Most high schoolers have time for just one extracurricular activity – maybe two if they’re particularly ambitious. At Sage Oak, students enjoy a flexible, personalized education experience that allows them to explore as many passions as they please, while building a strong sense of autonomy and personal accountability.
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Sage Oak high school senior, Elijah Lewis, and were absolutely astounded by how much he’s accomplishing in and outside of his academics. Elijah sees the word “extracurricular” as a vast landscape of opportunity to build new skills, discover new art forms, and give back to others. Here’s a day in the life of Elijah:
A Morning Melody
When he started homeschooling in the 8th grade, Elijah picked up the violin and immediately connected with its calming sound and effect. Homeschooling with Sage Oak for the past two years, he wakes up most mornings around 6 or 7 a.m. and starts the day with a brief violin session to put his mind in a relaxed, focused place for the day ahead. Sage Oak encourages students to explore their musical inclinations by providing tutors and lessons with approved vendors.
Off to Classes
Elijah’s classes usually start sometime between 8 and 10:30 a.m., giving him plenty of time to get ready in the mornings. His classes are hosted at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, and on-site with Sage Oak educators and vendors. They are conveniently spread apart over the course of the week, so he’s not subject to the physical and mental fatigue of “beating the bell” multiple times a day. He also avoids monotony by taking advantage of the many different class locations Sage Oak offers.
Elijah currently takes math and American Sign Language (ASL) two days a week, physics one day a week, and an emergency medical responder (EMR) class one day a week. It’s the perfect combination of book learning and applied learning. The best part? He chose these courses and groups based on what he wanted to learn. Sage Oak allows students to concurrently enroll at College of the Canyons and other community colleges to explore their passions while earning both high school and college credit.
From One Activity to the Next
With ample time between classes, Elijah has perfected the art of exploration. He is constantly enrolling in new activities, many of which he becomes an influencer in. Between classes, you might find Elijah:
- Rock climbing
- Playing the violin
- Practicing martial arts
- Scuba diving
- Volunteering in the community
- Conducting study groups with his classmates – Elijah sticks around for an hour after his physics class to review the latest lesson with other students, and also tutors students at all levels of elementary and high school math.
- Leading the Cipher Club – Elijah and another student founded this club to offer kids at Huckleberry Center for Creative Learning in Santa Clarita, California an opportunity to learn to love mathematics using games and tools Elijah learned during his MIT MathROOTS program at MIT in the summer of 2016.
- Writing – Elijah has been working on a book for two years, which he hopes to complete by the end of 2017.
“All of these activities are challenging, especially giving each of them equal attention in my schedule,” Elijah said, “But being busy is a good thing, and I really enjoy the challenge.”
With any new endeavor he may choose, Elijah knows he can usually find a Sage Oak vendor who can help him get started.
Connecting with a New Community
Elijah’s ASL course, hosted at College of the Canyons, has opened his mind and heart to a community he has become extremely passionate in supporting. The college’s ASL club takes him to events throughout the region, where he interprets and interacts with sign language while meeting new people.
A Bright Future Ahead
Elijah also excels in his coursework with Sage Oak. He has been honored for his academics as a National Honor Society member for three straight years, and was recently selected to visit Sacramento and attend a day of the California State Legislature. Elijah is poised to become a first generation college attendee. He plans to major in biology before eventually becoming a doctor.
“I think it’s my calling to help people with a combination of science and compassion,” Elijah said.
Until then, Elijah is soaking up his time at Sage Oak. He says his school setting allows him to do more of what he loves with a full yet flexible schedule.
“I can do community service, while juggling violin with martial arts and everything else,” Elijah said. “It all fits together in a unique way. I’m always trying to squeeze another activity in.”
To learn more about Sage Oak, visit www.sageoak.education.