Why Homeschooling Parents Should Consider University-Model Schools
Education is a top priority for most parents, and choosing the perfect school for your child can be such a headache. Numerous types of schools exist: public, private, Christian, Catholic, Charter, boarding, and of course, homeschool. For many parents, the decision about which school to send their child to depends on their financial status and the proximity of the schools. For Christian parents, though, there is another far more important factor that weighs heavily on their hearts: What values are the teachers imparting to my child?
This question alone causes parents to consider private Christian schools or homeschooling over other options. However, not every parent can pay for private schools, and not everyone can tackle the planning and patience of teaching from home. What’s the solution, you wonder?
The University-Model® school.
What Is a University-Model School?
University-Model® schools are relatively new, as the National Association of University-Model Schools (NAUMS) was founded just 18 years ago. This style of education is spreading across the country where almost 100 schools are operating across 19 states. Before you discount this type of school by assuming that there isn’t one close to you, check out this list of locations and read more about this mom’s experience with this type of school. Parents themselves who saw a need for this type of education in their area started each campus.
What makes these schools so different, you ask? Let’s find out!
The name makes it pretty obvious that this type of school is modeled after university classes. Many students have a difficult time adjusting to the freedom of college after spending eight tightly structured hours a day in school for twelve years. They don’t know how to manage their time well, take advantage of different learning opportunities, or set their own schedule. These struggles often lead to a frustrating first couple of years of college, and maybe even some failed courses. However, the University-Model®’s goal is to make the transition into college as smooth as possible.
(If your child is not interested in going to college, this model is still a viable option since life, in general, is not as structured as traditional schools. The type of schedule shown below is a great way to transition your child smoothly into adulthood.)
Comparing Hours of Class Time
If you look at this chart, it shows how the adjustment into traditional public and private school classes (green line) at a young age is abrupt, as is the transition out of that style of learning into a college setting. On the other side of the spectrum (blue line), you have generic homeschooling, which has a much easier start, but the change going into college can be drastic. In the middle (yellow line), you have a slow progression of hours spent in the classroom throughout the child’s life: 4 hours a week at 5 years old, and a maximum of 15 hours a week at 18 years old.
Those maximum 15 hours a week are referring to the time spent in an actual classroom setting. The classes are usually chosen by the students and/or parents each semester and meet 2 or 3 times a week, depending on the students’ age. The rest of the time during the week is spent at home (or “satellite classroom”), learning with the parents using a structured plan given by the school. So while there are only 15 hours of classroom teaching, the student is receiving much more than that, but in their own home and in the manner the parents see fit.
Having limited classroom time frees the parents to supplement that teaching. Just like traditional homeschooling, the University-Model® classes allow students to pursue extracurricular activities such as sports, music, and art while still receiving a solid education.
Additionally, the parents can teach the classes at home in their own way. Even though each parent receives a plan of study, they can add their own twist to it by doing hands-on activities, taking trips, or including online classes (for language studies, for example).
On the other hand, if the parents are not gifted with the ability to teach or do not have the time to plan extra activities, this model still works for them because the school sends an organized plan for each child.
The bottom line is that the majority of the education is taught at home in the way that the parent desires. They can freely emphasize core values and beliefs with each class unlike in public and private schools.
While the name of this type of education does not give any clues to what values are prioritized, the mission statement of University-Model® makes it very clear:
“In partnership with one another, parents and the school work together toward a mutual goal: to produce wholesome, competent, and virtuous followers of Christ who will change the world in their generation.”
The parents, of course, have the freedom to impart Christian values in the classes taught at home. What is unique with the University-Model® schools is that the teachers also reinforce those same values in the classroom, something that not many traditional schools guarantee.
Another unique aspect of the University-Model® schools is that teachers and parents work hand-in-hand, as co-teachers, to provide quality Christian education to the children. With homeschool co-ops, the parents carry most of the teaching responsibility and outsource to professional teachers when needed.
The difference with the University-Model® is the shared responsibility between the parents and the teachers. If you look back at the mission statement, it clearly expresses the partnership between the school and the parents.
This All Sounds Great…But What about the Cost?
A huge deciding factor for parents is cost. Private schools usually have high tuition costs, but homeschooling can also be a big investment in books, supplemental classes, and materials.
So, how do the University-Model® schools compare?
Each campus is essentially its own entity, so tuition costs can vary. That being said, the prices are anywhere from 40-75% cheaper than standard tuition in other schools. The difference comes from the fact that students spend much less time in the classroom, so the schools don’t need to charge such a steep price to cover the teachers’ salaries. The education is just as exceptional in University-Model® schools as in private schools, with more flexibility, freedom, and peace of mind.
Whether your child is still a toddler and you are just beginning to think about schools or you have an older student already in school, take the time to learn more about the benefits of the University-Model® and see if it is a good fit for you! With this model, you can be sure there is sufficient time to include essential classes, like Spanish, with additional online classes. Try a free class today and see how our program can supplement your studies with or without the University-Model®!
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