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How to Start Your Own Project-Based Microschool

Join our Microschool Meetup!


Introduction


The pandemic had dramatically different effects on families across the United States and they world. While many children suffered during the school lockdowns, the WEquil Family stumbled upon a breakthrough in education that forever changed their lives.


Sumay and her little sister Aila created a learning community called WEquil School in March of 2020. They were ten and seven at the time, but with a little help from their parents found a way to learn far more effectively at home than they were at their top rated elementary school. Their new approach allowed them to learnmuch faster and having a lot more fun in the process.



So the WEquil Family wrote an Open Letter explaining why they left the public education system...building a new school based on the first principles of learning. You can see these principles lived out in the projects at WEquil School and WEquil App. Sumay and Aila made a few videos to share with parents what a particular day might look like although every day is different thanks to the PBL approach.



The journey of the WEquil Family demonstrated a new microschool model that earned the attention of leading minds from top education and technology companies and institutions including GoGuardian, KDAB, Google and Harvard University. Now we want to use this model to empower parents anywhere to create micrschools tailored to their children without relying on a fixed curriculum, grade assignments, or hiring a full-time teacher.



WEquil School employs many revolutionary concepts that together form an ecosystem that enables highly personalized and social engagement with the help of powerful technologies and local community. At the core of WEquil School is a “Learn-By-Doing” philosophy in which most everything students learn is used to create novel and useful projects stored in their “Digital Resume” on WEquil App ... available on the web and any Android and iPhone device.



This approach simultaneously solves many problems and creates many opportunities for students to pursue their passions, teach each other, leverage their strengths, and even make their own money through entrepreneurial endeavors such as selling stories on Kindle, building apps, tutoring, selling products, organizing clubs, growing YouTube channels, publishing on platforms like Medium, and much more.


Student-led projects at WEquil School are both motivating for students to create and allow them to teach each other every Friday during project presentations called "Demo Days". Parents watching Demo Days provide feedback and direction while receiving a much clearer picture of student performance than traditional grades. The growing body of existing and new projects, driven by student interests with encouragement and direction from parents, allows for a dramatic reduction in the reliance on traditional and often outdated curriculums. The more students join the more projects resulting in an ever greater learning environment and support ecosystem.


As the world continues to evolve rapidly, parents are increasingly seeking alternatives to traditional public schools, which often struggle to adapt and provide students with the tools and skills necessary for success. One such alternative is the project-based microschool, an innovative educational model that combines the advantages of a small, personalized learning environment with the power of hands-on, project-based learning.


In this essay, we will explore the reasons behind the growing interest in microschools, the benefits of project-based learning, and how the WEquil ecosystem - including WEquil School, WEquil App, and WEquil Academy - can support parents in creating their own WEquil Academy-style microschools.



Why Parents are Turning to Microschools


In recent years, concerns about public schools have been on the rise, prompting parents to search for alternatives that better align with their children's needs and aspirations. Several factors contribute to these concerns, including issues such as bullying, school shootings, declining academic outcomes, student dissatisfaction, and an outdated curriculum that often fails to keep pace with the skills required for success in today's technology-driven world.



“There is growing, and now nearly universal agreement (except from public teachers unions), that across America, public schools are not providing our children with the skills they’ll need to be successful in life.” - Letter from parents to their public schools


Microschools have emerged as a promising solution to these challenges, offering a more personalized and adaptive approach to education. These small-scale learning environments, typically consisting of a handful of students, provide numerous benefits that directly address the problems plaguing public schools. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Personalized Learning: Microschools allow for a tailored educational experience that caters to each student's strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This individualized approach helps ensure that students remain engaged and motivated, ultimately leading to improved academic outcomes.

  2. Safe and Supportive Environment: With smaller class sizes, microschools can more effectively address and prevent issues such as bullying. Students feel more comfortable and supported in these close-knit communities, fostering a sense of belonging and promoting healthy social development.

