An increasingly popular option for education is a solution that’s not quite home school and not quite private school. Microschooling may have its origins in the one-room schoolhouse of years past, but its approach to schooling is anything but antiquated. More than just a buzz word, read on to learn about the history of microschools, what they look like today, and if microschooling is a good option for you and your family.
A microschool is a small school that provides blended learning (a combination of both in-person and online instruction) in a technology-rich learning environment. According to Don Soifer, head of the National Microschooling Center (visit their site here), “microschools are innovative, small learning environments….They convene in commercial or nonprofit space, private homes, places of worship. Microschools can be organized as learning centers supporting home schoolers, private schools—accredited and unaccredited—or other ways.”
Microschools are typically 15-30 students, but some can be as large as 150 students. Often microschools offer a blended learning experience: students in a technology-rich environment learn both virtually and in-person. Instead of traditional teachers, microschools usually use facilitators, putting the focus on individualized and personalized instruction. Thus, as Soifer continues: “Many people feel microschooling derives its transformative potential from the ability to be created around the needs of the particular learners they serve.”
It’s impossible to know the true beginnings of microschooling, but one thing is for certain: the 2020 pandemic caused them to skyrocket in popularity. As parents and teachers became increasingly frustrated with remote learning and/or school closures, they looked to other options. Microschooling allowed parents to step outside traditional schooling methods without having to take on the mantle of home schooling their children themselves. For other parents, microschooling is a better fit for their children on the autism spectrum or diagnosed with ADHD than traditional public or private schools.
Microschools share similarities with both home schools and private schools but occupy a space between them. Microschools don’t need accreditation, unlike private schools. However, they do need to be registered as a business, unlike home schools. Microschools can get public funding, too, further blurring the lines between educational options. Like home schools and private schools, microschools cater to students from K4-12, covering all students from elementary through high school. Like private schools, microschools can be run by a larger company, even one with a franchising model. Or, like home schools, microschools can be as informal as gathering in a local home. Tuition costs for microschooling varies widely, and some microschool programs are funded through school voucher programs.
Microschools are a fantastic option for parents who are looking for quality education outside of the traditional schooling system, especially when home schooling is not an option. Microschooling is best for proactive learners who best learn by going at their own pace with personalized attention.
Britestar Christian offers a comprehensive range of K4-12 online courses taught by credentialed educators in a virtual or blended setting. Britestar provides an affordable Christian school solution by pairing Britestar teachers with paraprofessional facilitators in the classroom itself. Here’s how it works – one in-person classroom aide facilitates the learning environment, while virtual instructors teach varying ages and grade levels.
Think microschooling might be right for you? Britestar Christian seeks to provide affordable, Christian microschool solutions for communities across the United States. To learn more about Britestar, go to https://britestarvirtual.com/microschools/ or call 850-824-1333.