You walk in, you hang up your backpack, and sit down at a (messy) desk. Your teacher asks you to please quiet down one more time and turns towards the blackboard to review the day’s lesson. Maybe there’s a little recess, some science, a bit of math, and writing, and before you know it, you’re on your way home. But there’s a few places in the world where you can do a little more than math, science, and writing.
1. Brooklyn Free School
If you’ve ever seen the movie Accepted and wished you could play it out in real life, you’re going to want to make your way to Brooklyn. At the Free School, there are no grades, no curriculum, no testing, no attendance, and students can choose any classes they want. The best part? Students run the school while teachers simply act as moderators. But don’t be fooled by the name – this is a private institution and tuition is definitely a pretty penny.
2. The Philadelphia School of the Future
Want to keep up with technology? The Philadelphia School of the Future runs from 9am – 4pm (to prepare children for a normal working day). At this institution, books are a thing of the past. All work is done on computers, all instruction on smart boards, and even math is done via the note-taking app ‘OneNote’. Even the lockers open with the flash of a digital ID card. Talk about being tech-savvy.
3. Forest Kindergarten
This type of learning is a new trend spreading through the early education system – it’s even made its way to Canada. Forest Kindergartens are held almost exclusively outside with an intense focus on nature, the environment, and our duty to protect both. Activities frequently include allowing children to get in touch with nature, doing crafts with nature, and playing outdoor games.
4. Bangladesh Boat School
Since Bangladesh is known for its annual floods, the non-profit organization Shidhulai Swanivar-Sangstha brought the school to the sea. Since 2002, they have been the world’s first floating school system with each boat having wifi, laptops, and even a library system powered by solar panels.
5. Salem Witch School
In Salem Massachusetts, you can attend the one and only Witch School which is based on the grounds where over 200 people were once accused of witchcraft and executed. If Salem’s a little too far, no need to fret – most of their 40,000 students take their courses online.
6. Grey School of Wizardry
If your dreams were crushed when you turned 11 and an owl failed to deliver your Hogwarts letter, fear not. California recently opened its own wizarding school (run by its very own Dumbledore – Oberon Zell-Ravenheart) and it’s been officially recognized as an academic institution. There are 16 departments including Best Mastery, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Potion Making. There are even 4 houses students are split into, though they consist of Winds, Undines, Gnomes, and Salamanders.
7. Icelandic Elf School
Buddy the Elf may not be in attendance, but you can still learn all there is to know about elves at the official Icelandic Elf School. There’s a full curriculum where you can learn about the various types of elves in Iceland, an elf habitat, and various other creatures such as faeries and gnomes. The program only consists of a 5-hour lecture so you can be an elf expert in no time.