Student Spotlight: Grace S.
Posted on May 04 2023
At just 14 years old, Grace is already a junior in high school.
“My family travels around a lot, so I’ve gone through a lot of curriculums,” Grace said. “I went off and on to private school and homeschool through middle school.”
Homeschooling allowed Grace to work ahead, and she was ready to start high school at age 13. Because she was younger than other freshmen, Grace didn’t want to attend public school.
“I knew I’d probably get bullied a lot, and I really didn’t want all the stuff that comes along with public school,” Grace said.
Grace’s mom, Terri, also recognizes that traditional school comes with limitations.
“If the opportunity to travel pops up in the middle of April or July, so be it! With The American Academy, we don’t have to work around the school system. Classes can be done anywhere and at any time,” Terri said.
When Terri started researching online schools for her daughter, Grace, and son, Trevor, Terri knew she wanted something flexible, but it also had to be accredited.
“The American Academy is accredited, so that was first on the list,” Terri said. “The availability to do classes at any time of the day — that was right up there with the accreditation.”
Terri also noticed that The American Academy’s teachers are available through multiple communication channels: text, email, phone, and Google Meet. Grace and Trevor can text or email their teachers at any time and receive a quick response.
“The teachers always want to have you reach your goals, so they go out of their way to help you!” Grace said.
Additionally, courses can be completed at a student’s pace as long as they finish all coursework within a four-week period.
“I can accelerate if I want. I don’t have to be on everyone else’s agenda,” Grace said. “I usually finish about a week or so early just because!”
This flexibility allowed Grace to complete more than half of her high school requirements in less than a year. She is on track to earn her diploma — from start to finish — in less than two years.
“I’m going to go to college early,” Grace said. “I’m really excited!”
Prior to attending The American Academy, Grace didn’t know she was interested in science. She said her earth science teacher sparked her interest in science and has helped her explore different types of science like botany and zoology.
“My Academic Coach and teacher both referenced me for an (agribusiness and plant and animal sciences) camp,” Grace said. “I got college credit, which was super nice. And I got to hang around with a lot of kids my age — all nerds!”
Terri said this experience has helped Grace explore career opportunities and that she is now “fine-tuning” her career goals. While her teens are still young and preparing for graduation, Terri said she’s not worried about them growing up too fast.
“They are more grown-up than other people their age, but my husband and I were entrepreneurs, and they received a whole different kind of education that way,” Terri said. “As I tell people, ‘They’re going to spend most of their lives being adults, so if they can be a good adult, then we’ve really accomplished what we set out to do.’”
When asked what she would say about The American Academy to other parents, Terri said:
“It fits into chaotic family life. It helps, not hurts. It's just been great, to be honest! And we've really appreciated having the availability of it because we've tried a lot of different things. We're coasting. We've just been going through. There are no problems. They just do their homework, they turn it in, they get their grades, and they go on to the next class.”