This area is known for education, but traditional public schools are not always the best fit for students. To provide alternatives to parents, Discovery Micro Schools has set down roots on the Kids Academy campus in Aledo.
“This program was built around the same concept of a large homeschool family,” said Cheryl Ososky, director of the school. “It runs much more like a one-room schoolhouse, the way that you would homeschool a large family. We all work together; we start our day making breakfast. We cook together, we all eat together. We school and play together”
The students even have chores, helping to clean up before and after cooking.
The classes involve multiple age levels, from kindergarten to sixth grade.
“There are times when the big kids help the little kids,” Ososky said. “Sometimes we separate the littlest ones if they need independent work. All of our science, history, art projects or cooking is all together, all ages.”
This mode of education doesn’t look at mass numbers. As new students are added, extra small groups may be added as well.
“To be able to keep a family dynamic where even your sixth graders genuinely care about the welfare of the first graders, we have to keep it in small groups,” Ososky said.
Just as it avoids rigid class structure, Discovery is also flexible about the school day.
Ososky said some students are part-time, some full time and some come from homeschool families.
“Maybe this is a year that mom has to go back to work, but they aren’t ready for traditional public school,” Ososky said. “They still want to have a say in how their child’s day goes. We also have kids that for whatever reason, traditional school is not the best place for them.
Ososky said some homeschooled children attend on days when they have hands-on projects (some days are academic days, others are project days).
“We have a kitchen, so every Friday we have some sort of cooking project. Each of the kids here has their own bowls, spoons, spatulas, muffin pans and cookie sheets. They mix the ingredients on their own, make their own food and then we cook it and we eat it.”
Ososky said her students meet with a homeschool group every Wednesday for field trips.
“Every Friday is our hands-on day, so we cook something, we build something, we paint something. It’s just an all-hands-on crazy, really messy day. Our academic days are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Most of the kids come all five days.”
“The goal here is that they’re working to be independent learners and have the confidence to believe that they can learn and be successful here and beyond. They don’t need to wait for someone to teach them about something. They have the skills to teach themselves”
“A lot of kids go to college. Kids that have a say in their own education, or are responsible for their own education, do much better in college. By the time these kids have gone to high school, they are better at managing their own time because they’ve had to manage it before. The goal is that they’re more independent, they have a voice, they learn how to advocate for themselves. As the kids get older, we do a lot more specialized instruction. If you are really into photography, we’ll incorporate that into your school day. If you’re really into computer programming, we’ll make that a part of your school day, so that as you go into high school and beyond you have the confidence and skills to pursue your own interests.”
Discovery Micro School is located at 117 Crockett Drive in Aledo. For more information, call 817-441-1088, visit DiscoveryMicroSchools.com, or email .