When Traditional Schooling Fails: Making the Most of Alternative Education


The verdict is out on the traditional schooling method and they’re looking quite bleak. From standardized testing, to state determined curriculums, to long school days followed by hours of homework, the system is failing our children. Education in the United States looks at students as a single unit expecting everyone to perform at the same competency while taking all the same classes.

Jarring enough from that perspective, we haven’t even yet considered what the kids are experiencing inside the classroom. High pressure, non-individualized expectations from teachers, filtered down from highly removed members of the school board who don’t know the students at a personal level. Your child does not have to experience this! Montessori schools, such as Austin Children’s Academy, takes the initiative to provide a much more personal experience for your child. More attention to your child’s specific needs as well as getting to know each individual student reassures that they won’t be faced with situations that may be found within public schooling.

With public schooling, students may feel disengaged and complain about hating school. This goes against their natural inclination for learning, especially when they’re younger and school is generally fun. They may come home tired as a result from stressful school days. This could lead to lost interests in the things they used to enjoy, particularly creativity. Those are just some of the indications that traditional schooling isn’t working for your child. You can find additional common signs to look for in this great article from Education Revolution: http://www.educationrevolution.org/store/thetensigns/. Your child should never feel this way about schooling. School should be an adventure for learning and growing into the person they want to be. You can help them by considering other educational options that work better for your their interests and learning style. We’ve outlined some of the most common below:

Homeschooling: There are many benefits to homeschooling, with the most obvious being that you choose the curriculum and can hone in on the areas your child may need extra care and attention with. There are a number of resources available to parents who choose to homeschool their children from co-ops, where you can split teaching duties with other parents, to online forums and more. If you have the ability to commit the time to do this, it’s a wonderful way to control the education your child receives. The only loss benefit of this may be socialization.

Private Schooling: Hear us out. Private school can be costly out of pocket, but there are a number of options for securing funding in special circumstances through state voucher programs or private grants that can cover up to 100% of the tuition. There are also many options to pick from that best suit your child’s needs. From charter schools, which create an individualized schooling approach, to Montessori schools, such as the Austin Children’s Academy, which take a whole child approach. Schools such as ACA help bring out your child’s individualism and guide them through the appropriate education to explore the areas in which they excel in. Unlike public schools, this will leave your child feeling happy and excited for their next day of exploration at school.

There are also Waldorf schools, which emphasize traditional academics and arts as well as Sudbury schools, which allow students and parents to take control of the curriculum. You are sure to find a good fit for your child’s needs in this category.

Public: Last but not least, there are alternative public schools available. The most common are magnet schools, which specialize in an expertise (math, technology, science, etc.). A newer emerging trend are virtual public schools, where students receive all class materials to their home and are assigned a teacher to work with them directly under the supervision of a parent.

Don’t settle for traditional schooling if it’s not right for your child. We urge you to explore other options to find the best fit for your child’s interests and learning style to ensure your child succeeds.

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