Using Books in Cyber School

  • For today’s lesson you will be reading the first 10 books of Paradise Lost.
  • “Sweet! I’ve always been meaning to read this book!”
  • Book 1
  • Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
  • Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
  • Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
  • With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
  • Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
  • Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top
  • Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
  • That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
  • In the beginning how the heavens and earth
  • Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
  • Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed
  • Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
  • Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
  • That with no middle flight intends to soar
  • Above th’ Aonian mount, while it pursues
  • Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme…
  • “… Eh?  Helllloooo Spark Notes!”

Online English classes have a tendency of asking for quite a lot of time, effort and reading for lessons that you can easily finish using Spark Notes or Google. It’s really tough to keep honest when a couple hours of work can turn into ten minutes of work.

Using Books in Cyber School
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In cyber school it is much harder to read and acquire books like Wuthering Heights, Paradise Lost or Beowulf than it would be in public school. There are two main reasons for this.

The first reason is that all of the work is already laid out and planned for you. This means you can find out exactly what parts of the book you need to know about, and no pop quizzes. In public school the teacher usually would not let us know what we would be doing the next couple days. This meant we had to study up our books and study guides in case there was a surprise writing assignment or quiz. We didn’t even know what part of the book she would focus on.

Now that I’m in cyber school I know exactly what test I need to complete, and I can even go into the test beforehand, and see what the questions are. Pretty sweet, right? Well, yes and no. See, knowing everything about the course with no surprises allows me to easily get through a book without completely finishing it or understanding it. I’ve even learned how to do reports with limited information that still get me 100%. The bad thing is I that don’t learn quite as much.

The second reason why it is hard to read the entire books is the lack of face to face interaction with teachers. I don’t know my teachers very well. The only glimpse I have into their personality are the short bios they write about themselves and the messages we send back in forth. This lack of familiarity causes me to respect them less than my old public school teachers, and I don’t feel very guilty for taking shortcuts.

Learning how to be calloused is not a great thing, but it is what I seem to be learning in cyber school. I’m sure that many other kids do shortcuts in cyber school, and I know kids do them in public school as well.  Still in cyber school the temptation is much higher.

Another thing that is important to think about is how you get the books. A lot of times my teachers will have links to online books we can use. This can bother some people’s eyes or make some people uncomfortable when reading. Other times we have to get books from a central location. The one we have to go to is about 15-20 minutes away from my house. So it can be a bit of a bother to get the books.

If you would like to do cyber school soon, then make sure you know your motivations and convictions before jumping into it.