The COVID pandemic has affected every area of life, and schooling for children has seen some of the most significant changes. One model that has emerged in recent years is microschooling. What exactly are microschools? Here are five characteristics that distinguish this type of educational institutional from more traditional models.
Microschools are available for K-12 children, but the class sizes are much smaller than even private schools. A typical microschool may have as few as 10 students in total or as many as 150 students. Class sizes are designed to provide children with a more personalized and interactive experience, so the individual class sizes are very small compared to public and private schools.
Public schools are funded with state and federal tax dollars. Microschools mimic the funding structure of private schools. Parents pay a tuition for their children to attend the school, and the cost may be $4,000 or more per year. As such, microschools tend to be limited in the socioeconomic status of their students. Some locations offer access to microschooling on a voucher basis, and the voucher are funded with state tax dollars.
Because microschools are funded with tuition from parents, the curriculums may not be as diverse as public and large private schools. Classes may not be available for music, art, or drama, and the schools may not offer any type of sports for students.
Public and private schools have been around for hundreds of years. Microschools are very new. Parents are the motivating force behind the establishment of this alternative educational program. As such, microschools are not available in every part of the country.
Some research has been conducted to determine the benefits of public, private, charter, and microschools. The results of these studies shows that there is very little difference in student performance between these types of educational institutions. This is not the reason why parents seek microschools for their children, though. Parents are more concerned with the way schools managed the pandemic, specifically with the requirement for remote and online learning. Microschools seem to offer education of equal quality in an environment that provides the social interactions that children need. Additionally, microschools offer this education in a setting that is naturally equipped to reduce the risk of COVID exposure due to the smaller class sizes.