A SchoolHouse for Everyone

resources & blog

What Is a Microschool and How Is It Changing Education in America?

Brian Tobal
May 25, 2021

What makes a microschool a microschool is the belief that better education comes from teachers spending more time with their students. Not more time handing out worksheets or standing at the front of the room lecturing—but more time working individually with students and guiding them through the process of learning, understanding, and applying what happens in the classroom. That concept shapes all microschools—and believe it or not, it turns out that simply giving students and teachers more time together is the key to better schools.

Microschools are changing education in America because they prove that fancy private schools, overcrowded public schools, and complicated technology are not the way to better grades and smarter students. The secret to improved learning outcomes is wildly simple:

Better Teachers + Small Class Sizes = Better Learning Outcomes

If your child has the chance to try a microschool where learning plans are tailored to each student, teachers are happy, and small classes are the norm, you’ll see how quickly they can find their passions, develop their skills, and become the best learner they can possibly be.
Hyper-Personalized Learning Strategies for Your ChildMicroschools combine a parent’s knowledge of their child and a teacher’s professional experience to craft a curriculum to help each child shine. For students to find their potential, they need a learning strategy as unique as they are—taking into account their interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

[Image of a class taking place]

Not every child absorbs lessons in the same way or needs the same things to succeed; that’s why standardized lessons and boilerplate learning plans result in some children being left behind. Microschools do it differently—creating an individual learning plan for each child that will help them develop and grow. This obvious, yet radical, difference in lesson planning means that:

  • Teachers can spend as much time on a topic or subject as needed, not moving on until students understand the lesson.
  • Lessons are adapted to preferred learning methods that work best for each child, including Montessori, STEM, and Reggio Emilia.
  • Parents can work with teachers to help set learning goals and methodologies, making them more involved in their kid’s education.

When teachers and parents are free to design a school, kids are more engaged, and they learn more. For instance, in one study, researchers followed a group of students using personalized learning strategies for two years and then compared their test scores to the national averages. They found that personalized learning benefitted “students of all levels of prior achievement,” with most students racing past the national average in reading and math after only two years.

[image of a student taking a test]

The benefits of personalized learning are not just limited to test scores. They also help students build confidence in who they are and what they can do. As one of our microschool parents told us:

“[My son] is just confident about how he's using materials, ... it's not about [him] coming out of kindergarten knowing how to read, it's [about] com[ing] out of kindergarten confident that [he] can learn anything.”

With time, support, and a curriculum that works for them, students won’t just learn; they’ll be more confident that they can learn.

Professional Educators Free to Teach Their Own Way

The true difference-maker in any classroom is an all-star teacher. This might seem self-evident, but, besides microschools, no other kind of school in America gives teachers the professional freedom they need to do their job right. When teachers are experienced, knowledgeable, and free to teach their own way, they can do what they do best—help your child grow and learn.

Small classroom sizes allow teachers to get to know each of their students and develop a closer relationship with them. According to the Early Learning Network, a strong relationship between student and teacher “strengthen[s] all aspects of [a child’s] development, including language, cognition and social-emotional skills, regardless of their age, gender, race, ethnic, language and income level.” In their smaller classrooms, microschool teachers can invest the time and energy needed to strengthen this bond and help kids get the most out of school.

microschool-teacher.png


Caption: A SchoolHouse teacher working with her students on a science project.

[Image Source]

These small class sizes aren’t just good for kids; they’re amazing for teachers, too. Great teachers are happiest when they are teaching, but most public school teachers spend their time grading and managing their classrooms. Microschool teachers can spend more time teaching because they have fewer students to focus on. As one SchoolHouse teacher put it:

“My classroom is just 8 students and I can take the time to really get to know and understand them. I finally feel like I can give every student the attention they deserve."


Another advantage microschool teachers have over traditional school teachers is flexibility. Without rigid schedules and big groups pinning them down, microschool teachers can plan and execute longer project-based lessons and move their classes where they can be most effective.

outdoor-lessons.png


Caption: This microschool class gets taken outside to enjoy the nice weather.

