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The traditional education system, with its standardized curricula, lack of practical learning opportunities, and hierarchical structures, has been a subject of debate for decades. Digital learning tools continue to expand making it ever easier to personalize learning to the individual strengths and needs of children. As our economy continues to evolve beyond the industrial revolution that brought us public schools, many parents and educators are searching for alternative methods to better prepare today's students for the future. One such approach is the microschool—a small-scale, innovative educational model that is quickly gaining popularity. This essay will explore the benefits of microschools, focusing on their potential to revolutionize the educational landscape for WEquil Academy and beyond.
One of the most significant benefits of microschools is their ability to offer personalized learning experiences. Without the constraints of a standardized curriculum such as the Common Core, educators can more effectively tailor their instruction to the individual needs of each student. Much of these curriculums is not directly assessed in standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) which focuses on reading, writing, and arithmetic. This reality gives microschools a lot of freedom to personalize learning to individuals' unique strengths and preferences without sacrificing access into higher education. Moreover, a customized approach allows students to progress at their own pace, allowing for customized support and challenges to better prepare them academically and for life more generally.
Healthier and Broader Relationships
Strong relationships are critical for fostering a positive learning environment. This applies between students, students with teachers, and students relations to the public. In a microschool setting, educators have the opportunity to develop more natural and meaningful relationships across all three categories. Students in public schools are often not allowed to speak to each other in class or exercise judgment in determining when and with whom to collaborate. Students are also under the constant impression that they may only learn from teachers. This stands in contrast to the real world where managers and team leaders reward those that take responsibility to help guide their team and exercise initiative and creative problem solving. Students in public schools are also shielded from their community where they could be growing valuable practical skills and relationships. Microschools have the freedom to address these problems head on by offering opportunities for students to grow all three sets of relationships more naturally … motivated by practical opportunities to create value that appeal to the interests of students.
Microschools often prioritize curricular flexibility, enabling educators to adapt the student experience to better align with students' interests and goals. The wide range and flexibility of digital platforms like Khan Academy make tracking student progress far easier to track making personalized approaches less costly. Digital platforms such as YouTube, Medium, Amazon, and WEquil.App allow students to safely engage in more entrepreneurial and real world projects. Experience from applying knowledge to create real world value is a powerful way for students to not only retain what they are learning, but earn income in the process.All of this flexibility promotes a sense of ownership and engagement among students rarely seen or experienced by children that have little or no autonomy over their public school driven lives that cost them more in terms of time than a full time job. Microschools can give children a chance to shape their own curriculum, helping them feel more ownership and connection to their educational journey.
Real World Learning Environment
Microschools often emphasize collaboration and project-based learning, which encourages students to work together, problem-solve, and think critically. This approach not only fosters essential teamwork and communication skills but also enables students to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. By participating in collaborative projects, students can develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and create lasting connections with their peers. By contrast, students in public schools are notoriously bad at retaining knowledge. The reason should be clear to any adult asked to learn something without any immediate practical application in their own lives. Learning by doing feels more natural to students because it is the way humans have learned since recorded history.
Microschools often prioritize a holistic approach to education, recognizing that students' academic, social, emotional, and physical development are interconnected. This emphasis on well-rounded growth can lead to a more inclusive and nurturing learning environment, where students feel valued and supported in all aspects of their development. Students in public school provide no material value for the school. Most everything they create is thrown away after being tallied or graded. Without adding value or any sense of real world accomplishment, it is challenging for children to mature into adults. Moreover, by engaging in activities such as mindfulness practices, physical exercise, and community service, teenagers can develop essential life skills and become well-rounded individuals…a destination that by definition can never be standardized.
Microschools offer a unique and innovative educational model that holds significant promise for teenagers in Virginia and beyond. By providing personalized learning experiences, fostering strong student-teacher relationships, promoting curricular flexibility, and emphasizing collaboration and holistic development, microschools have the potential to transform the educational landscape. As more families and educators consider the benefits of this approach, microschools may become an increasingly popular and effective alternative to traditional schooling.
We are starting our own microschool called WEquil Academy. Sign Up for an invitation to our first meetup with interested parents on April 8th at Founders Row in Falls Church. Our first order of business will be to listen to you so that we can buy a suitable property.
Co-Founder of WEquil Group
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