NEW YORK -- Schools can't please all of the students all of the time.
In general, schools -- and particularly public schools -- aim to provide a broad-based education and bring as many children as possible under the umbrella. But there always are some students who don't quite fit.
For some students, the regular school curriculum isn't enough of a challenge; for others, the textbook- and lecture-based classes are a struggle.
The answer for these students may be "alternative education."
"Alternative learning doesn't necessarily have to mean education that's edgy, way out there, or on the fringes," writes Rebecca Greene in "The Teenagers' Guide to School Outside the Box" (Free Spirit Publishing, $15.95).
"Alternative learning simply means going beyond what's offered in classrooms through extracurricular activities."
These activities could be internships, volunteer work, apprenticeships, mentoring, traveling or job shadowing.
This route works best for teen-agers who feel "boxed in, bored, or not getting what they want" out of high school, Greene explains. Also, it might be the right thing for someone who needs a hands-on approach to education, she adds.
Greene, a 23-year-old student at Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law, is a product of alternative learning.
While growing up in Columbus, Ohio, she volunteered at a senior citizens' care center and interned at a newspaper. While attending Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., she was an intern at a television station and at a magazine. And on several occasions, Greene "job shadowed" lawyers.
If it wasn't for these experiences, she might not be on her current career path, she said. And these experiences also exposed her to real-world situations that an insular high-school experience would not allow.
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