Ideas/opportunities/solutions in this space.
I teach a few hours per week at the Ancient Language Institute. It’s a pretty stunning place for innovative and high quality instruction in classical languages. Compared to universities and seminaries, same tuition price or less, and no other admin costs.
I know Hillsdale has a ton of resources for homeschooling as well as help for starting a physical school based on classical education:
https://k12athome.hillsdale.edu - homeschool info
Start A School | K-12 American Classical Education - how to start a local school
Hi! I am creating tutortheories.com based on my experience with Kumon.
[email protected] to connect!
Hillsdale’s classical charter school initiative is great. Classical Christian schools are growing and expanding as well. Many other private and charter schools are great. Microschools are a great option for those who can afford it. Homeschooling is fantastic and should be encouraged as well.
However, there is still a fundamental issue of scalability in education, especially for conservatives. The reality is the vast majority of children remain in government schools. For a lot of parents, charter schools are an option but have limited capacity. Private schools are expensive and unaffordable for most families. Homeschooling is not an option to many either due to parents choosing/needing two incomes or not desiring homeschooling for various reasons.
Microschools are an innovative option that makes a private education more affordable. However, work here needs to be done on providing a better platform for matching conservative teachers with families desiring such an education as well as streamlining the logistics. Still, this will not be an option for many working class/middle class families due to cost. It’s more affordable than private education but not in the reach of many.
Another option that should be considered is creating an online option that is more scalable. Identifying exceptional teaching talent that could deliver online lessons/lectures to thousands of students. Of course, online education is inferior to in-person learning in many ways. Finding in-person support or at least personalized online support to complement the online component would be needed to considered as at least an option. But this would provide a much more scalable option for many families that is more affordable.
Love the vision you are casting! As a former public high school math and science teacher, private tutor, home school and public school parent, and leader of a team of remote healthcare educators, I can imagine how all your ideas could come together. I often think through how to multiply my experience teaching in a manner that would benefit the homeschool groups my kids are involved in, and yet have the scale to be professionally/commercially viable. Invariably it comes back to a digital platform, some variation of simulcasting, or a network of up and coming educators looking for opportunities to make a difference. Something in the style of Teach for America (but for homeschool/micro school rather than inner city public schools).
Jonathan and Luke, you are both touching on a project that I have been working on for quite a while: scaling homeschooling (and micro-schooling) by providing a robust digital platform. I call it “building out the infrastructure of homeschooling.” When we think about the trillions spent on the public school education infrastructure (bricks, mortar, administration & teaching), only a small fraction has been spent (essentially self funded by families) on homeschooling, which is a type of micro-schooling.
Modest charitable funding of homeschooling could induce an education revolution. Past and current homeschooling parents and students possess tremendous know how collectively, and better communication tools would unleash the free market to provide educational products and services to the masses. The time has come to create a market so that moms (mostly) who taught their kids could be paid to help other families, along with refugees (teachers, etc.) from the public school Afghanistan warlords (teachers unions).
I had a very good discussion with the founder, Nate, about using New Founding as a macro platform upon which the homeschooling platform could be built. Such a platform might actually enable working/middle class families to consider the micro school option, especially if my state of California adopts Education Savings Accounts which provide significant annual funding ($14,000/year/student) to ALL parents of K-12 students to use toward education costs. Such an initiative has been submitted for the November 2022 ballot. (we can dream, can’t we?) Parents would be the “general contractors,” selecting their child’s educational choices without necessarily having to carry out the teaching.
Donors/investors are needed to make this homeschooling platform and other homeschooling projects a reality. $1.5 million/year would cover: 1) the oversight and growth in adoption of the platform as well as two other key projects to build up homeschooling/micro-schooling; 2) a Homeschool Community Foundation to provide grants, and 3) a Homeschool Innovation Center. I would love to share more with potential funders.
I could go on for hours about the different models (infrastructure) we have used to educate our three sons! Boxed curriculum, video curriculum, online curriculum, “specials” at the public schools, Classical Conversations, TPS, Wilson Hill, local home school groups, local Christian private school, part time enrollment in public high school, full time enrollment in public high school, online and virtual college courses. I think we have tried everything at least once (except for unschooling!)
