New statistics reported by the Huffington Post indicate that 2.3 American children are now participating in the alternative learning trend, including homeschooling, unschooling, and micro-schooling. Myriad reasons drive caretakers away from traditional school paradigms, including religious beliefs, child safety or a conviction in enhanced education. The overall consensus of alternative learning families is, however, a marked disenchantment with the established educational system.
With increased popularity of alternative learning in the United States, former criticisms have become far cloudier in recent years. Questions such as “how do the children receive critical socialization?” have been answered with co-op programs and extra-curricular programs designed specifically for homeschooled, unschooled and micro-schooled children sprouting up across the country. Modern alternative schoolers are likely to have weekly outings to museums, parks and other away-from-home locations to stimulate a child’s natural curiousness. Alternative educators often view the world as a classroom, and have sought out support from like-minded caretakers to create unique opportunities for children of alternative learning to socialize with their peers.
Another common rebuke to alternative learning has been that the child will have difficulty achieving college admission, and ultimately, career success. Studies indicate, however, that alternative learners outperform traditionally educated children on standardized testing. Commonly, also, alternatively educated children have participated in internships and apprenticeships prior to college application, giving them an upper-hand in world and career experience compared to their traditionally educated age group.