Millennial parents today have more options than ever for providing their children with innovative education options. We are long past the days when your only choice is to send your kids to the closest public school. Let’s look at some creative and surprising alternatives for educating your K-12 children.

Charter Schools

If you’re like many parents, you might think that charter schools are simply another type of private school. This isn’t the case, though, as charter schools don’t charge tuition. Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools that offer smaller classes and more individualized learning options than typical public schools. Some of them offer online as well as traditional classes.

There are, however, both pros and cons to charter schools. One possible drawback is that, because they rely on public funding, they may lack certain resources. Some charter schools have even had to close due to lack of funds. Others, however, are thriving. If this idea interests you, it’s worth checking the reputations of any charter schools that are in your area.

Magnet Schools

Magnet schools are a special type of public school that qualified students within a state can attend even if they live closer to other schools. Magnet schools often specialize in certain areas, especially STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. These schools give talented students who may not be able to afford costly private schools a chance to get the best possible education.

Private Schools

The term “private schools” refers to a very wide variety of educational choices. Private schools can have very different values, curriculums and costs. There are religious-based schools, secular ones and schools that follow particular educational philosophies.

Montessori schools, for example, let children pursue their own interests rather than imposing a standardized program of study. At the other end of the spectrum are military schools that instill students with discipline and traditional values.

If you’re thinking about sending your kids to a private school, it’s best to do plenty of research. Carefully consider the approach and reputation of a school before you make your choice. You also have to consider factors such as location and cost.

Free Online Schools

Online colleges have gotten lots of attention recently. However, many people don’t realize that there are also online schools for K-12 and high school as well. Many of these are tuition-free schools where your children can get a first-rate education without attending classes in person.

Digital schools such as Connections Academy are certified in many states and have qualified and certified teachers. If you’ve ever thought about homeschooling but are concerned that you’re not qualified to teach your kids, this is a viable alternative.


Not that long ago, homeschooling was considered a fringe practice. Although it’s still controversial, many more parents are choosing to homeschool their children than ever before. While requirements for homeschooling vary from state to state, the practice is now more widely accepted than it used to be.

There are a few ways that you can go about this type of education. Some parents teach their own kids on their own. Others form groups or coops where kids can learn together and parents share teaching responsibilities. While teaching your own kids is a valid choice, it’s a serious commitment so you have to be sure that you’re prepared for it.

These are some of the alternatives to sending your K-12 kids to the nearest public school. There are now many choices for educating your children in the manner that you see fit. The kind of school your kids attend can have a serious impact on their development and future success. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider your choice in this area.