For instance, a teacher could combine the day’s biology, art, and PE lessons by taking the kids down to the park where they could run around, sketch local plants and animals, and learn about pond ecosystems. Freed from the restrictions of a regular classroom, teachers can use all of their experience and creativity to make classes fun and exciting for their students—and when everyone’s having fun, kids can actually learn.  

An Inclusive Environment Where Every Child Can Succeed

A school should be a safe place where students are free to explore without the risk of being neglected, bullied, or asked to slow down or speed up to match the rest of the class. But large classes often create those problems instead of solving them.

[image of a microschool classroom with students]

In a typical classroom, some kids are bored, some are left behind, and some are isolated; the rigid setting isn’t helping anyone.

In contrast, microschools let children:

  • Learn at their own speed, no matter how quick or slow
  • Find lifelong friends in a tight-knit environment
  • Develop their passions, build their confidence, and find their love of learning

For many parents, the difference between traditional schools and microschools is night and day. One parent shared with us her views on how their microschool has helped her child fulfill their potential:

“My kid has blossomed. I mean every single parent is saying to us, my child is blossoming. I mean there's a little boy ... he was the only one who didn't really know anyone that well. And [now] he's sort of like, the whole class loves me.”


The true gift of microschools is that they give kids a chance to show the world that they are the fantastic people you already know them to be. Small class sizes provide them with the space and confidence to be who they are, which is often a thing that is all too rare outside of a microschool environment.

Microschools Are Already Helping Students Across America

Microschools are the next step forward for education in America. They demonstrate the power of simply letting great teachers teach in ideal small classroom environments with plenty of quality one-on-one time with each kid. Countless families have already seen the huge difference that microschools can make for their child. You can learn more about their experiences and stories on our testimonials page.

SchoolHouse
www.getschoolhouse.com
Making the best learning pods and microschools in the world.

What Is a Microschool and How Is It Changing Education in America?

Brian Tobal
|
May 25
|
15 min read

What makes a microschool a microschool is the belief that better education comes from teachers spending more time with their students. Not more time handing out worksheets or standing at the front of the room lecturing—but more time working individually with students and guiding them through the process of learning, understanding, and applying what happens in the classroom. That concept shapes all microschools—and believe it or not, it turns out that simply giving students and teachers more time together is the key to better schools.

Microschools are changing education in America because they prove that fancy private schools, overcrowded public schools, and complicated technology are not the way to better grades and smarter students. The secret to improved learning outcomes is wildly simple:

Better Teachers + Small Class Sizes = Better Learning Outcomes

If your child has the chance to try a microschool where learning plans are tailored to each student, teachers are happy, and small classes are the norm, you’ll see how quickly they can find their passions, develop their skills, and become the best learner they can possibly be.
Hyper-Personalized Learning Strategies for Your ChildMicroschools combine a parent’s knowledge of their child and a teacher’s professional experience to craft a curriculum to help each child shine. For students to find their potential, they need a learning strategy as unique as they are—taking into account their interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

[Image of a class taking place]

Not every child absorbs lessons in the same way or needs the same things to succeed; that’s why standardized lessons and boilerplate learning plans result in some children being left behind. Microschools do it differently—creating an individual learning plan for each child that will help them develop and grow. This obvious, yet radical, difference in lesson planning means that:

  • Teachers can spend as much time on a topic or subject as needed, not moving on until students understand the lesson.
  • Lessons are adapted to preferred learning methods that work best for each child, including Montessori, STEM, and Reggio Emilia.
  • Parents can work with teachers to help set learning goals and methodologies, making them more involved in their kid’s education.

When teachers and parents are free to design a school, kids are more engaged, and they learn more. For instance, in one study, researchers followed a group of students using personalized learning strategies for two years and then compared their test scores to the national averages. They found that personalized learning benefitted “students of all levels of prior achievement,” with most students racing past the national average in reading and math after only two years.

[image of a student taking a test]

The benefits of personalized learning are not just limited to test scores. They also help students build confidence in who they are and what they can do. As one of our microschool parents told us:

“[My son] is just confident about how he's using materials, ... it's not about [him] coming out of kindergarten knowing how to read, it's [about] com[ing] out of kindergarten confident that [he] can learn anything.”

