A microschool is an independent learning institution

Microschools are the result of rethinking the traditional educational model to better prepare children for the future. They are small, private institutions where students are empowered to personalize their own educations and are held accountable for their own progress. Often described as "outsourced homeschooling," they are free from the bureaucracy, standardized tests, and mandatory curriculum that defines today's public school system. Microschools tend to be efficiently run, and student engagement is remarkably high.

Any intelligent, motivated person can establish a microschool. Motives for entering the world of personalized education vary. Some people want to escape the inefficiencies of the public system. Others want to give better opportunities to their children. Many want to make a meaningful career nurturing young minds. All of these are excellent reasons, and Microschool Revolution is here to help you along the way.

Here are some considerations for setting up your own microschool.


Identify your niche

What can you do differently from the status quo? What, in particular, do you want to improve on? Focus on your core strengths, whether your background is in STEM, the humanities, vocational craft, the arts, etc. Your curriculum should be well-rounded, of course, but something should set you apart. Certain students will be drawn to your emphasis, whichever it happens to be.


Find a space

A microschool requires classroom space. Most likely, you'll be starting with a fairly small number of students–a very successful microschool might have a dozen students in the first year.

Some microschools are run out of homes. Others build their own facilities. Shared space can often be rented from churches–which tend to remain vacant during the week–at a very low rate.


Set budget and tuition

Like all things, running a microschool costs money. Fortunately, they can be run very efficiently, with the primary expense being coaches' salaries, followed by classroom space.

Figure out how much your microschool will cost to run, how much tuition the market will bear, and how many students you'll need to stay open.


Recruit students

If you're just starting out, it can be tricky to convince parents to send you their children all day for an entire school year. Reach out to your friend network, find people of a like mind on education, and see what would convince them to take a chance with your microschool. It's possible that in studying the market this way, you come up with ideas and resources to make your microschool even better.


Establish curriculum

You should start out with an idea as to what your microschool will emphasize (see step 1). Now is the time to hash out precisely how you'll be instructing every day of the year. If you have a background in education, you probably already know a bit about developing curriculum. If not, there are plenty of resources available for developing a comprehensive experience for your students, including this website.
To make the most efficient use of your staff (which could just include you) and your students time, we recommend implementing three primary categories of instruction.

To make the most efficient use of your staff (which could just include you) and your students time, we recommend implementing three primary categories of instruction.


Socratic Dialogue

This ancient teaching method gives students practice at objectivism and critical thinking. A moderator will pose an open-ended question to a group of students, and let them discuss it at length. Depending on the students' experience level, the moderator may need to intervene in the debate from time to time. Rather than simply memorizing answers, Socratic dialogue teaches students to proactively seek wisdom, and to discover answers for themselves.

Project-based learning

Giving students hands-on opportunities to apply their knowledge is effective for many reasons. Targeted projects teach teamwork, collaboration, and problem solving. Engagement tends to be very high when there's a clear goal. Practical experiences are much more reflective of the real world that the controlled environment of traditional education. Students experience both success and failure on real terms, and their work is judged by the tangible outcome rather than an arbitrary grade.


Customarily, giving students hard knowledge has been a large part of a teacher's job. Helping them to memorize information, such as math facts, spelling, and grammar, used to be remarkably time-intensive. With the availability of elearning tools, repetitive drilling and giving accurate, timely feedback are built in, so the least fun aspect of teaching is now done by a Computer, and oftentimes as a game.


Open your doors

You'll find over time that a lot of details go in to running a successful microschool. But many of these specifics will be unique to each case. All you really need is a classroom full of kids and the desire to teach them. Establishing a microschool will be your own adventure, and you're allowed to learn lessons along the way, just like your students are. What's crucial is that you direct the experience to the needs of your students, and in the way that you best know how. As long as you're committed, you'll figure it out, and your students' lives will be enriched along the way.

What about accreditation?

Most people have a hazy idea that accreditation exists for schools, and it can seem like a daunting box to check if you're trying to establish one. It's important to know, however, that while accreditation is a great thing to have, it isn't necessary to run a microschool.

Accreditation's primary purpose is to facilitate the transfer of credits from one school to another, primarily in the public system. This obviously comes in handy with college applications, particularly when obtaining college credit for classes taken in high school. While many private schools are accredited, it's not required. In the event that a child transfers from a non-accredited school to a public school, they'll be tested and assigned to the appropriate grade level. It should be noted that homeschooled students experience higher-than-average college acceptance rates, even though their parents are almost certainly not accredited.

Some people are surprised to learn that anyone can open their doors and operate as a private school. Aside from basic business filings, there are no credentials or certifications required, no bureaucratic hoops you need to jump through, to begin impacting kids' lives in a very real way. Vetting schools is what parents are for.

Wait...is that it?

Of course not. This page focuses intentionally on the big picture. There are countless details that go in to running a successful microschool, many of which you'll want to figure out for yourself. But we do offer comprehensive support, right here on this website, and through our personal mentor program, to get your school running full tilt. Browse the knowledge base, or join the movement to begin your journey.

Join the Microschool Revolution!