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I had what I would call a relatively normal childhood in societal standards. I was raised in a normal home, in a normal neighbourhood, and went to a normal school. I had a decent experience in the public school system. But nothing was outside of the box. It was predictable, scheduled, and allowed little space for individuality or time to do the things I wanted to do. I sometimes look back and wonder what it would have been like if I had been exposed to an alternative schooling environment. And after doing my own critical thinking about the style of education I want for my children, I started my own research and realised there are so many alternative schooling resources out there.
While the pandemic was the biggest 3 year burden on so many accounts, with it came the emergence of so many unique schooling options. And flexible educational arrangements. And now, more than ever, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding outside-of-the-box schooling for our kids.
I understand that education is a very personal (and circumstantial) choice that parents have to make for their little ones. There is no ‘one best‘ way to educate a child. Every child is so different and where one might thrive, another may not. So use this information as a starting point to do your own research and to learn more about the different education options available in your area.
Unschooling is the concept that children are lifelong learners and will steer their own path of self-directed learning based on their interests, in their own time. Rather than following a set curriculum, they promote learning through living in real-world settings.
Worldschooling is an educational movement centred around travel and immersing the kids in worldly experiences and culture. This can be done through travel alone, or by participating in curated worldschooling hubs, joining travelling schools, or spending time in camps / activities around the globe.
Homeschooling is education in the comfort of your home following a set curriculum or meeting educational benchmarks. this can be done by a parent, a private tutor, or by joining a joint homeschool hub or co-op.
Usually called forest school or nature school, most often for preschool-aged children. which takes places entirely outdoors in nature. kids learn through play, exploration, and supported risk taking to build confidence, resilience, and a connection to mother nature.
Self-paced education in an environment adapted to children’s needs which allows them to follow their own curiosity and direct their learning. They are guided by age-appropriate hands on activities which emphasises independence and practical life skills.
A holistic style of education intended to develop pupils’ intellectual, artistic, and practical skills. Imaginary play is seen as the catalyst through which the child grows and develops. Children are grouped in multi-age cycles, there’s lots of artistic activity and physical movement to unify the spirit, soul, and body.
Open and free-flowing learning spaces that enable uninterrupted exploration, and play. children are encouraged to pursue their own interests and participate in self-directed learning while in relationship-driven, collaborative environments. They believe in an inclusive, village-style approach that engages children, parents and the community as all being essential components to the learning process.
A group of likeminded families that come together to share joint classes, outings, or activities among their homeschooled kids to provide resources and support to one another.
A small, privately run school that’s often described as “outsourced homeschooling” or a “mid-point” between traditional schooling and homeschooling. They’re run by local guides / instructors within the community. This style of community pod education became popular during the pandemic and now there are hundreds available in communities across the states.
A public school that operates as a school of choice. They commit to obtaining specific educational objectives in return for a charter to operate a school. They’re exempt from significant state or local regulations related to operation and management but otherwise adhere to regulations of public schools.
An online school teaches students entirely through virtual classes following a curriculum from home. Great for self-directed learners and those looking for ultimate time flexibility.
Also known as ‘hybrid learning’, is an approach to education combining online classes with opportunities for interaction in face-to-face instruction. it’s utilisation of technology allows for greater flexibility of school schedules
Education requirements are different in every country / state. So I can’t give universal advice on unconventional schooling and how it paves a path for a child’s potential college enrolment (should they choose that route). But here are some helpful resources to look into.
Did you find these alternative schooling resources helpful? Let us know if you have any questions!
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