Transitioning to Traditional Learning

Students discuss BV’s learning environment after home-school, hybrid experiences

Transitioning+to+Traditional+Learning

Ayesha Khan, Editor in Chief

Blue Valley’s student body is not only composed of students from neighboring feeder schools — the Tiger family also houses students of various learning backgrounds, including home-school and hybrid learning with online organizations. 

Freshman Harrison Grant is attending his first ever year of public schooling, while junior Bella Schneweis is returning to a full in-person schedule after two years of hybrid learning with a private online high school and classes at BV. 

Grant, whose mother had an unpleasant public schooling experience, received his education through home-schooling growing up.

“I think there were just a lot of stereotypes about schools, like private or public schools, and she didn’t really agree with them,” Grant said. “Over time, I think she realized they weren’t so bad.”

Formerly, Grant learned at co-ops, which he is now discovering had nowhere near the same rigor as a public school environment. 

“There’d be homework, but it wouldn’t be every day — it’d be Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it wasn’t very hard,” Grant said. “It wasn’t actually getting graded or anything like that.”

The most predominant adjustment for Grant, however, was discovering how to navigate BV’s digital learning aspects. 

“The only problem I’ve had is the technology — things like Canvas and all that, it’s very confusing,” Grant said. “I haven’t really had to [previously use a computer] because it’s all just been my mom teaching me.”

Nevertheless, he is happy with his decision to switch to public school and finds his mother’s stereotypes did not apply in actuality. 

“It’s a lot more fun than home-school, but I expected a lot more chaos,” Grant said. “Public school is not as bad as home-school families make it out to be — I have not witnessed anything terrible.”

Grant is most excited to make up for the friendships he missed out on during his time home-schooling. 

“[I’m most looking forward to] making friends,” he said. “I’m a very social person if I can find the right people.”

Similar to Grant, Schneweis returned to a full in-person schedule after realizing the perks she missed out on during her time of hybrid learning at Stanford High School, a program affiliated with Stanford University. 

“I wanted a chance to break away from the public school system and see what else there was,” Schneweis said. “I honestly just found it online, thought it was interesting and decided to apply.”

During this time of dual enrollment, Schneiwes took most of her classes at Stanford High with the exception of certain subjects and electives they did not have, including Anatomy and Psychology.

“I took two core classes [at BV] that were not offered at my online school as well as three elective classes,” she said. “My online school only had core classes, so they didn’t even have a Modern World History.”

Although Schneweis ultimately decided to switch back to full time at BV due to cost and a lack of electives, her difficulty with communication was another contributing factor. 

“It was so hard to get in contact with teachers [because] you had really limited opportunities during office hours, and you couldn’t really discuss with your peers since only four people lived in Kansas that went to that school,” Schneweis said. “Being able to easily ask questions or reach teachers and have them explain a problem instead of having to wait till office hours or days later [has been my favorite part about being back in-person].”

Even though Schneweis enjoyed having a mixture of online and in-person schooling, she personally would not repeat this experience and encourages others to consider all the factors before making the decision to partake in this learning route. 

“Be prepared to have very independent coursework,” she said. “Be able to answer problems on your own and problem solve, and be very capable of doing all your homework in your house — take note if it’s going to be a loud environment or if you will be able to have a quiet space where you can study.”

With this being her first year of high school fully in-person, there are various aspects of school Schneweis is still adjusting to. 

“The socialization aspect has really changed — I’m going from spending seven hours in my room every day alone to being in a school around people for seven hours a day,” she said. “I haven’t been in a lunchroom cafeteria for two years, so that was kind of nerve racking my first day of school.” 

Nevertheless, she is confident this is the right choice for her.

“I hadn’t been to a pep assembly before or anything like that,” she said. “I feel like I really missed a lot of opportunities to do cool elective classes and clubs my freshman and sophomore year, [and] it’s a lot easier to create connections in a public school in-person.”