What I Love About Stanford OHS
The quality of instruction, engaging class environment, rigorous curriculum, enriching social activities, and creative approach make Stanford OHS a truly peerless school. At my first day attending Stanford OHS, even though I had already decided that I would not enjoy physics, my physics instructor absolutely astonished me with his enthusiasm, knowledge, and ability. Outside of Stanford OHS, I have never met a teacher who could so skillfully engage students, lead them to their own conclusions, and inspire them with a desire to pursue learning. However, none of this could have been accomplished without the live discussion sections of Stanford OHS, as my instructor harnessed the students’ intrinsic curiosity through a series of leading questions that allowed the class to derive each equation themselves, rather than have formulas spoon-fed to them. Sometimes this approach led to such heated debates that students would stay after class to discuss the concept further. In contrast to others who have instructed me, my Stanford OHS instructors have ensured that I indeed understand a concept rather than simply am able to memorize a text long enough to pass a test; if I struggle to do so, I can attend office hours, e-mail or call my instructor, or book an appointment with a peer tutor.
Another feature that sets OHS classrooms apart are the students who are engaged, intelligent, and quick to share ideas (and puns!). Students also engage with each other outside the classroom in every way from simply chatting on Google+, to debating politics on the Spark, to participating in the scavenger hunt on Spirit Week, sending each other e-roses on Valentine’s Day, and electing our homecoming court! Stanford OHS combines the best features of online and brick-and-mortar schools.
Why I Chose Stanford OHS
Stanford OHS has been perhaps the best school I have ever attended. I am currently supplementing Stanford OHS coursework with traditional homeschooling, community college courses, and other online programs. I know by experience that the live online courses Stanford OHS provides are infinitely superior to online programs that rely on e-mail and pre-recorded lectures. Before Stanford OHS, I had attended private school and then switched to homeschooling, which was a good fit for my elementary and early middle school years; however, by 7th grade the capabilities of my parents and tutors was no longer sufficient.
Stanford OHS not only provided the academic excellence and flexible schedule I sought, but it has also helped me to grow both inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to my wonderful experience with OHS science courses, I obtained a solid mathematical foundation after years of experimenting with different math programs. Furthermore, because of Stanford OHS’s college-style class schedules, I have learned to keep track of deadlines and to schedule my days. (I also had the opportunity to improve my computer skills!) Moreover, I have taken intellectual risks submitting work to the De Novo and poetry contests and overcome my fear of public speaking by representing a candidate in the Mock Presidential Primary debate. Also, writing for the Spark, a student blog, has broadened my literary diet, improved my editing and reading skills, shown me my love of writing about books. I am now considering a career in reviewing books. I will always be grateful to the vibrant community of Stanford OHS that has helped me grow so much!
I am interested in philosophy applied to history and literature; I would aspire someday to teach this fascinating and useful subject at a college. In addition to my more typical studies, I am learning Ancient Greek and Latin in order to be better able to comprehend the great books of the classical era. Outside of school, I pursue my interest in literature and history through Regency period historical costuming and needlework projects, as my favorite authors come from this period. I try use all my talents to serve others; I play piano at a local nursing home, perform with the other members of my Irish Dance Show Team at various community venues, knit bandages for Vietnamese lepers, have founded an organization (the Classics Corner) to introduce younger children to classic literature, and volunteer as the publicity coordinator for the Connecticut branch of the Jane Austen Society of North America and as the secretary of my local 4-H club and as a state organizer for Wolf- PAC, a national organization dedicated to campaign finance reform.