With time, support, and a curriculum that works for them, students won’t just learn; they’ll be more confident that they can learn.

Professional Educators Free to Teach Their Own Way

The true difference-maker in any classroom is an all-star teacher. This might seem self-evident, but, besides microschools, no other kind of school in America gives teachers the professional freedom they need to do their job right. When teachers are experienced, knowledgeable, and free to teach their own way, they can do what they do best—help your child grow and learn.

Small classroom sizes allow teachers to get to know each of their students and develop a closer relationship with them. According to the Early Learning Network, a strong relationship between student and teacher “strengthen[s] all aspects of [a child’s] development, including language, cognition and social-emotional skills, regardless of their age, gender, race, ethnic, language and income level.” In their smaller classrooms, microschool teachers can invest the time and energy needed to strengthen this bond and help kids get the most out of school.

microschool-teacher.png


Caption: A SchoolHouse teacher working with her students on a science project.

[Image Source]

These small class sizes aren’t just good for kids; they’re amazing for teachers, too. Great teachers are happiest when they are teaching, but most public school teachers spend their time grading and managing their classrooms. Microschool teachers can spend more time teaching because they have fewer students to focus on. As one SchoolHouse teacher put it:

“My classroom is just 8 students and I can take the time to really get to know and understand them. I finally feel like I can give every student the attention they deserve."


Another advantage microschool teachers have over traditional school teachers is flexibility. Without rigid schedules and big groups pinning them down, microschool teachers can plan and execute longer project-based lessons and move their classes where they can be most effective.

outdoor-lessons.png


Caption: This microschool class gets taken outside to enjoy the nice weather.

For instance, a teacher could combine the day’s biology, art, and PE lessons by taking the kids down to the park where they could run around, sketch local plants and animals, and learn about pond ecosystems. Freed from the restrictions of a regular classroom, teachers can use all of their experience and creativity to make classes fun and exciting for their students—and when everyone’s having fun, kids can actually learn.  

An Inclusive Environment Where Every Child Can Succeed

A school should be a safe place where students are free to explore without the risk of being neglected, bullied, or asked to slow down or speed up to match the rest of the class. But large classes often create those problems instead of solving them.

[image of a microschool classroom with students]

In a typical classroom, some kids are bored, some are left behind, and some are isolated; the rigid setting isn’t helping anyone.

In contrast, microschools let children:

  • Learn at their own speed, no matter how quick or slow
  • Find lifelong friends in a tight-knit environment
  • Develop their passions, build their confidence, and find their love of learning

For many parents, the difference between traditional schools and microschools is night and day. One parent shared with us her views on how their microschool has helped her child fulfill their potential:

“My kid has blossomed. I mean every single parent is saying to us, my child is blossoming. I mean there's a little boy ... he was the only one who didn't really know anyone that well. And [now] he's sort of like, the whole class loves me.”


The true gift of microschools is that they give kids a chance to show the world that they are the fantastic people you already know them to be. Small class sizes provide them with the space and confidence to be who they are, which is often a thing that is all too rare outside of a microschool environment.

Microschools Are Already Helping Students Across America

Microschools are the next step forward for education in America. They demonstrate the power of simply letting great teachers teach in ideal small classroom environments with plenty of quality one-on-one time with each kid. Countless families have already seen the huge difference that microschools can make for their child. You can learn more about their experiences and stories on our testimonials page.

August 17, 2020

Introducing SchoolHouse

Take a moment and think back to the best educational experience you’ve had.

Chances are you’re thinking of a teacher. Maybe it was a teacher whose passion for a subject activated your own, or maybe they helped you see that you weren’t “bad” at something, you just needed an explanation that fit the way you learn.

The teacher is largely responsible for the educational outcomes of the class, yet our current educational structure tends to burn teachers out. In the U.S., 44% of teachers quit the profession in the first 5 years. I understand this because I’m one of them…

Read More
|
20 min read