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Parent spotlight: Shantelle Engelbrecht

A little over halfway through the year, UCT Online High School has had some really amazing moments. For the online high school, however, one of the biggest accomplishments is happy and confident learners and guardians. Shantelle Engelbrecht, a guardian and owner of Coloured Girls Rock, shares her experience with making the switch to online learning.

The alarm goes off at 5:30 am, open one eye, hit the snooze button and negotiate another 10 minutes of shuteye. 6:00 am — jump out of bed and start shouting at the kids to get done… NOW! We’re late. Ok, maybe it wasn’t just 10 minutes. This is followed by panic, getting kids ready, making lunches, eventually getting kids into the car, and ultimately, just beating the school bell or being late.

That was a typical morning for me last year. This year is much less stressful since Tyler is now attending an online high school. Let me start from the beginning.

Why I chose this route for Tyler was less about me being the mom of the year and more about my frustrations with the education department and their online registration system. System crashes, lost docs, and at crunch time, we were not accepted to any of the preferred schools. In fact, after many department visits, the school we were given was far away and totally unsafe. Any school that has weekly random drug tests was not for us.

After researching and chatting with some of my friends, I decided to look into UCT Online High School as an option. Firstly, I would say that the school being associated with UCT (the university) already gave me a sense of comfort and gave them legitimacy. It helped that their system was easy to navigate, registration was effortless, and after discussing the logistics with my child, we were ready to give this a try.

The first month is the most challenging. Getting used to working independently, getting used to the technology and just learning to manage his own time was an adjustment for Tyler. After that, however, he was an expert at scheduling meetings, managing his time, and his confidence grew. Six months into this, he knows what the expectations are, what time he needs to be in his online sessions, and how to set up Ask Me Anything sessions with the Support Coaches.

If you were to ask me how being with UCT Online High School has made my life easier? I would have to say I am much less stressed. Life is already a rush and this process is more flexible when it comes to schedules. The kids manage their time and you can monitor their progress via the Guardian Portal. It has also proven to be cheaper than the combined expenses of a normal school. We now exclude uniform, petrol and transport, even school tuck money from my monthly budget. The standard of the teaching and support is great, without dealing with overcrowding or private school fees, something this single mom could just not afford.

What would I have liked to know upfront? Basically that this is an ever-evolving journey and a process that is constantly adapting to the needs of the learners, and guardians. Also, guardians should engage with other guardians, which is possible via Whatsapp and Facebook groups. They know the best places to get the setwork books and they are happy to share info on how they manage their journey. From a social perspective, one needs to know that there are Virtual Clubs that are great, but put some effort into helping your child spend time with friends. Nothing in life is easy, but UCT Online High School does make an effort to make it easier to provide your child with a great foundation for tertiary education. 

You too can have access to a world-class education in your own home. Enrol for 2023 now or book a call with a friendly UCT Online High School Admission Consultant to find out more.

The alarm goes off at 5:30 am, open one eye, hit the snooze button and negotiate another 10 minutes of shuteye. 6:00 am — jump out of bed and start shouting at the kids to get done… NOW! We’re late. Ok, maybe it wasn’t just 10 minutes. This is followed by panic, getting kids ready, making lunches, eventually getting kids into the car, and ultimately, just beating the school bell or being late.

That was a typical morning for me last year. This year is much less stressful since Tyler is now attending an online high school. Let me start from the beginning.

Why I chose this route for Tyler was less about me being the mom of the year and more about my frustrations with the education department and their online registration system. System crashes, lost docs, and at crunch time, we were not accepted to any of the preferred schools. In fact, after many department visits, the school we were given was far away and totally unsafe. Any school that has weekly random drug tests was not for us.

After researching and chatting with some of my friends, I decided to look into UCT Online High School as an option. Firstly, I would say that the school being associated with UCT (the university) already gave me a sense of comfort and gave them legitimacy. It helped that their system was easy to navigate, registration was effortless, and after discussing the logistics with my child, we were ready to give this a try.

The first month is the most challenging. Getting used to working independently, getting used to the technology and just learning to manage his own time was an adjustment for Tyler. After that, however, he was an expert at scheduling meetings, managing his time, and his confidence grew. Six months into this, he knows what the expectations are, what time he needs to be in his online sessions, and how to set up Ask Me Anything sessions with the Support Coaches.

If you were to ask me how being with UCT Online High School has made my life easier? I would have to say I am much less stressed. Life is already a rush and this process is more flexible when it comes to schedules. The kids manage their time and you can monitor their progress via the Guardian Portal. It has also proven to be cheaper than the combined expenses of a normal school. We now exclude uniform, petrol and transport, even school tuck money from my monthly budget. The standard of the teaching and support is great, without dealing with overcrowding or private school fees, something this single mom could just not afford.

What would I have liked to know upfront? Basically that this is an ever-evolving journey and a process that is constantly adapting to the needs of the learners, and guardians. Also, guardians should engage with other guardians, which is possible via Whatsapp and Facebook groups. They know the best places to get the setwork books and they are happy to share info on how they manage their journey. From a social perspective, one needs to know that there are Virtual Clubs that are great, but put some effort into helping your child spend time with friends. Nothing in life is easy, but UCT Online High School does make an effort to make it easier to provide your child with a great foundation for tertiary education. 

You too can have access to a world-class education in your own home. Enrol for 2023 now or book a call with a friendly UCT Online High School Admission Consultant to find out more.

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