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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Alternative Schooling for your Child - Knowing the Basics

By Andrew Loh

Alternative schools have been one of the most liked and preferred choices for parents, who seek non-traditional and unconventional type of education for their children. In fact, alternative schooling may provide a varied, at-the-home and broad educational experience to your child. Here are some basic tips for the patents to know and find if their children need an alternative approach to the present children education system:

If you feel and perceive that your child is having some problems of studying in his or her school:

  • Identify and detect the actual problem. Does the problem relate to the classroom itself or is it something else? Gifted children often find traditional classroom very difficult to attend and pay attention to.

  • Check out your children' eating habit and sleep pattern - at times, poor eating and sleeping pattern may affect your children's classroom performance.

  • Help your children to develop a mindset that helps them to stay focused in their classrooms.

  • Make your children develop a positive mindset about the classroom and lessons.

  • Set realistic goals and objectives like - ¡°You will need to finish off the Math homework, before watching that movie on TV¡± or ¡°Finish off that art work before playing video games¡±

  • Identify what makes your children, their strengths and weaknesses and their overall attitude. This will help you know more about your children and their mind.

  • Keep talking positive things to your children - ¡°You can do well¡±, ¡°You are really intelligent¡± and ¡°When you apply your mind, you can be the first in your class¡±

Your child needs an alternative approach to traditional education, when he or she finds it very cumbersome to perform better in their classroom. There are a number of excellent alternatives to a conventional classroom. Most of them offer a number of advantages and benefits to your chidden.

Here are some of the perceived advantages and benefits of using an alternative schooling approach to your children's education.


  • Extreme focus and concentration on children, who are academically performing far below their abilities.

  • Helping those extremely gifted children, who may be facing problems in their classroom.

  • Providing an easy to learn and compatible learning environment that cajoles the children to learn and understand lessons faster and quicker.

  • To provide an interactive mode of delivering lessons, so that the child can also participate in the classroom.

However, like any other systems even this system has some disadvantages linked to it like:

  • Expensive considering the special needs and requirements.

  • Lack of socialization among students.

  • Some parents feel that this system is constricted, as there may not be too many children in the classroom.

  • A radically different course structure that may deviate from the normal.

  • A very high level of competition that could be too overpowering for some children.

Some common examples of alternative schools are:

  • Boarding or residential schools: A live-in type of alternative school, where your child will stay and learn along with other students.

  • Armed Forces school: Children, especially over the age of ten, can study here to learn lessons in military discipline.

  • Private school: An expensive option that provides you higher quality learning environment.

  • Christian school: This is a school that provides theology and principle based education.

  • Montessori School: This is a well-known education model that relies heavily on self-directed learning activities.

  • Carden schools: It is a kind of school that believes in the principle that a phonetically based, language/arts curriculum is essential for proper development children.

  • Core Knowledge schools: These schools believe that every child needs to master an area of knowledge to become a successful person.

  • Progressive schools: Progressive school lays an emphasis on making children learn on their own, with the teacher acting as a facilitator.

  • Reggio Emilio schools: This school runs in a pleasing and stimulating environment and it believes in providing an informal type of education that includes speech, painting, modeling and repetition of concepts.

  • Waldorf schools: These schools are committed in establishing a keen sense of wonder, surprise and respect for learning.

What parents choose is up to their needs and requirements; it is normal for every parent to choose home schooling as their first option, as they can keep a watch on their children and study their progress. Whatever you choose, you may need to ensure that your children is looked after well and in a loving manner. You can even consider enrolling your child back to the same traditional classroom or school, once you confirm that your child has become capable enough to compete with other children in the classroom and perform better academically and scholastically.


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