What are microschools?


Microschools are the contemporary cousin of the one-room schoolhouse –  a true alternative learning experience. Microschools come in all sizes–with as few as 5 students up to 150. There’s never more than 15 in a class, an inviting alternative to traditional classrooms of 25+. Microschools support  children of all ages and ability levels with individually crafted lessons that transform ordinary learning into stimulating activities.  The learning offers just enough challenge to hold even the most distractible student’s attention without causing frustration.

So, let’s take a look inside a microschool classroom.


The Microschool Classroom


From the doorway we see a curious layout designed for curious minds.  It is a learning workshop filled with tools of the trade, and not necessarily the typical desks and chairs of a typical classroom.  Directly ahead, a tall drafting table awaits the student who works best standing or moving. In the back corner, art supplies anticipate the student who thrives in creative tornadoes of paper, paint, and color. At the front of the room, a tidy desk and comfortable chair beckon the student whose haven is a quiet, organized workspace.

The microschool classroom can be messy or spotless, depending on the way each child learns best. Children are free to express, create, and learn because a microschool classroom combines proven teaching methods – traditional and unconventional – to provide a personalized environment for personalized learning.

Flexible classroom designs are one of a microschool’s distinguishing features that ensure every child learns well, not just adequately.

Microschools are child-centered, a place where teachers know their students well and coordinate lively, interesting lessons for them. They mold learning materials and methods to their students, not force students into a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Whether a student is above, below, or on grade level, a microschool delivers the most appropriate learning to each student at a cost similar to private schools. Nationwide, microschool rates fall in line with local private schools, usually without additional costs for special services.

Need more convincing?


Microschool Diversity


Being different doesn’t make a student stand out, it makes him fit in. Diversity is the norm. Microschool students can come from all walks of life and backgrounds; they are different ages, on different grade levels, and have different gifts, talents, and abilities.

This diverse community sets the stage for unique peer interactions so vital to today’s real-world experience. Middle and high school students work side-by-side, problem solving and learning from and with one another. They observe their teacher alter her approach from student to student and subject to subject, demonstrating that it is okay to be different and do things differently.

Students learn to appreciate one another’s differences and redefine the term “normal.” After all, what is “normal” anyway?


SailAway Academy’s Microschool


SailAway Academy, established in 1999, is a microschool in Kingston, Tennessee where students develop critical thinking skills through the study of core subjects. A 10-student cap for 2017-18 guarantees every student gets optimal, personalized attention.


Here is one mother’s SailAway experience:

“We are truly thankful for the school environment of SailAway Learning & Academy. Our son has always felt believed in and we have seen him mature in many ways. Academically he has been given the chance to flourish in areas of strengths. In areas of struggles, he has been allowed to work at his unique place and pace. As a result, he is less stressed, more confident and has made significant progress. SALA creates an environment of care, hope and success.”

Carol Jordan

Campus Crusade for Christ

If you want your child to have a private school experience with a low student-teacher ratio, personalized lesson plans, and freedom to create, then check out SailAway today!



Prothero, A. (2016, January 28). What is a microschool? And where can you find one? Education Week. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/charterschoice/2016/01/what_is_a_micro_school_and_where_to_find_a_micro_school.html

Robinson, M. (2016, January 29). The one-room schoolhouse is the next big thing in education. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/micro-schools-altschool-2016-1