Every child is special. As a parent, you probably know this more than anybody. Most children will be sent to conventional schools that teach from a national curriculum and are focused on developing a child’s academic potential. There are, however, some alternative educational options to consider. Here are some of the less conventional educational pathways you can send your children down.
Steiner education is based around the idea that a child should receive a holistic education – not just an academic one. Steiner schools treat the artistic, creative, and spiritual desires of students with just as much encouragement as their traditional classroom achievements. Steiner education is great for kids who show an interest in the arts but who falter under the strict guidelines of a national curriculum. There are over 1100 Steiner schools in 64 different countries. Most of these schools are not run by the state: they cost money to enroll in. This is something that has drawn criticism, as it seems to counteract the idea that the schools exist in order to allow all children to reach their potential – something that the Waldorf Steiner group claims as part of its mission.
In the early 1900s, Italian physician Maria Montessori developed a new form of education based around supportive environments, self-determination, and independence. She envisioned a school that encouraged children to follow their natural drive to learn whilst eschewing grades and tests. Her ideas caught on, and the Montessori method she developed is followed by independent schools all around the globe. If your child has previously been educated conventionally, they may find Montessori school to be a big change. Make sure to prepare them for their new educational experience.
If you hold your faith close to your heart, then it is likely you will consider sending your children to a religious, educational institution. These schools are not always entirely based on religious fervor. Instead, they offer a regular curriculum interspersed with religious teaching, prayer, and cultural studies. There are plenty of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian schools in the UK, and smaller numbers of schools are set up along other religious grounds.
Some children really benefit from routine and structure in their educational careers. Military academies usually offer education subsidized by the Ministry of Defense. In the UK, military schools are few and far between. The Duke Of York’s Royal Military School is the largest. Children learn from the regular curriculum but have training days and a strict regimen aimed at helping them get the best out of life. Not every child that goes through military school has to become an officer or soldier.
Homeschooling, once the preserve of a select few parents dissatisfied with the education system, is now widespread. The pandemic has forced many schools to close, meaning that education has become the responsibility of parents more than ever before. This has led to some unique challenges and some incredible technological innovations on behalf of parents and educators.