  3. Adaptability: Microschools have the flexibility to quickly adopt new teaching methods, technologies, and curricula that better prepare students for success in an ever-changing world. This adaptability enables them to stay at the forefront of educational innovation, ensuring that students are equipped with the tools and skills necessary for the future.

As more parents recognize the advantages of microschools, interest in this alternative education model continues to grow. In the next section, we will delve into the benefits of project-based learning, a key component of many successful microschool programs.


Why Project-Based Learning Works


As parents explore the benefits of microschools, they often encounter the concept of project-based learning (PBL). This innovative approach to education is at the heart of many successful microschool programs and has proven to be highly effective in fostering student engagement, motivation, and knowledge retention.




What is Project-Based Learning?


Project-based learning is an educational approach that emphasizes hands-on, real-world experiences as the primary means of acquiring knowledge and skills. Instead of relying solely on traditional lectures and textbooks, PBL encourages students to work on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity.

The Benefits of Project-Based Learning

  1. Enhanced Retention and Understanding: By actively engaging in the learning process, students are more likely to retain information and gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. This hands-on approach enables them to apply their knowledge in practical ways, resulting in a more meaningful and lasting educational experience.

  2. Increased Motivation and Engagement: Project-based learning empowers students to take ownership of their education by allowing them to pursue topics that interest them. This autonomy and personal connection to the subject matter foster a higher level of motivation and engagement, leading to improved academic performance.

  3. Development of Essential Skills: PBL helps students develop essential skills that are often overlooked in traditional educational settings. By working on real-world projects, students learn valuable skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving – all of which are crucial for success in today's workforce.

  4. Preparation for the Real World: Project-based learning mirrors the challenges and complexities of real-life situations, better preparing students for success beyond the classroom. This exposure to real-world scenarios cultivates adaptability and resilience, equipping students to navigate the ever-changing demands of the modern world.

In the final section, we will explore how the WEquil ecosystem supports and enhances project-based learning in microschools, making it easier for parents to provide their children with a high-quality, personalized education.


How WEquil Can Help


The WEquil ecosystem, comprising WEquil School, WEquil App, and WEquil Academy, is designed to support and enhance project-based learning experiences in microschools. By utilizing the resources and tools provided by the WEquil ecosystem, parents can create a more effective, engaging, and personalized educational environment for their children.

  1. WEquil School Model: The foundation of the WEquil ecosystem is WEquil School, a virtual project-based learning community that emphasizes self-directed, student-driven projects. This model provides an excellent framework for microschools, allowing parents to tailor their children's education based on their individual needs, interests, and strengths. As students work on projects, they gain valuable experience and insights that can be applied to real-world situations.

  2. WEquil App: The WEquil App is a powerful tool that facilitates collaboration, communication, and organization within the WEquil School community. Designed for users aged 13 and up, the app allows students to create digital resumes, virtual learning pods, and virtual classrooms. Parents can also use the app to coordinate with other families, track their children's progress, and access resources to support project-based learning.

  3. WEquil Academy: WEquil Academy, a local+virtual hybrid school model, combines the benefits of local peer groups with the flexibility of virtual learning. By creating their own WEquil Academy-style microschool, parents can take advantage of the entire WEquil ecosystem while maintaining the close-knit, supportive community that microschools offer. This approach allows families to provide their children with a well-rounded, project-based education that caters to their unique needs and aspirations.

In conclusion, the WEquil ecosystem offers parents an accessible and effective way to establish project-based microschools that address the challenges of traditional education systems while fostering a more engaging, personalized learning experience.


By leveraging the resources and support provided by WEquil School, WEquil App, and WEquil Academy, families can create an educational environment that empowers their children to reach their full potential and thrive in today's rapidly evolving world.


We invite you to reach out if you have interest in starting or joining a microschool.


You are invited to our first microschool event on April 8th through the link below. Link: https://www.wequil.school/post/microschool-meetup-april-8th


Sincerely,

WEquil Family






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