Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family Values in Alignment with School Values

When choosing a school for your child, it is important to understand your family values and look for a school that will be in alignment with those values. If your values are at odds with the school's, it will be difficult to fully support your child's education. Here are a few of my favorite types of schools and what those schools tend to value.

Montessori schools might be for your family if you appreciate:
- Independence
- Individuality and practicality
- Self-direction, self-control, and self-reliance
- A strong work ethic
- Purposeful play and realism
- Order and responsibility
- Respect for others and harmony
- Kinetic learning style

Waldorf schools will be attractive If you value:
- Imagination and creativity
- All things natural (materials, foods, crafting handmade items, and nature itself)
- The arts, the classics, and tradition
- Spirituality, reverence, and mindfulness
- Family life without any (or much) TV or video games
- Community, harmony, and peace
- Teacher-directed learning

Expeditionary Learning schools will be a good match if you value:
- Courage, perseverance, and leadership
- Self-control, self-mastery, self-motivation, self-discovery
- Service, responsibility, civic engagement
- Community, collaboration, trust, and teamwork
- Critical thinking and kinetic learning
- Goal-oriented thinking
- Project and field-based learning
- The outdoors, adventure, taking risks
- Teachers as facilitators and physical challenges as learning opportunities

Open/Democratic schools will work for your family if you value:
- Community
- Independence and autonomy
- Self-control, self-reliance, self-motivation, self-discovery
- Responsibility and resourcefulness
- Civic engagement and democracy
- Fairness, justice, liberty, and equality
- Trust and harmony
- Mentoring and project-based learning
- Creativity and adventure
- Teachers as facilitators and advisors
- Project and field-based learning