This was just after No Child Left Behind was passed and, let me tell you, I saw heaps of children left behind.
My fellow educators and I tried to get these children the help that they needed, but the system made things difficult.
Just because they don’t qualify for an IEP or a 504 doesn’t mean they don’t need support.
The fact of the matter is that everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses.
Children are unique little beings and they are not meant to fit into boxes.
Years later, when my oldest son was in kindergarten, the school failed to meet his needs. Eventually, we fell into homeschooling. His smile returned almost immediately. My husband and I have no doubt that this was the right choice for him.
This year, my daughter asked to attend kindergarten and, while I had some concerns, we let her go.
A few months into kindergarten, she wrote an amazing manifesto and asked to come home and we welcomed her with open arms. She is now learning all of the things she wanted to learn but couldn’t in the public school setting.
This fall, our youngest will technically be starting kindergarten. Registration was a few months back and we didn’t attend. We have decided that we don’t need a third strike. We’re out.
Homeschooling is certainly not for everyone, but it has been a blessing for us.
It is hard to beat personalized learning.
The Case for Personalized Learning
*Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own and I only choose to review resources that I think others will enjoy.
When fellow GHF blogger Jade Rivera asked me if I’d like a copy of her new book, Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget (Perspective in Gifted Homeschooling), I said yes. I have a lot of respect for Jade and all she has done for the gifted community. And, while I have heard of micro-schools, I have always wanted to learn more about how they function and how they might help children whose needs are not met in the public education system.
Jade did not disappoint, folks. I read this book one sunny Saturday afternoon. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I devoured this book one sunny Saturday afternoon.
In Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget (Perspective in Gifted Homeschooling), Jade starts off by sharing her experience as a gifted child, adolescent, and adult. As she chronicles the many bumps in her road, changes in direction, and how she ultimately found herself as a passionate advocate for micro-schools, you find yourself feeling incredibly thankful for Jade.
Did that just sound completely cheesy? Maybe. But the truth is: Far too many gifted children spend their entire childhoods misunderstood.
Jade gets gifted and I wish every gifted kid out there had a Jade.
Jade devotes several chapters of Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget (Perspective in Gifted Homeschooling) to explaining the gifted population, what it means to be twice-exceptional, and how all of this impacts the entire family unit. Jade has a deep understanding of and concern for gifted families as a whole.
Then, it’s time to talk micro-schools. In essence, micro-schools provide small group learning opportunities in either a full or part-time capacity. Reminiscent of the one-room school house of old, a micro-school is a viable alternative for families who are unhappy with the public education setting but also do not want to go the private school or homeschool route.
As I read, I couldn’t help but think that micro-schools would provide a nice space for gifted homeschoolers who are having trouble fitting in at local homeschool co-ops. In particular, I love the emphasis that Jade places on the social-emotional development and health of her students. In an age in which public schools teach to the test, leaving many behind, Jade’s approach to micro-schools is refreshing. Jade highlights the importance of meeting the unique needs of the whole child, not just his or her intellectual functioning. There is no child left behind here.
Creating your own micro-school may seem daunting, but Jade outlines the steps you will need to take in order to create a school that works for your unique gifted community and its families. Micro-schools are, by nature, flexible and Jade describes the various ways they can be used and provides tools to help you get started.
Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget (Perspective in Gifted Homeschooling) is a thoughtful and important book that is sure to inspire. I recommend it to anyone interested in education, giftedness, or alternative education. Or to anyone who wishes every gifted kid out there had a Jade.
Are you interested in micro-schools and the rise of alternative education?
Now, it’s your turn. Do you have any experience with micro-schools? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram