Getting an education from home

Sophomore Molly Herman-Gallow recently decided to enroll herself in online classes instead of continuing at Decatur High School. Even though Herman-Gallow is only in tenth grade, she takes all Honors as well as Spanish IV, 3D Modeling and Digital Photography. Herman-Gallow wanted to take online classes through Georgia Connections Academy so she could have time for her passion of horse back ridding.

“It’s a huge time commitment to drive out to Loganville twice a week,” Herman-Gallow said. “I also have a horse out there, so it made it hard to juggle school work and riding at the same time.”

Another reason Herman-Gallow enrolled in online class was to reduce the amount of schoolwork. There is a requirement in Georgia that you must spend five and a half hours on school work. Herman-Gallow balances out her days so that she has more time for horseback riding.

“Sometimes I work ahead and get two days worth of class work done in one day, so I can spend the next day out at the barn,” she said.

Herman-Gallow expressed that this is just an experiment to see if a different type of schooling works better for her. She shared how important motivation is when it comes to sitting in front of a computer and staying focused.

“Georgia Connections Academy isn’t all about sitting at a computer, surprisingly,” she said.

Georgia Connections Academy offers a variety of field trips that count as school hours. They also provide books and movies that are relevant to the unit student’s study. Herman-Gallow’s day is usually spent at home with her mom who is her “learning coach.” In other words, she make sure Herman-Gallows stays on task and completes her schoolwork. Sometimes Herman-Gallow also does work with her dad at his job. Herman-Gallow expressed how many students she thinks look down on homeschooling.

“What really ticks me off is hearing from kids enrolled in public schools say that you can’t get a good education if you do homeschooling,” she said. “Georgia Connections Academy students have been accepted into top notch Ivy League schools with no problems.”

Georgia Connections Academy has over 2,000 students enrolled. Herman-Gallows parents think she is much happier and is enjoying what she is learning. As for this year, Herman-Gallow and her parents think homeschooling is the right decision for the moment.

Click here to read an AJC article about this new trend in flexible learning.