I don’t think we have ever arrived at the perfect mix of resources. Of course, each child is different and respond to different methods differently. We have had some excellent instructors through TPS and Wilson Hill. We have had countless moms teach a subject in which they weren’t an “expert” but got the job done.
We have had sub par experience in the private school setting since they struggle to identify and keep strong subject matter educators (particularly in the upper grades) since the compensation is so minimal.
We have had a very good experience with our public schools on the whole as they are accommodating to Home School students and our oldest son is at the very highest level of academic achievement.
I am sure our experiences are not unique and speak to the need and opportunity for what you are describing!
My wife has spent countless hours helping other homeschool moms (and dads too) navigate the many different resources that are available. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of materials, regulations, and opportunities. But she is one mom helping a handful of others in one corner of the country. Finding ways to multiply that kind of knowledge and experience to enable other families to chose the path of homeschooling would be a tremendous gift to so many families. Not to mention the number of families who want to choose this path, but don’t think they can handle it, so they never try.
I think this is key. Micro-schooling may be beneficial for its affordability, but is it scalable? Online education is the way of the future, like it or not. I don’t particularly like it, but it’s going to be adapt or die. It’s going to go the way of bookstores.
The key is scalability. While small is good for intimacy, accessibility, and affordability, those need not be sacrificed to the kinds of resources larger projects can afford.
I’d love to hear idea on how we can bring a highly trained educator into multiple micro-classrooms simultaneously to maintain that sense of intimacy (not a recorded lesson) but leverage a level of expertise that parent lead education may struggle with.
I have always imagined a video feed into a set of 10-20 classrooms with a set lesson (Chapter 4 section 3 today), Expert led live instruction. Parent or classroom host lead practice/work session followed by community Q&A facilitated by the instructor and host. an hour long session could include 30 minutes of instruction, 15 minutes of guided practice and 15 minutes of Q/A, reaching the needs of 50-100 students with a single educator. On that scale the per student cost could be quite low.
But the scale of need is much larger than 10-20 classrooms across the country! I am confident the desire for competent help in the areas of upper level mathematics (maybe in all levels of math, when I think back on the general public’s disdain for most things math!) is strong! Similar for subjects like Chemistry and Physics.
Check out American Essence Magazine, September edition, for my latest article on the trend of hybrid homeschooling sweeping the nation. A few communities are implementing such educational ideas as an opportunity to reshape what we think of education. It’s a great combination of traditional school with homeschooling aspects.
You able to link? Hybrid homeschooling is to me one of the most interesting trends, and one I could see vastly expanding the potential for homeschooling.
I have a book (the first one) on the subject of hybrid homeschools:
Also recently started up a research center focused on these schools:
They’re a great answer to a lot of problems: they’re hyperlocal, low-cost, high-identity, and can avoid a lot of the political landmines that come with starting up charter schools.
Our youngest three attended a hybrid-homeschool (Veritas Classical Schools) elementary through middle school. Loved the hybrid format as they had a large social community (and so did I) and were accountable to a third person (teacher) each week. They excelled! In college now and say the writing they did there sets them apart from their peers.
So - now back to running a business but I am an empty nester with a deep desire to help those who are figuring this out. Really don’t know where to tap in.
This is great experience, and the desire to get involved (generally—with this sort of education opportunity a good example of where we need to organize people) is a central problem I’d like to help solve. Keep an eye out as we have several things in development.
Hi Dan, I may be able to help reduce the cost of platform creation. I know a gentleman who’s spent 20 years in MCAT prep. He recently built out a platform for MCAT that he would like to adapt to be used for homeschooling as well. It is truly a 21st-century platform. I’ve seen it and as a parent, it’s the best homeschool platform I’ve ever seen. I’d be happy to discuss this further with anyone who is interested in new Homeschool infrastructure.
Hello Art, That sounds very interesting to me. Let’s talk further. Would you be able to have a phone conversation?
If you are looking for a platform for getting material and educators to your children, this gentleman is making a tech platform: Fieldt.rip - educational opportunities for children - #2 by montanna. If you are interested, I suggest contacting him. He also mentioned he is looking for some non-tech advisement if you could assist him as well.
I would love to chat with you! [email protected]
This is amazing!!! I am a developer and work on a lot of Ed tech projects on the side.