From our experience at aarohi (see Genesis) and our interactions with prospective parents of BeMe, we are up for a challenge.
It is evident that parents looking for alternate schools are not happy with conventional schooling. Parents seem to be clear that they do not want their child to go to a conventional school. What they are looking for is non-conventional schooling i.e. an alternate to conventional schooling. However the term “alternate schooling” is NOT defined and it seems to be overloaded with many expectations. Yes, many expectations but fair enough.
There are various solutions available to fulfill these expectations in terms of variety of alternative schools. The alternative schooling methods vary in their philosophies. An article on Fairhaven School website makes an attempt to explain the differences looking at Sudbury model as basis.
Parents are attracted by different philosophies. Based on some factors of choice (philosophy itself, their trust on the school/organization, vicinity of the school etc) they would pick one of the alternate schools.
No matter what philosophy they choose, deep down in their mind, they expect their child to be on par with peers at conventional schooling. Hence the unsaid expectation seems to be, to have “best of both the worlds: conventional and alternative education”.
The first challenge for us at BeMe is to communicate our philosophy. The philosophy is generally perceived from the context of their expectations. There are chances of a gap in the understanding.
Our philosophy would evolve for obvious reasons. Second challenge is to keep parents in sync with evolution.
Third challenge seems to be varying expectations of parents over a period of time. How do we cater to this need of undefined/varying/evolving expectations?
Fourth challenge is: How do we address the expectation of having best of the two worlds, given the limited resources – facilitators, content experts, time, etc.?
Do we have solution(s)? Not yet fully. But we are aware of the challenges and we are taking baby steps.