Homeschoolers are welcome at Banbury Crossroads
Part-time blended programs are available at Banbury Crossroads. This unique school offers the closest alternative to homeschooling, and thus is an appropriate placement for students who wish to enroll in several courses while homeschooling. We have flexible schedules and can tailor your child’s school life to complement your homeschooling program. In addition, Banbury is a most appropriate setting for students who graduate from a homeschooling program into a school environment. They easily accommodate to our school culture, with its familial values and peaceful atmosphere.
Banbury Crossroads has explored and promoted alternative philosophies of schooling for over 30 years. At Banbury, the rights and needs of individuals are respected, and children are given opportunities to explore their world and to direct their own learning. The values we support that are in sync with those of homeschooling parents are the following: A focus on the whole child as a social, emotional, physical, creative, and intellectual person.
A peaceful, caring and safe environment, emphasizing mutual respect and problem solving
- Low student-teacher ratio (< 1:10)
- Multi-aged grouping
- Self-directed, inquiry-based learning and project work
- Student-paced academics emphasizing learning until mastery
- Community involvement through field trips, volunteerism and secondary internships
- A democratic approach to foster self-responsibility and intrinsic motivation
Banbury Crossroads’ alternative philosophy of education is startlingly like homeschooling itself. It is based on the same values that healthy parents adopt for their children. In its essence, Banbury is an educational environment that provides a balanced and personalized educational opportunity for children of a wide variety of backgrounds. We have intimate classrooms in which peer learning is encouraged, with no more than 10 students per teacher in multi-aged groups. Academic work is learned to mastery, and paced individually by each student. Banbury is based upon the open classroom method from Britain that allows children to move about, make independent decisions, and receive individual instruction. Teachers create this environment by preparing stimulating materials and grouping similar resources together in spaces where children can use them independently. Teachers act as mentors rather than lecturers, teaching students on a one-to-one or small-group basis, and assisting them to learn goal-setting and organizational skills. This “centres” or “project-based” approach is used in most ECS programs, but Banbury is the only school that has devised ways of using it from Grades 1 to 12.
Banbury teachers also take students outside into the world where children can explore for themselves, and participate in meaningful ways. Banbury acknowledges the innate curiosity within human beings as the main stimulus to exploration and learning. Our school has developed an initiative to get secondary students out into the community through internships and project-oriented volunteerism. This initiative is particularly effective in preparing our students for university and other post-secondary institutions, when initiative and autonomy are paramount for success. This program is used for our full-time students, as we connect learning within their school classes to the learning that happens on their internships.
Another aspect of our approach that is even more possible to enact because of our small classes is our non-reliance on behaviorism in our personal interactions. Research over the past thirty years has shown rewards and punishments to be ineffective motivators for behavior, and indeed, even negative influences; therefore, we do not follow this behaviorist approach. Instead, teachers attempt to convince our students, rather than to control them. Through conversation, we help young people to engage in logical and moral reasoning. We operate as a humanistic community where all persons are on a first-name basis, with liberty and mutual respect being paramount. Banbury favours influence over control, and fosters autonomous decision-making by students that focus on understanding the intrinsic reasons for their choices. The emphasis upon self-responsibility and analytical skills helps prepare students for independent life with balance. Parents who desire a non-traditional schooling experience for their children may enjoy accessing our blended programs, as well as our full-time programs, for their children as an extension of their homeschooling learning experience.