Choosing the right school environment for your child needs to be a well-thought out process, beginning with the needs of your child. The great thing about charter schools is you have the ability to find a school with goals that line up directly with your child’s educational needs. Sometimes the benefits of charter schools are unique and more streamlined to certain children and families which can lead to various benefits for students. Here are seven benefits your child can expect to receive in a charter school setting.
1. Fostering Community Involvement
A great benefit of charter schools in general is the amount of involvement that the community can put into making this an effective learning environment. By fostering community, children can grow their social skills and build their confidence within the tight-knit community around them. Parents and children should feel involved in all aspects of school and this type of learning environment can give children a better sense of belonging within the community. Events and activities outside of the classroom that involve different age levels and parents can take away the limitations that a traditional classroom setting might put forward.
2. Focusing on Real World Needs
Standard public schools tend to have strict curriculums that can leave little room for real world skills that can help students become more well-rounded and ready for adulthood. Charter schools have the flexibility to teach kids what they might need in the real world, especially those who are in high school. Charter schools can specifically look at trends and offer more targeted coursework on topics such as science, computer engineering or environmental studies that wouldn’t be offered at a traditional school. Other more holistic approaches to learning can be implemented as well, such as taking care of the environment and health-based curriculum to foster a child’s whole self and not just traditional types of learning.
3. Supporting Individual Learners
One of the biggest benefits of a charter school learning environment can be the one-on-one and small group setting your child can look forward to. Rather than getting lost in a sea of children that might be the norm at a larger public institution, charter schools are able to give more focused attention and learning environments to students who might need this the most. With the help of parents and volunteers, students can have more tailor-made learning opportunities that are focused around how they learn best, and can be a more inclusive learning environment.
4. Utilizing Cutting Edge Education
While traditional public schools might be bogged down with standards and red tape, charter school have much more freedom when it comes to setting curriculums and adapting these as needed. If something isn’t working in a charter school setting, this can evolve and change rapidly, which directly benefits the students who are there to learn in the most optimal environment possible. Sometimes with across-the-board standards and settings in larger public schools, if a program and curriculum isn’t meeting the needs of students, this can take more than an entire school year to be revised. If a charter school can implement their own benchmarks, community input, and direct assessment of students, courses and activities can be revised and integrated so that what works stays and what might need to be honed can be changed rapidly. If students have the best curriculum in front of them today, they will be more equipped for engaging in learning for years to come.
5. Taking Advantage of Online Learning Options
Another benefit that charter schools can offer that others might not are online learning options. This is something that can give kids the technical skills needed in jobs and preparing for higher education. Students that might be doing some of their schooling from home can take advantage of online programming and stay on top of their studies in a virtual classroom environment. When it comes to high school-aged children looking for learning alternatives, having some coursework offered online can offer more creativity, flexibility, and hone in on online communication through online group work. This can foster accountability and respect for deadlines if online learners need to check in or submit work on a schedule.
6. Benefiting from a Tailor-Made Curriculum
If parents can choose where to send their children to school, they can also pick and choose from curriculums that will work for their child. This might involve finding the right charter school in general, but there can also be specific tracks all within one organization that can make learning more specialized depending on your child’s interests. By seeking out a tailor-made curriculum that will work with your child’s needs and interests, your child will be more engaged in learning. They can expect to have coursework that is organized around their specific interests and learning levels.
7. Learning From and Within a Diverse Population
Especially within Southern California, children enrolled charter schools can expect learn in a more diverse environment. With parental choice, children won’t be limited to the public schools in their district, and can find learning opportunities that are within more diverse communities that everyone can benefit from. Diversity doesn’t need to stop with the demographics of a school’s population. Curriculum can be based around more diverse topics and offer timely, culturally sensitive education that is based on families and community values.
Charter schools are gaining traction because they give children the flexibility and focus they need for learning and the skills to become well-rounded individuals in the world. Parents should seek out programs that see their child as a whole person and life-long learner. If a student is locked in the curriculum for one grade level, this might limit one’s education overall, and is something that charter schools have overcome. The unique setting that a charter school can provide is something that will give children much more than a traditional school would and might be the perfect fit for your child.