Has school destroyed your creativity and self-confidence? I'm working on a book called Recovering From School, to help you heal the damage caused. Join the Patreon or Newsletter to be notified about updates. Paid Patreon members will get early draft previews, as well as a free digital copy when it's done.
Alternatives to schoolThe best alternative:
Other AlternativesHere are a few short descriptions of some of the more common alternatives to public schools. Most will have links to pages where you can find further info.
If you have cool parents, this could work quite well. This is also often done among different families as a team effort - say your mom teaches maths and your neighbours' dad teaches history or something. Here is some advice on how to get homeschooled. If you're wondering where homeschoolers learn social skills, read this.
Unschooling is also sometimes called natural learning, child-led learning, discovery learning, delight-led learning, or child-directed learning. GED which is pretty much equivalent to a High School Diploma.
The Tests of General Educational Development, or GED Tests, is a battery of five tests that, when passed, certifies the taker has American or Canadian high school-level academic skills.
Note that the GED is only in North America... we don't have much information on similar options in other countries, but here is some advice on how to leave high school early in Australia (and get into university early). If you know of anything similar to a GED in other countries, please let me know.
An independent studies program. They aren't completely common or widely available yet but it is definitely worth looking into. It's a homeschool program for middle schoolers and highschoolers that allow them to still graduate with a high school diploma. Right now I cover my US History credit through a sheet of 40 short essay questions, have a basic english curriculum in which I will be doing various projects on various books mostly to do with American Literature, and possibly a few essays, I also have a series of vocab questions to go through to prepare me for the SAT, any book I read in my free time I can count down as long as I do a small report on it, I go in to the public school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to cover my language credit and take a french class with the local public school kids. ... more about Charter schools
Start College EarlyWritten by: Dan Copulsky
There are a bunch of colleges with programs to admit students to start college without having finished high school and other colleges that don't have formalized programs to do this but will occasionally admit students after their junior years.
I'm a student at Simon's Rock, which is a college aimed exclusively at taking kids after their sophomore or junior year. It's a place that's made a lot of kids who hated high school a lot happier. I always find it aggravating to know that it's an option that would make a lot of people happier but that most people aren't aware of.
General Private Schools(Also known as Independent Schools)
An independent school is a school which is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operation and is instead operated by tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the investment yield of an endowment.
Private schools have the potential to be a lot better than public ones, but sadly a lot of them are just more expensive versions of public schools with most of the same problems. But still, there may be a GOOD private school in your area, so look around.
I was at a private school for the last few years of high school, and it was a lot more bearable than the public schools I was at, though it was still run on the same basic ideas of doing lots of schoolwork and writing tests.
Alternative Private Schools
The method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing academic concepts and practical skills.
The role of a teacher is to introduce children to materials and then remain a “silent presence” in the classroom.
Here is an incomplete list of all the democratic schools in the world. Currently there are 208 schools in 29 countries listed. That same site also has lots more information.
Free schools have their roots in the anarchist Modern Schools of Spain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is, at heart, non-institutional and non-authoritarian. The meaning of the "free" of free schools is not restricted to monetary cost, and can refer to an emphasis on free speech and open learning.
BooksBecause many parents are more likely to trust paper than some internet site, here are some recommended books explaining why school is bad, guides on how to unschool/homeschool and various other things.
- "Free to Learn" by Peter Gray: Explores the power of play, curiosity, and self-directed learning in nurturing education outside the classroom.
- "Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling" by John Taylor Gatto: Reveals how the traditional education system stifles creativity and critical thinking, providing insights into a more liberating approach.
- "Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better" by John Holt: Challenges the conventional concept of schooling and advocates for self-directed learning and individual autonomy.
- "The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education" by Grace Llewellyn: A practical guide for teens seeking alternatives to traditional schooling, exploring unschooling and self-directed learning.
- "Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood" by A S Neill: Provides an in-depth look at the Summerhill school and its philosophy of education, emphasizing freedom, respect, and self-expression.