Non-traditional v. Alternative
I own De Beau Microschool. I am also the lead teacher. De Beau Microschool assists parents of homeschooled children with the education of the children.
De Beau Microschool is a non-traditional school.
Why did I use the term non-traditional instead of alternative? What do you think of when you hear alternative? I'm sure the context of the conversation would offer clues, and help you decide if "alternative" is a good or bad thing. How about a couple of examples:
Alternative Fuel: Ethanol or Biodiesel
Alternative Energy: Solar or Wind
What do you think of when you hear alternative education? Most people think of troubled children. Students who disrupt class. Students who are involved with drugs or fighting at school.
As a result, I intentionally avoid the term alternative when speaking about De Beau Microschool. The students who attend De Beau Microschool are not troubled children by any definition. Most of the students are average students who just can't keep pace with the public school system. They are fully capable, but work at a slower pace. Also, many of the students have been diagnosed with Dyslexia and/or Irlen Syndrome.
Another way that De Beau Microschool falls into the non-traditional category is time. Students work directly with a tutor for a maximum of three hours a day. The amount of time is decided by how much assistance the parents are seeking from the tutor.
Finally, class size places De Beau Microschool in the non-traditional category. Tutors will not work with more than five students at a time. This student to tutor ratio allows for individualized instruction or group collaboration depending upon the topic or concept.