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27 DEC 2021
What are Some Alternative Education Systems for Middle Schoolers? Let’s find out!
1. World Schooling – “The world is your classroom” is basically how world schooling can be summed up. Students who take part in this education system learn about the world through traveling, and it favors hands-on practical experience as the way to to inspire students rather than sitting them in a classroom. Many organizations offer this as an option over school-term breaks, and programs such as Model United Nations offer this to students by taking them to the Hague to practice their speaking and debating skills. This is a wonderful way for your child to get some hands-on learning and see the world.
2. Unschooling – This form of schooling lets the students choose what they want to learn, using the philosophy that giving pupils agency within their curriculum means that they will be more motivated to pursue their interests. This philosophy is most famously practiced at Summerhill, a school in the UK which follows the Scottish writer A.S. Neil’s philosophy that children should have their own voice and be free of adult authority. While students can choose which classes to take, they are still encouraged to socialize, create, and spend time outdoors. This method of learning makes schooling less stressful, and a study by Psychology Today noted that university students who attended such a school in their earlier years reported no extra academic difficulty than those who followed a more traditional pathway. However, the lack of records (no report cards) and standardized testing may make it difficult for students to see how they compare against peers their age and some universities require such documents in their applications; that means that students at these types of schools have to sit their exams externally.
3. Boarding School – Boarding school is great for students who are very social in nature and desire a strong, established routine and a community feeling. Depending on the school, students can either board during the week and come home for the weekends, or board over the weekends too and come home during term break. The biggest advantages are the school culture and routine: being surrounded by peers their age and building deep friendships on a regular basis; plus, busy parents know that their child is being looked after by professionals at all hours. Students can also study in a curriculum of their choice (depending on the school) if parents must travel abroad for work. However, being separated from family for extended periods of time is not fitting for children of all temperaments, and more introverted students may not fit in well with the super social model of a typical boarding school.
4. Online School – While this became common during the COVID-19 pandemic, online school has existed before the lockdown. For example, The Crimson Global Academy (CGA) is a fully accredited high school in which students can either attend part-time or full time; some students will even decide to get private tutoring online through CGA for each subject rather than attend a physical school. One of the perks of schools like CGA is that students can personalize learning to suit their individual learning styles, while also learning technological skills that will aid their time in the workforce. The disadvantage is that students can be lonely due to a lack of in- person interaction with peers their age; this means that more intrinsic motivation is needed for students to perform well
5. Home School – Like online schooling, this option has students learning from home. However, the major difference is that in homeschooling the teaching is done by the student’s parents, rather than an outside educator. Parents usually follow local curriculums in this case and in some parts of the world students have to take the exams physically in a school for them to be considered as “official”. This is a great option for shy students, those with busy schedules (such as a child gymnast), as well as families living abroad who want their children to follow the curriculum of their home country. However, the parent-child relationship may be compromised as it is fundamentally different from that of a teacher-pupil relationship. It is important therefore that homeschooled students have the chance to interact with peers their age during extracurricular activities or community events.
6. Montessori – An educational system founded by Italian Maria Montessori, the Montessori system is all about building a child’s independence and natural curiosity. While Montessori is normally associated with kindergarten, this approach is still applied at some schools across all grade levels. In fact, our Crimson Rise strategists often use the Montessori approach (“follow the child’s lead) in their own practice with Crimson students, helping their young clients discover their natural interests and skills organically. The Montessori method is fantastic for fostering independence, curiosity, and a natural love of learning, as well as developing a student-centric curriculum.
If your child is unhappy with their current schooling situation, perhaps considering one of the options above is worth your while. Our Crimson Rise strategists would also be happy to help out with ensuring your child selects an option that suits their preferences. Crimson strategists are trained to examine the holistic wellbeing of your child and make suggestions for schooling (from curriculums to extracurricular activities) so that your child’s maximum potential can be reached. Get started on your Crimson journey by enquiring here!
Your friendly neighbourhood Rise blogger,
Learn more about Crimson Rise’s strategic mentorship, academic support, and extracurricular coaching for young students, and request a free consultation on your child’s journey!