave school for a day to go do a robotics activity?

I attend high school that shares a campus with an adult technical center and allows it’s students to participate in the technical programs. Currently I only take one academic class (English IV) and the rest of my day is spent on the technical centers campus.

If you had more specific questions I would be happy to answer them for you.

What type of classes have you taken?

Do you plan to continue your education? Where? What field?

Did your involvement in FIRST effect your choice to do that, or did doing that effect your involvement in FIRST?

How many people from your school take advantage of that program?

When were you allowed to start taking those classes? Are there any restrictions on how many classes you can take? There is a similar program in Wisconsin, but you can’t start until you’re 16, and you can only take 16 credits over those two years.

I might think of more later.

Eric Haskins

I attend an “alternative highschool” in the Seattle area, called Aviation High School. We are only three years old, and as a member of the inaugural class, the class of 2008, we have basically been seniors the entire time and been able to form the school pretty much on our own. It has been an amazing experience. This is the first year that we have had a FIRST team, and it has only further opened my educational opportunites and solidified my aspirations. I’m not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for, but I am more than happy to answer any questions that you have about my school, or education, etc. and I can connect you with others from my school. We all have uniques stories, aspirations, and experiences both from our school and FIRST.

(my school is basically a math, science, and technology college preparation high school (sometimes considered a magnet school, but I don’t think that really captures the point) with an aviation emphasis, and offers us unique opportunities in preparing for college, career, and citizenship)

This past year my education has been a mix of Homeshcooling and High School. Long trips tend to keep you out of school for a semester. I spend a lot of my time around Homeschoolers, and I have seen many different methods. My semesters worth of classes (which to me were worth*less) were online. The people who did it up, in my opinion, didn’t do such a good job (took a spanish class, learned more spanish in the Highschool in one day than the entire online course). Some of the Homeschoolers get videos and two work books with a text book (one work book for the questions, and the other to explain the answers to them). The other method I have seen is the commonly known, parent teaches child., with the occasional college course to catch them up.:smiley: (bet you can’t guess where half my friends go for schooling)

Oh yeah, I can try to get more information about different types of homeschooling for ya too.

Sorry it took so long to get to the questions, It’s my last week of my senior year, so school is getting sort of :ahh:.


I attend a normal high school, but I am dual-enrolled at the Technical Center that shares the same campus. It depends on what grade you are in to be able to take what class. Freshman are not allowed to take part in the technical classes. They are strictly academics. Sophomore, Juniors and Seniors spend 1/2 the day (we run on block schedule so it’s 4 periods a day) at the technical center in various programs from administrative assistant, to construction trades. The high school’s lunch is provided by the culinary program, and the districts computer repair uses many students from the Wireless and Computer Networking class (my class). As for what I have personally taken, I’ve taken English I - IV, American and World Histories, American Government, Biology, Physical Science, and Chemistry (I was planned to enroll in Physics but there was not enough student interest to actually have the class) I’ve taken Algebra I and II, Geometry and Pre-Calc (being the highest offered at the school). As for my technical I have earned 13 credits in that class alone. Students are allowed to change technical classes but it’s not that easy, because they don’t want students jumping around from class to class. I personally have experienced that (I switched from Carpentry to Wireless and Computer networking after only 9 weeks)

Until quite recently I was going to go to FIT for Computer Engineering to continue my work with computers but I did some rethinking on that matter and I’ve decided to go into Mechanical Engineering.

I feel FIRST did influence my choice to switch from computer engineering to mechanical engineering. I joined my schools team in my junior year, but I would of never have joined if one my team mentors wasn’t one of the instructors for Wireless and Computer Networking so I suppose that it’s a mix of both.

How many people from your school take advantage of that program?
Once a student enters their sophomore year they are put into a technical program, the technical programs are the only reason why a person would even come to our school. Everyone has the opportunity to participate in the technical programs unless they are once again a freshman, or if they have not passed the FCAT (Florida Comprehension Assessment Test) or are on contract (for bad behavior, bad grades, attendance stuff of the like).

If you have anymore questions you need answered I’m happy to answer them, just drop me a line.

I attended “normal” public schools until high school where I now attend Maggie Walker Governor’s school as does all the members of our team. Our school draws the best and the brightests from the surrounding school disctricts based on their test scores, teacher reccomendations, and previous community involvement. While here we are able to take classes that are all on honors or above levels, myself and the majority of my classmates also dual enroll with VCU which is 6 blocks away so teachers from the university will come to our school and teach for part of the day. We also have a large number of AP classes available to students throughout their 4 years at the school. While our school focuses mostly on History and Languages, requiring 4 years of one language and 2 years of another there are still a number of other classes available.

It has given me the oppurtunity to be enrolled in FIRST since my home district does not have any FIRST programs, also I have been able to take many classes that I would not be able to take at my home school.

Personally I like being in classes with people that actually care, there is still all the normal demographics as any other high school, there is just many people here that have something to contribute.

This year I am a Junior and here are some of the courses that I have taken that have really been beneficial over what was available to me here and not at my home school:

Freshman year: Intro to Programming Languages(Dual Enrollment with VCU)

Junior Year: eBusiness(Dual w/ VCU), AP US History, Photography and Design(Dual w/VCU), 1st Semester Calculus(Dual w/ VCU), AP Env Science
Senior Year(planned): AP Chemistry, Discrete Math(Dual w/ VCU), AP US Government

Hope some of my experience has helped

I would like to thank all of you. Your help with this has been great.

Eric Haskins