Tips & Tricks

What is Alternative Education?

There are many ways in which a child can obtain a sound and fruitful education. The most common and well-known method involves traditional classroom settings. In other words, teachers will address a variety of subjects including maths, reading, culture, and grammar. While these approaches are rather straightforward and highly effective due to modern techniques such as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), there can also be times when more targeted strategies are needed.

This often comes in the form of alternative education programmes. Although this phrase is used quite often, you might be surprised to learn that relatively few actually know what it entails. Let’s, therefore, take a quick look at alternative education techniques as well as some of the benefits that this type of structured learning may have to offer.

Alternative Education: A Basic Definition

Alternative education is essentially any form of instruction that differs from mainstream methodology. The main point is to provide children with more targeted and personalised opportunities that might not always be available in regard to standard forms of education.

There are several reasons why parents and/or teachers might prefer this methodology. One involves a student who has special needs (such as attention deficit disorder). There could also be times when a child is far more advanced than his or her peers. In this case, alternative settings can provide unique opportunities to learn the more complicated subject matter. 

What Types of Alternative Approaches May be Used?

You might have already guessed that there are many types of alternative education. For instance, a technique known as Artful Learning incorporates arts into all educational subjects. Others involve focusing more on student-teacher relationships within smaller classroom settings. Many professionals now classify home schooling as a form of alternative education.

Regardless of the exact methods employed, teachers and caregivers will still need to keep a close eye on the student in question. Regularly speaking with parents, proactively monitoring progress with cutting-edge techniques such those described in the EYFS assessment article here, and noting any areas that may require more attention are all effective strategies. 

The Potential Advantages

There are some interesting benefits associated with alternative forms of education. For instance, it is often able to embrace a more student-centered approach. This is highly crucial when addressing individuals who have learning disabilities. Other possible advantages include:

  • Access to more extracurricular activities.
  • An inclusive environment. 
  • It may be easier to identify talents as well as weaknesses.
  • Students can become highly motivated when presented with personally relevant methods.

It has even been shown that graduation rates attributed to alternatively educated students are higher when compared to standard approaches. 

Of course, not every child will require an alternative education to excel. This is why it is a good idea to speak with teachers and similar professionals if you suspect that such an approach might make a difference. After all, the value of an education cannot be overstated!

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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