Since the age of industrialisation, school has been a daily routine for children all over the world, and we now accept that every child has the right to an education.
But what happens when your child doesn’t fit into the traditional school environment?
All children are different. They don’t just look and act differently, they also learn differently. Our current mainstream school method has a reasonable success with most of the kids who go through it, but every now and again, there will be a kid who just doesn’t fit. Or, there will be a parent who feels like their child isn’t getting what they should be from their education. There are lots of reasons for this, and many are valid for the people involved, and necessitate a change of attitude.
In cases like these, parents often find themselves exploring other schooling options, just to see if something else might suit their child better. Don’t worry, there are options available! We’ve put together a few for you to look at.
1. Alternative Schools
When we think of schooling, we have a pretty good idea of the kind of thing we’re talking about. A traditional classroom setting with traditional subjects, children in uniform and an orderly and conformed way of assessment and testing. This is the norm for many Australian public and private school. However, not all schools are like this.
Alternative schools like Montessori and Steiner schools are certainly worth looking into if you’re wanting your child to get something different out of their education. Both are very different from traditional school system, with Steiner focusing on the growth of a child intellectually and spiritually, and Montessori focusing on a ‘child-led’ learning style.
You will need to contend with the school fees, but your child will have an opportunity to receive a high level of education that is very much apart from the mainstream learning style in this country.
2. School Of The Air/Distance Education
School of the air or distance education is another option for your child’s education. Essentially, this option sits between mainstream schooling and homeschooling. You’re provided with materials and a curriculum to follow, and your child has a teacher available via the internet. However you’re able to follow these materials at home, and some negotiations are available on the changing of the curriculum to suit your child’s interests and individual needs.
Being educated by distance has been a reality for children in remote areas of Australia for many years, and the system functions very efficiently. With the internet as well, there are lots of options for your child to be involved in a ‘virtual classroom’ experience. Many of the distance education centres also do ‘school camp’ scenarios where your child can travel to the home base of the school for a week connecting with other students.
Before you commit to the idea of distance education, check for laws specific to your state. Some states require that distance education learners be living in a remote area, or that they have a legitimate reason for not being able to attend a mainstream school.
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