Starting My Own (Very Tiny) School?
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  1. #1
    AngelMacaroni is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Lightbulb Starting My Own (Very Tiny) School?

    Hello! I have worked with kids for many years, usually as an aide. I recently got my special ed teaching degree. However, I couldn't find a teaching job for this school year. I think a big reason why I couldn't find a job is because the people who interviewed me were focused on assessments, assessments, assessments, and asked me about my knowledge of scripted curriculums. My own focus is more on creating engaging lesson plans, getting kids excited about learning, and helping kids learn to love reading instead of just drilling them on phonics. I also am more tolerant of kids who need to stand up or lay down while doing their work, kids who need to be moving and talking, and kids with different learning styles and special needs.
    I've been dreaming of opening an independent school for kids who learn differently and just aren't happy in traditional school settings. It would be a small school that would sort of mimic homeschooling or "unschooling." It would still have some basic rules and structure, but kids wouldn't be confined to desks or have to stand in single file lines. In fact, I would want the physical environment to resemble a home, where kids could sit on the couch or sprawl out on a bean bag during a read aloud, help themselves to drinks and healthy snacks when they were hungry or thirsty, and spend a lot of time outdoors each day.

    I imagine starting with a group of about 5 kids in kindergarten through second grade, and the group could grow a little as time went on. I would love to someday make this a reality... I'd rather wait until I have more funds and more teaching experience, but if I don't get a teaching job by next school year, I might just start working on it sooner!

    I'm always hearing about taking steps towards your dream by writing about it, seeking info, etc, so I thought I'd ask you for input. 1. Hypothetically speaking (since the school doesn't exist yet) if this school was in your area, would you be interested in having your child go there? 2. In a perfect world I'd have a grant to cover the cost of the building and supplies, salary for a second teacher or an assistant, my own living expenses, etc. But if the school did charge a monthly fee per student , how much would you expect or be willing to pay per month? 3. If you were considering this school for your child, what questions and concerns would you have for the person in charge?

    I'd love to hear your answers, and any other thoughts you might have! Thanks so much!

    __________________

  2. #2
    Regener8ted is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Aug 2013
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    Hello. My name is Rhonda, and I'd be very interested in your school. I live in DuPage County, and currently home school 6 kids with 3 different age groups and multiple learning styles. It's been 5 years in the running, but sometimes it still feels like we're just getting started. I really like your idea. I believe my kids would as well. We've tried just about every method there is and still end up back at the beginning ("Where do we go from here?")

    I have only a high school diploma, and never saw myself with six kids and home schooling them. I had no desire to go to college. I wanted to travel, so I joined the military. That was during a time when it was almost considered a cardinal sin to not want to go to college. Nevertheless, I took the path less traveled, and I'm glad I did. And so it is with home schooling.
    I want to encourage you not to lose hope on your dream. I believe God put it there, because He knew that there would be a need for something just like this, at a time like this! Dare to take the road less traveled. Pray and ask God to make your dream a reality. If He planted the seed, he'll water it as well so that the dream won't die. He waters with words of encouragement. Sometimes when we don't see any signs of life we tend to lose hope. When we can't see our way through, (and no money to make it happen) we can become discouraged.

    I think you're right. Its not all about the books, the tests/exams, and assessments. It's about the child as an individual. Each child needs a more personalized education designed to encourage them to excel in their strengths and what interest them. I'm finding that sometimes they may not be interested in a particular subject until they get old enough to start asking questions about it. If we pay attention to the types of questions being asked over a period of time, we can usually find an opening of interest.

    I share your thoughts on engaging lesson plans and helping kids develop a love for learning. I'm always encouraging mine to find out what interest them, and check it out. If they find that it really isn't for them, or what they thought it would be, that's okay. They can always try something else. It's okay to "not know" what you want to do before you start searching. But you have to start somewhere. You'll really never know until you do.

    I also like your idea of having a more "homey" environment. Maybe you could start out asking parents who want to participate what they can contribute (time, money, supplies, furniture, etc.). I have no idea the amount per child. Do you plan to provide a full curriculum or just specialize in certain subjects? I think between that, and how much work you're having to put into it everyday would be considered in the monthly cost. People like to know what they're getting for their money. These are just a few things that come to mind. I don't want to overwhelm you with thoughts, but I'd be glad to be a sounding board for you and help in any way I can. I hope to hear back from you. Your dream/idea is very refreshing to hear!

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