Meet Yuichiro Takashima! Yuichiro has been a student with Virtual High School for three years. Currently, Yuichiro is travelling through Venezuela while completing his VHS courses. In the following statement, he describes his discovery of VHS as “a beacon of hope. . .an inspiration.”
Yuichiro’s experience with VHS has been entirely positive. Before coming to VHS, his view of education was not always so positive. But now, his curiosity to learn, understand, and explore has been more nurtured than ever, and he has never felt so encouraged. He says, “Ever since the time of my enrollment at VHS, I started taking ownership of my education.”
One thing that Yuichiro appreciates about VHS is that assignments can be handed in when he is ready to hand them in, and grades aren’t deducted for handing them in “late” – something rarely seen in other school settings. At VHS, the quality and integrity of the work count, not the date stamp on the work when it’s submitted.
Yuichiro describes VHS courses more as edutainment than education. He feels a drive to learn that he has never felt before and is motivated to complete the courses because they’re fun, rewarding, and educational.
As mentioned, Yuichiro’s view on education hasn’t always been so uplifting. When he enrolled in a bricks and mortar high school four years ago, he was very discouraged. Every day, he sat in a desk and listened, and for him, that wasn’t enough. He wanted to know more; he had more questions and more curiosity than was being addressed at this school. VHS changed his view of education in hopes of making it a more personal experience, one which becomes more motivating for him. Since he can work on his courses whenever he chooses to, Yuichiro feels motivated during the times he is active, and as a result, his academic performance improves.
Yuichiro feels strongly about the quality of his experience and the flexible nature of VHS. He explains some of the ways that VHS benefits him:
[VHS] Teachers are always there for you, assignments are not monotonous, and best of all, you have education at your fingertips. On your way to the airport between travels, or just on a break from a hike where you still [have] 3G. . .you can complete your course in any situation imaginable. That’s right, education has taken a form of the world wide inter web and beyond. In other words, you embed education within you, rather than at the hands of parents or teachers in your high school. Education shapes you and becomes your hobby.
Yuichiro appreciates how VHS teachers allow students to submit assignments for feedback before grading. Since there are no deadlines set by VHS, students can take their time with an assignment to make sure they are ready to submit it. Yuichiro also comments that VHS is excellent at accommodating English Language Learners. He says, “[my] science teacher was always patient with my, at the time, horrible writing. . .even more so when letting me know about it so I could improve.” He says “[my physics teacher] was always prompt in marking my assignments and giving me detailed feedback.” Today, he believes a career in physics is in his future! Yuichiro’s discussion about his teachers ends with “the list goes on.” The quality of VHS courses and the support of our dedicated teachers are two things that Yuichiro says sets VHS apart from other schools.
As a final comment, Yuichiro says, “There are numerous benefits to taking a course or completing [the] OSSD. . .with VHS. My words can’t stress enough my thanks to VHS for giving me such inspiration and hopes for education.”
Yuichiro is currently taking several courses with us and is working towards earning his OSSD. We are thrilled to provide Yuichiro with this opportunity!
UPDATED (January 6, 2016): Yuichiro reached out to thank VHS upon earning his OSSD. After years of hard work, Yuichiro achieved a huge milestone in his education. Here are his words of appreciation:
First of all, I’d like to reiterate my immense thanks to VHS for allowing me to complete my OSSD in the form of real world experience; including the permission to devise my own education in the pursuit of my OSSD while traveling… [Venezuela] has been a place full of opportunities that would not have been possible with me being at any other school than VHS.
Online education, especially at VHS, requires that the student cultivate his own version of high school during the day: so I cultivated my own version of high school. Most schools are already devised for the students, but in VHS…you build on your own exclusively, at least in the environmental sense. Yes, you have to think actively and preferably be independent, and for anything else that would be called “extracurricular activities” in brick and mortar high schools, you are the one responsible for finding them and acting on them. For me, these extracurricular activities have been retailing materials locally, building a website, and founding a platform for Spanish language learners.
I have to say that my secondary education has met a nice conclusion. All of the people that I got to know have been part of my learning experience. In other words, my version of VHS was the amazing real world full of social interactions during the day, and writing and reflection during the night. What learning place can get better than a constantly changing environment, where meeting new people, learning additional languages, and making business connections are daily necessities? To me, VHS has enabled me to revolutionize and carve out my view of self-driven education and fully examine the possibilities of distance learning.