Most students here at San Bernardino High School have the chance to hang out with friends in the quad during lunch, interact with their peers, and have more of a ‘hands on’ experience when they are in a classroom. But this experience, isn’t everyone’s. Junior Makenzie Ferguson was homeschooled for her first two years of high school.
With only coming here to San Bernardino High School her junior year, many students who have been here at Berdoo since their freshman year, have questioned whether or not she is a freshman. She was ‘lost’ and ‘didn’t know’ what to do, which is the usual of what most to all freshmen experience. Ferguson was being homeschooled during her what was supposed to be, freshman and sophomore year here at San Bernardino High School.
Before coming here, Ferguson’s daily routine was going on a computer from 8am to 4pm to do her online schooling. She was required to be on a computer for about 90-100% of the time. Because she didn’t really interact with other students for these two years, she felt isolated and that she lacks social skills.
“Even though they have events and stuff, a lot of students don’t go since you have to pay for it and stuff so you don’t get a lot of social interaction and it’s kind of isolating.” said Ferguson. “It’s really weird and when you come here; it’s easier to learn here and focus.”
Ferguson really does enjoy it here at San Bernardino High School since she not only gets to interact and make new friends, but our teachers provide the materials for the new curriculum and each student learns for free.
“When [you’re homeschooled] you’re working and they do send you supplies for labs and stuff,” said Ferguson. “For example, you do those at home and have to set them up yourself and go out and buy the materials yourself most of the time, depending on the teacher you have. You have a headset to talk in classes and stuff if you’re doing a report.”
Compared to public school, home schooling is a lot more work to handle than most people would expect. Ferguson was scared to come to high school since she thought kids will think she is ‘weird.’ She felt that online schooling felt ‘safer.’
“When I came here, it’s not like that and nobody really cares,” Ferguson said calmly. “It’s just you do your own little thing so I joined theatre and it’s fun.”
“In my opinion, it’s better because you are more socially involved and I feel like it’s easier to learn in a ‘normal’ high school.”
When being in an online school, you must have self discipline. You do your own attendance as your parents fill out what work you did for the day and notify your teachers. Most people think that it’s fun to stay home and not go to school early, but the reality is that you feel closed off.
“I also feel like you’re behind on how other people develop in social situations and learn how to deal with situations like in drama and stuff,” said Ferguson. “You don’t learn because you’re just kind of by yourself so you act differently than everyone else so it’s noticeable.”
The online school she attended did offer field trips, dances, and other activities that any other regular high school student would experience, but because the school was three hours away from her home, she couldn’t really participate.
“When I came here, I didn’t know what to do and it was just all new to me. There were a lot of people and it was really crazy,” said Ferguson. “I remember I went to get my schedule and I had no idea why there were just people lined up and I was like: why are they lining up? That’s so weird.”
“I didn’t know that you can tell what floor of the B-building you were on. So when people ask me what floor I was on, I wouldn’t know.”
In online schooling, students still have to do PE. You’re given a chart of things to do and they give you activities you’re supposed to do. You not only do that, but you also have to log how many minutes you did the activities and exercises for and your parents also have to sign it as well. Here it’s a lot easier since the equipment is provided for you.
“Every online or homeschool experience is different for everybody,” said Ferguson, “but for me it was difficult.”
Before online schooling, she actually went to a K-8 school, SOAR Charter Academy. Like most students experience in their early to late school years, Ferguson was bullied. Because of this, it was her main motive to do online schooling. She felt that the teasing and name calling from students, would continue in her high school years. But that wasn’t the case when she finally came here to Berdoo.
Ferguson doesn’t listen to modern music. Instead, she’s more into oldies, musicals, and punk rock. Some bands that she is into including My Chemical Romance.
“If any of you have tickets, just like please hand me two tickets,” said Ferguson. “More would be nice, then I would bring the whole squad.”
She also likes the band Paramore, where her favorite song is ‘Conspiracy.’ One of her favorite all time books is “The Outsiders” by S.E Hinton. While the movie is good, she prefers the book since the movie cuts out the best parts. She also likes Harry Potter as well and her house is Slytherin.
So if you ever see Makenzie Ferguson around here at San Bernardino High School, don’t be shy, say hi! She’s a really nice, outgoing, and a very relatable person to talk to. You’ll soon realize that both you and her probably have a lot in common.