A day in the life of a Grade 12 online high school student.

If you’re wondering whether online high school or home schooling in South Africa is the right fit for your child, there’s only one way to find out – spend the day with one of our students!


We asked Cheyenne Victor, a 2023 Grade 12 Teneo student, what online learning is like and what strategies she uses to structure her school day. 

Cheyenne joined Teneo Online School at the start of Grade 10, in the final phase of her high school journey. Why the switch? There were several reasons.


She chose Teneo out of all the high schools in South Africa because it is structured like a bricks and mortar, ‘real-world’ school. With its ‘Live’ school format, Teneo offers live daily lessons led by expert teachers, rather than tutors.


On top of that, Teneo was a total fit for her family. Cheyenne’s father works in Zambia, where Cheyenne now lives. In the past, when the rest of the family lived in SA, his leave didn’t always sync with school holidays and Cheyenne either had to miss out on much-loved family gatherings or miss weeks of schoolwork. With Teneo, she could get the best of both worlds. And it gave her the flexibility to eventually join her father in Zambia.


But more than that, online school gave Cheyenne a chance to pursue her passions in a way that a bricks and mortar school never could. She lives for her photography, and her Instagram feed is filled with wildlife pics taken in the iconic African veld – which she sells online as an entrepreneurial side hustle!


Online school gave her the freedom to get into the bush more frequently, with lessons on the go: “There’s a photo of me with my tablet, attending school while out in the veld!”


But the bush is not only where her heart lies; it’s where she’s headed after school. She’s going to do a three-year course that combines marine guiding with game-ranging, turning her passion into a career path.


So, as she prepares for her final year, we asked her what the online learning experience is like at Teneo, and how she manages to ‘have it all’.

All the details on day-to-day online learning

At a glance, an online school day looks no different to a typical ‘real world’ school day – without the hassle of early morning traffic and time pressure!


6:30 am: Wake up.

7:00 am: Dress, eat breakfast and get ready.

7.30 am: Sit at my desk, open my Teneo calendar and put on music to relax.

7:35 – 7:55 am: Listen to music and jot down important things to do that day

8:00 am: Attend the first class of the day.

2:15 pm: School’s out!

3 – 4 pm: Go to the gym or relax and prepare for the next day.

9 pm: Bedtime.


But the real difference is that Cheyenne’s timetable evolved as she learnt what worked for her and what didn’t. 


Cheyenne recommends taking frequent breaks and limiting after-school screentime is a must. Stepping out into sunlight – natural light – also offers a break from blue light. So it’s important to embrace the power of the pause. 


Cheyenne is also serious about getting a good night’s rest: “Yes, I really do go to bed at 9 o’clock! If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day is really tough.” Sleep, it seems, is one of the secrets to making a success of online schooling.

Discipline and a healthy dose of freedom make all the difference

Cheyenne was first exposed to the online schooling experience during Covid lockdown and had a vague idea of what to expect. But she was totally surprised by the extent to which she could set up her own schedule and determine her day.


“As much as we have a set timetable, I decide what to do during ‘free’ periods,” Cheyenne explains. “Most of the time, I do assignments, but it does break up my day and allows me far more free time than I ever had in my previous bricks and mortar school.”


Cheyenne also uses her free time to chat to friends and grab a lunch, but she’s mindful of the fact that it’s easy to get distracted from schoolwork: “You’re forced to be more disciplined in an online environment. If you don’t, you won’t get very far.”


So, it seems online school really instills self-discipline in students and prepares them for further study after school, in a university or college environment. 


Says Cheyenne, “I had to bite the bullet and accept that I am still in school.” That sense of maturity is baked into the Teneo online learning experience, where students learn not just academic skills but life skills that stay with them long after they leave our school.