Finding the right educational institution for the child is the paramount concern of almost all parents, especially when they have a young and developing child.
Schools during the early stages of development, go beyond academics and provide children with the right tools to achieve age-appropriate milestones.
From fine motor and gross motor development to the development of the requisite social as well as emotional skills, schools provide children with the right path to optimum success.
But, due to Covid 19 and all educational institutions being shut down due to precautionary measures, schooling has never been the same.
With most schools opting for taking classes and assessments online, the educational process for the past few years has changed drastically.
While online classes are a way of educating children, they do not promote physical and social development in children.
To help your child achieve age-appropriate milestones, different alternatives have been developed, Microschools being an effective substitute among them all.
But what is a Microschool exactly, are they really beneficial, and can you set up your very own Microschool?
To help clear your confusion here is all you need to know about Microschools to determine whether or not this educational alternative is meant for your child.
What is a Microschool?
If you have been in search of some effective homeschooling alternative, you might have come across the concept of Microschooling.
Miscroschooling is the reinvention of the traditional schooling method of one-room schoolhouses where the classes are smaller than in traditional school classrooms and encompass only 10 to 15 students.
These classrooms are ideally mixed-age level classrooms where children of different age groups are promoted to cooperate and collaborate in collective activities.
In terms of educational techniques, most Microschools follow the same project-based learning pattern to promote a more personalized and individualized learning experience.
In a Microschool, children are able to have a closer academic relationship with adults in the environment, where the adult acts more as a facilitator or a guide.
Microschools, unlike traditional educational institutions, are student-centered to allow the child to develop at their own pace.
History of Microschool:
The concept of Microschooling began in the United Kingdom in the form of a small-scale independent school.
This school had private funding with no dedicated premises (house rotations) and was initiated by like-minded parents as well as full-time paid tutors.
The term Micrschooling was first termed by Cushla Barry in the year 2010, which also inspired other educational writers like Anya Kementz who noted the rebirth of the one-room schoolhouse.
In the United States, the concept of Microschooling developed as an alternative to public and private schooling costs in 2010.
The movement in the United States was funded by a group of parents and learners who understood the importance of personalized learning.
What you should know about Microschools?
The educational system as a whole is vast, and broad, and encompasses myriads of educational tools or philosophies that lead your child on a path to maximum success.
It can be quite hard to identify a microschool, as each microschool has its distinct set of characteristics, however, they share some common traits such as personalized educational curriculum, mixed-age level classrooms, and student-centered learning process to facilitate holistic education in children.
Teachers in a Microschool can be professional educators or they can be insightful adults who act as a facilitator or a guide on the basis of a systematically structured curriculum.
Unlike homeschooling institutions, Microschools do not require any accreditation, instead, they need to be registered as business cooperation.
It can be quite tricky to determine how many Microschools there are in the United States due to the lack of an accreditation body.
The basic rules and regulations in each Microschool can vary drastically, however, some states in the U.S. such as West Virginia and Wisconsin are on their path to setting up legislation to structurally define what a Microschool is.
Microschools cater to the K-12 educational requirements that encompass elementary, middle school, and high school levels.
If you want to enroll your child into a non-accredited Mircoshool that is either private, public, or K-12 charter school, your child will have to take a standardized test to prove they are fit for the program.
Are Microschools better than Regular schools?
There is not enough evidence and research on the fact that Microshools are more effective than traditional educational institutions.
However, based on some of the research done on the differences between public schools and private schools, slight differences have been identified in the outcome of the pupil’s overall development process.
These differences can also be linked to Mircoschool, although the differences can be different based on the wide variations between the Microschools in the U.S.
Are there different types of Microschools?
As a matter of yes, there are some distinctions between Microschools across the United States.
While some Microschools can be local, independent, and small-scale, others belong to full corporations or larger networks such as Acton Academy and Prenda.
Microschools can be run in almost any place at home, from the living room, bedrooms, homeschool classrooms, or in public places such as libraries or churches.
How is education facilitated in a Microschool?
Microschool is a small-scale educational institution often set in a home or a public place like a library or a church.
Microschools have about 10 to 15 students in mixed-age level classrooms, although some bigger corporations can have up to 150 students in a class.
Teachers in a Microschool have teachers that act as guides and facilitators to provide children with the right tools to develop their critical thinking through goal-orientated activities.
Heavy emphasis is laid upon Socratic Dialogue, project-based learning, and even E-learning to help your child become a seeker of knowledge.
What are the benefits of Microschools?
Microschools although small-scaled education institutions pack myriads of benefits that help your child become a well-rounded individual.
Microschools are unconventional and eccentric for those who are not familiar with alternative methods of education.
To help you understand what are the key benefits of enrolling your child into a Microschool program are delineated below:
- The main benefit of enrolling your child into a Microschool is the personalized educational structure that allows the child to develop their inner potential at their own pace.
- Another benefit of enrolling your child into a Microschool is the cost of the institution. A Microschool that specializes in particular fields of learning will still cost less than a private school.
- Microschools do not have standardized testing strategies or rigid curricula that often limit the child’s learning experience. Instead, children in a Microschool are promoted to learn at their own pace by performing goal-oriented tasks.
- Lastly, Microschools do not limit your child’s learning experience to a desk and a chair.
- Children in a Microschool are promoted to utilize modern technology through E-Learning, promoting them to keep up with the ever-developing modern technology.
What is the cost of a Microschool?
The cost of Microschools vary significantly based on the State of the country, however, the cost of attending a Microschool can cost somewhere between $4,000 to $25,000 per year.
While most Microschools serve families and students who can afford the program, other Microschool programs also tend to serve low-income families.
How to start your own Mircoschool?
Before launching your very own Microschool, it is important to note that these educational institutions are not cheap to run, due to a lack of students.
When you are launching your very own microschool it is important to consider multiple legal, financial, and even philosophical aspects.
Unlike a traditional homeschooling institution when you decide to launch your very own Microschool, you will have to register as a business corporation as well as a private educational institution.
Before launching your Microschool it is also imperative to research state regulations, licensing regulations, insurance policies, and attendance of students in the school.
Other than legal and financial requirements, you will also have to build the Microschools reputation and identity in the public eye to promote students as well as parents to join your institution.
Lastly, you need to determine the school or tuition costs, develop a systematic curriculum, and rent or buy a space to run your institution.