Homeschooling - Types of Alternative Education

Generally speaking, alternative education is any non-traditional educational style geared toward children who do not do well in a traditional academic setting.

Sometimes, alternative education is focused toward a particular type of student or group of students - college preparation could be a focus, for example, or environmental education. Even a specific religion may have a form of education that is considered an alternative. Some alternative education is geared toward troubled students or those who have dropped out of school in the past.

One thing that is generally true about all alternative education is that it seeks to offer students a choice of educational style and experience.

Types of Alternative Education

* One type of alternative public education that is becoming more well known is a Charter School. While publicly funded (for the most part), charter schools are something like private schools. Educators can customize the type of learning environment to fit the needs of their particular community. They have been called "schools of choice," probably because Charter Schools offer an alternative to a traditional public school.

Many rules and regulations placed upon public schools do not apply to charter schools.

* Uniquely structured schools such as Waldorf, Montessori, and Paideia schools are alternative educational experiences. These types of schools are usually structured around a particular philosophy or approach.

* Career-themed schools offer education in various careers as well as traditional academic subjects. Career-themed schools may enhance standard school subjects with experience in arts, law, television, radio, teaching, and so forth.

* The school-within-a-school model was inspired by the benefits observed in smaller-scale schooling. Some large schools are "downsized" into mini schools that exist independently within the larger one. The autonomous nature of the school-within-a-school makes it distinct from just a group within the school.

* Homeschooling is a form of private alternative education. Usually, the parent, family member, or friend is the teacher. The parent chooses the curriculum that works best for their child.

* Unschooling also comes under the category of private alternative education. Unschoolers do not necessarily adhere to a curriculum but follow their child's lead in learning style and subject matter.

Alternative education is usually sought by parents or educators who want more opportunity, greater individual attention, and high teaching standards for their students. As public schools continue to be perceived as inadequate, alternative education is on the rise.


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