Kinds of Schools

Private schools are just as varied as public schools. From Catholic to progressive, military to special needs, private schools offer a lot of options. Take a comprehensive look into the many types of private schools, weigh the pros and cons of each, and get helpful tips on choosing one that works best for your child.
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Progressive schools are different from traditional schools. Their educational philosophies and teaching methods are different. Because there are so few progressive schools, relatively speaking - only about 75 schools call themselves progressive - most people are surprised when they discover that these schools exist. Here then are five facts about progressive schools which we hope will encourage you to find out more about progressive education.

1. Most progressive schools don't issue report cards.
Professor John Dewey disliked the notion of children sitting in rigid rows listening to a teacher, memorizing facts and regurgitating those facts on command. Dr. Dewey felt that students needed to learn by doing. Implicit in this philosophy of education is an aversion to testing and report cards. You will monitor your child's progress in less traditional ways. Instead of receiving a document with traditional grades such as A's and B's you will receive a reporting detailing your child's progress in a variety of areas which the school feels are important.

2. Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia schools are progressive schools.
Instrinsic in a Montessori education is the idea that a child needs to explore in order to learn. Learning is guided in the Montessori classroom. The teacher does not direct the learning. She guides it. Classes are multiage so that a younger child learns from older children. Waldorf schools are world-famous for developing children's imaginations. Reggio
Emilia inspired schools emphasize the involvement and collaborative aspects of educating their students. These are . . .read more
Are you thinking about something other than the usual public school experience for your toddler or primary school age child? Exactly what kind of alternatives do you have anyway? And how expensive are they? Let's take a look at each of these questions and offer some answers.

Montessori
Maria Montessori started the movement which bears her name by tackling Rome's poorest, most disadvantaged children. Her original Casa de Bambini or Children's House was opened at the behest of the local authorities. As Dr. Montessori observed the children under her care, she developed the theories and philosphies which are the essence of Montessori to this day.

While Montessori has its roots in the slums, it is hugely popular in middle class  communities throughout the world. Dr. Montessori never trademarked her name or the method which bears her name. As a result Montessori schools come in a wide variety of styles and approaches depending on the philosophic track which their directors have adopted. You will need to check very carefully to ensure that the school you are interested in actually adheres to Dr. Montessori's teachings and methods. You will have over 6,000 schools from which to choose.

Reggio Emilia
You won't find a Reggio Emilia school per se. You will find Reggio Emilia inspired schools. These are schools which have made a point of adopting the ideas and philosophy which the Reggio Emilia movement has codified. Things like naturally lit classrooms and a collaborative approach to education with . . .read more
It is a humbling moment for parents when they realize that their child is gifted. If we accept the definition of gifted as being something along these lines:

"A gifted person is someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression." ....National Association of Gifted Children

then it becomes obvious we have a huge responsibility on our hands. Because you have enriched your child's learning since birth, you understandably are anxious about placing him in a school setting where his giftedness will be misunderstood by both teachers and his peers. You want him to blossom and flourish in a formal school setting. You don't want limits placed on how fast he advances in a particular subject. You also want him to socialize in as normal a manner as possible. What then, besides home schooling, are your options?

The reality is that your choices for educating your gifted child may be limited by where you live and the programs available in your local public and private schools. Private schools for gifted children are highly specialized schools with well-qualified faculty who understand how to teach gifted children. Admission is generally based on several criteria one of which is an IQ test with a minimum of 125-140 the norm. The schools will also want to interview you and your child in order to see if there is a good match between your needs and requirements . . .read more
What is a lab school? It is a K-12 school or school with some variation of those grades which typically is operated by a university or college. Sometimes it is called a demonstration school. A few lab schools are not affiliated with any institution of higher learning.
 
The school is a lab or laboratory school because teachers in training and the faculty of the college's education department usually have a hand in teaching and running the school. Like scientists experimenting in their labs, these educators use the lab school as their place to try out theories and methods. They also provide student teachers a controlled situation where they can learn the art of teaching.
 
Most lab schools are progressive schools as well. What are the differences between traditional and progressive schools? This chart from the Wingras School in Madison, Wisconsin illustrates the main differences. Lab schools adopt the progressive philosophy as part of their child-centric approach to education. The flexibility inherent in the progressive approach works well with student teachers who are just coming to grips with how children learn.
 

The list of schools which follows includes only private lab schools. Many state and public universities operate their lab schools in conjunction with the local school district. As such they do not charge tuition or charge very little tuition. The private lab schools do charge tuition.
 
A.E. Phillips Laboratory School, Ruston, LA
Grades: K-8
Program: "The school's purpose is to educate students in a wholesome, challenging environment that . . .read more
How about living on a working farm for a semester? Or investigating marine life  in The Bahamas? Perhaps you grew up on a farm and are hankering to explore a major city like New York? A semester school offers those experiences and more.

 

Semester schools offer enrichment to your high school experience. The semester school, like its big cousin, the year abroad, offers you a chance to experience different worlds, different environments and different cultures or gives you time to do some substantive research.  And you can, in most cases, enjoy this incredible experience without leaving the country. The Island School located in Eleuthera, Bahamas and Swiss Semester located in Switzerland are the two exceptions on the list of programs below.

 

 

The cost? From no cost to several thousands of dollars not including extras. Is there financial aid? Yes. Ask the individual program providers for complete details.

 

 

When do you go? Typically students like to spend part of their junior year away from their home school. It's practical and doesn't interfere much with the academic sequence, testing, college applications and all the other features of your senior year.

 

 

 

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