It's that time of year again. A time filled with rushed shopping to buy pencils and notebooks - the preparation to get started back into the daily ritual of cafeteria food, pep rallies and bus rides.
At least, for some teens.
For others, school works differently. Home-school students, such as myself, never have to deal with cafeteria food or waits at the bus stop. Instead, we're at our school all day long.
We know who our teachers are going to be. In fact, we've known them all our lives.
Most people think that home-school students get privileges that kids who go to public or private school do not, such as getting to sleep in as long as you want, or waking up and doing your class work in your pajamas.
This isn't altogether true, at least not for me.
It isn't true for Nicole Boyd, a 14-year-old home-schooled freshman, either.
"I still have to get up kind of early," she told me.
Some people say we only have to work for short amounts of time. Yeah, right! My siblings and I (it's different for everyone) have at least two reports to write a week, along with whatever books and other assignments we have.
We probably end up working several hours a day, but it's not like we have a strict start or end time. We don't get up at 8 and have to think, "We have 30 minutes until class starts."
Depending on what we're doing, it could take as little as three hours to finish, or in my case, if it has anything to do with math, it definitely adds a couple of hours.
That's not to say there aren't advantages to home schooling. For example, you can work on your own level and speed. It's not like at a regular school, where you're stuck to one curriculum or schedule and you have to have Chapter 8 completed by the end of the week. This does not mean you can just blow off your homework. You still have to get it done, but there's a sense of personalization.
In regular school, if the person sitting next to you gets something straightaway and you don't, there's a chance you might be left behind as the class moves on. In home school, you can work it out the way you need it to be done, and not the way everyone else is doing it.
Customization in schoolwork is absolutely awesome.
The other advantage (though, I'm pretty sure this isn't true in all schools) is the whole lunch ordeal. I've heard numerous tales about gross cafeteria food, and that is definitely a great thing to not have to deal with.
Of course, there's always the old standby of peanut butter and jelly, but you never have to deal with runny chicken and dumplings, like I've been forced to deal with during the brief time I was in public school, or cold french fries and warm gelatin.
"The food's way better," Nicole agreed.
Lauren Ellis, 15, is a home-schooled sophomore from Aiken.