I am relinquishing part of my blog today to my son, Joe, who is my resident expert on the subject of honors classes.
Joe made the decision to challenge himself and take a 10th grade honors English class. He takes regular courses in everything else, and maintains a 3.4 average. Yes we all know that if you take honors classes it is great preparation for college, and looks wonderful on a college application. But my guest has something to say about the actual experience of taking an honors course. Simply put, if you can handle the workload of an honors class, do it! You will get a lot more out of it – both in education and experience. Joe says:
“When I first started the English honors class at the beginning of my sophomore year I was a little nervous. I do not think that honors students realize how scary they are. Because I was not in the honors class in my freshman year, I did not read many of the same books that they had read and I was a little intimidated by that. But after a while, I fit in fine and knew that I was in the right class. Despite this, I immediately noticed some distinct changes between the two classes.
This may sound strange, but before I fully understood everything, I had to learn English. The first book of the school year was Jane Eyre, a classic written in the 19th century with English from the Victorian era. Most of what I had read last year was written in contemporary American English. At first, it was difficult to adapt to this almost foreign language, but with time I could grasp it well. The second major difference I found between these two classes was the discussions that took place. In the previous English class I was used to saying most of the points about a book. There were even a few times when the teacher told me to stop answering all of the questions. In the honors program everyone talks during a discussion. I find this second way to be more enjoyable because you learn more. … Even though regular English classes and honors English classes are structured the in the same manner, the way they play out is quite different.
Based on my experiences in both types of English classes I have decided that I like the honors course better. The honors course gives me more of a challenge and because of that I learn more. I have learned to appreciate more diverse styles of literature and also what I like and dislike. For example, I very much enjoyed reading the stories of Macbeth and Frankenstein, but I hate reading Pride and Prejudice. “
Don’t be afraid to aim high! The experience you gain will last a lifetime