I am happy to live in my state... really. I am happy that I have every option of schooling my children that I can think of available to me. Entering a clean, well-designed and unpretentious facility yesterday with artwork hanging on the walls encompassing dance, music and art studios and then today walking into the academic and administration offices of the same school to register for the online academic classes was like walking into the wave of the future for public schools if our government allows it. Pennsylvania seems to be on the cutting edge for alternative public education. Last week, big E. auditioned for the performing arts section of a public online charter school in our state. This school is unlike any of the other charter schools in our state because it is a combination online classes and in person classes. Not only does it offer performing arts classes but it also offers a separate building and classes for "gifted" students and separate classes for students interested in becoming leaders. For the first time since 6th grade, my oldest son is excited about this school year. Today he picked his academic classes and could've opted to graduate this year since he needed so few classes but he opted to stay and graduate next year so that he could get two full years of study at the performing arts school and have the possibility of studying psychology online next year. How many highschool students do you know are excited about school and would opt to stay an extra year? He really is only a junior so he won't be older but even I was somewhat surprised by his decision. I think it's a wise and very mature decision because he will get the kind of classes at the performing arts center that would normally cost us thousands of dollars per year. He will be studying classical guitar, acting, art and creative writing at the performing arts center twice a week for 6 hours each day. On the other days, he will be doing online classes in zoology, botany, business accounting and sociology which are all subjects he has a genuine interest in. Next year, the only academic classes he will need to take are a full credit of English and Senior Projects which is required by PA and is more like an independent study. He'd like to learn violin so he may take that next year and will most likely take the directing course they offer for upperclassmen next year as well.
Ah, being around people who want to teach and students who want to learn makes me want to go back to school or assist at the school or something!