Starting An Online Learning Journey With Galileo Self Directed Education
After being hugely inspired by the talks from this years home schooling global summit which aired back in May there was a great buzz around self directed education (which I loved) and a new online learning platform called Galileo was mentioned which sparked my curiosity, it sounded great.
Having a few wobbles about my kids motivation and accountability coupled with being very interested in the ethos that Galileo followed I embarked on some research into this new idea, hoping it would fill some current gaps.
I found out that Galileo is a new online learning platform; it's worldwide, self directed and very forward thinking in its approach. Exciting and sounded perfect for us!
I watched videos, read the website twice over and listened to lots of talks on the benefits of self directed education for kids. Intrinsic motivation being the major benefit that really resonated with me, if my kids can be internally motivated to learn the things that they're interested in then I feel like they will be set for life.
We finally took the chance to give it a try back in September. After our application was accepted we trialled a month first to make sure it fit us as a family and that Miss L enjoyed it (she did), so much so that we've now committed to a year.
It's taken a little getting used to (and has dramatically helped improve Miss L's ability to tell the time and time management skills). It's lovely to see Miss L interacting with other adults genuinely interested in her learning in an unpressured environment. She has a 30 minute daily 'check in' every morning where they discuss goals, ask questions, chat with friends and play games. She also has weekly clubs that she has joined, so far science, history and writing being favourites (there are many, many more to choose from). They even offer regular nano degrees; these are interesting project based topics such as coding a game or creating a digital magazine with a set time frame (e.g. a month or 6 weeks) which Miss L is also hoping to join soon.
I really loved the application process, it's not just a case of, can you pay? then you're in, there's a, is this right for you and us? 'fit' process to check that the children can adapt to the style of learning and that the family understand the type of place that Galileo is. I like that you have to 'get' the ethos.
As Galileo is worldwide, you can join from any country, (they split clubs etc into EU/Asia and America to fit in with time zones.) It's wonderful to see Miss L connecting with kids from different cultural backgrounds and to get a glimpse of the world for the amazing place it is. It's so easy to sit in a bubble thinking the world is a scary place (especially with media hype) but talking to and having a laugh with children from all over the world is a great idea to break down barriers.
Another thing I love is the price, after seeing some amazing looking alternative schools here in the UK they have often come with a financial barrier; incredibly high prices, some were eye watering (think £20,000 p.a. for both kids!) Galileo pricing however, I feel, offers excellent value. It works out at $300pcm or you can pay for the full year for $2000 per child, (with a discount for siblings also available.) which is much more affordable.
It's an exciting scheme to be involved in so early on, I've already seen new developments in what they offer and the ideas that are flowing through the project look great - a planned retreat next year, more nano degrees etc. It has, most important of all, already given us what we needed:
- Miss L has some accountability not just to me
- She has had to learn to tell the time
- She has to manage her time and remember when her classes are
- She has gained a lot of confidence speaking up in a group
- It has encouraged her to look at new topics
- Her computer skills have also improved