Oaks Christian Online

|Private|Christian|Flexible Enrollment Options|Independent|College-Prep/AP/Honors Courses|

On a lovely fall Saturday, OC Online hosted its first of two in-person fall semester lab days on Oaks Christian School’s main campus. Our students attend lab days to complete the required number of in-person labs for their online lab science courses. As part of the University of California accreditation requirements, students must complete one lab per unit in their science courses. OC Online offers 8 laboratory science courses with this requirement: college-prep and AP level Chemistry, college-prep and AP level Biology, college-prep and AP level Physics, Marine Biology, and AP Environmental Science. Since OC Online is home to students from all over the country and the world, students at a distance also participate in this lab requirement by receiving a lab kit with all their required equipment. They meet with a qualified adult in their homes or at one of our participating partner schools to complete the lab experiments. Having this lab component in our science courses not only promotes academic inquiry through scientific exploration, but it also provides a unique opportunity for students to connect with their teachers, peers, and staff.

When I began teaching online two years ago, I was highly skeptical. As a teacher with private, independent school and public, four-year college experience, the classroom was my stage. I operated like a conductor organizing a beautiful symphony of learning. When I hopped into AP English Literature and Composition for OC Online, hosting only one 30-minute live session in a virtual classroom each week, I worried.

When I began at OC Online almost eight years ago as the program was in its genesis, I remember having two thoughts simultaneously: First: Look at the flexibility, diversity, and personalization this format allows! And also: So do these online kids ever get to go outside?

This question mattered to me not just because of the health implications of staying inside in front of a computer screen all day, but because I believe that in order to have meaningful Christian education, students must be able to grow and shape their theology and experience of God in the context of God’s wildest and most artistic revelation: nature.

As Romans 1:20 tells us, God’s invisible attributes are made visible “in the things that have been made.”