For most parents, the education of their child is one of the most important things in their lives. It’s a ticket to a good life, a means to make sure that your kid grows up to become a skilled, clever individual who knows how to handle anything life throws at them. We all understand how important it is to become educated, to develop our minds and learn things that will help us get better jobs, have higher paycheques, and find our own place in the overcrowded world of today. But what to do if your child doesn’t fit the standard moulds, if you fear that their surroundings won’t stimulate their intellectual growth?
We all have different needs and approaches to learning, so expecting every single kid to fit into one type of educational system is a little bit insane. For parents and teachers both, it’s important to know what other options are out there, because we must nurture the individuality of our children, and help them find a way to thrive.
From magnet and charter schools, to online schools, there are so many variations of the educational plan and programme that anyone can find something to suit their needs. What are alternative schools, you may ask? Well, these are simply the kind of schools that don’t have a completely traditional approach to education. Ways in which this manifests are different from school to school. Some hold their classes in the evening or have flexible schedules for those who have jobs and families to think about. Some schools don’t give grades, but detailed evaluations of the child’s work. Some have smaller class sizes, and some are specifically equipped to provide good emotional support and counselling.
These kinds of systems are an excellent choice for children with learning disabilities, children who need more attention from a tutor, or simply those who want a more creative, less confining approach to education. In truth, anyone can find a place simply because there are so many different types of alternative schools. So, if you have a child with specific needs and problems this can be perfect. If your kid finds school boring and non-challenging because every class is too easy, these are places that can satisfy even the most curious, knowledge-hungry mind. The biggest issue with these schools is the fact that quality can vary greatly. Basically, you need to do your research and check the school’s background thoroughly before you decide to sign your kid up. Keep an eye out for famous alternative methods such as the Montessori, the Waldorf/Steiner, the Reggio Emilia and the Sudbury.
The approach that gets the worst reputation, homeschooling has long been thought as something that bad, overzealous parents force upon their kids and end up creating awkward, socially ill-adjusted individuals that can’t handle the world. In truth, countries such as Australia have over 30,000 homeschooled kids, and this number is on the rise. There are different reasons why people choose this method, from frequent travelling and different philosophical approaches to education, to increased dissatisfaction with public schools. This is a good choice for children who face too much bullying, who have special needs, or in case you want to have more control over what your child learns and how they go about it. The biggest flaw of homeschooling is that it requires a lot of time, patience, and exceptional organizational skills. In Australia, children from ages of 6 to 17 must be registered as schooled or homeschooled, so you have to prepare a programme and bear in mind that there are strict regulations and guidelines that need to be respected.
Keeping your child’s social life in mind is also important. Kids need their friends, so make sure to talk to other parents who homeschool and create a system where the children get to meet and play often. Organize events and school trips – don’t let them lack anything that a public school might offer. There are reliable school bus hires in Sydney
and many other cities, so regardless of where you’re from, ask around and invest time in developing methods and creating an environment in which your child can learn with happiness and ease.
Look, you know your child best, and you know whether they can pull something off or not. This article isn’t meant to bash public schools at all, merely to offer a different perspective and to make you aware of other choices. Traditional systems are still pretty great for a lot of children, and the challenges they face can actually help some of the children grow and learn better. However, there are other options out there, so it’s important to communicate and understand the needs and wants of your own kid. Sometimes, traditional schooling is the best choice, and sometimes it isn’t. The point is, learn about what else is out there and consider it. Your kid will be grateful to you in the future.
Education is a tricky business, but it’s one of the most important aspects of your child’s life. Help them find the right way to learn the things that they need to learn and create an atmosphere that will stimulate their intellect. You don’t even know what kind of progress your child might make if only given the right tools and environment.