Homestead Alternative Academy is currently a nursery and primary school established and run by The Wanted Children Foundation, an NGO that rescues and cares for Orphan and Vulnerable Children in Nigeria. Due to the unique and specific nature of the OVC who come to live in TWCF and how TWCF runs its programs, it was necessary to set up a school that takes into account the holistic care and life-cycle approach needed to best meet the very special needs of our children. TWCF’s mandate is one that takes a unique and modern approach to the care of its OVC and this approach has been a part of their vision to establish a school that will continue to encompass that uniqueness.
Homestead Alternative Academy has been founded and developed through vast research and experience, and on the most current findings.
This school has been expertly created to encompass the holistic learning necessary for a child to excel as a whole person, not just as an academic. It is modeled after the Canadian, American, and European styled Alternative schools that provide various avenues of teaching and learning for the children to engage in. The most current research in how related to how children learn clearly indicates that; while most children now days cannot learn in the same format and style our modern day education systems are very slowly beginning to take this into account. The need to recognize these new discoveries in “best practice” is even more so the case for children who have experienced such levels of trauma in their past.
Alternative education is one that teaches with non-traditional approaches.
Typically the class sizes are much smaller and there is a close relationship between the teachers/support staff and the students. There is a strong sense of community and belonging, more accountability and ownership regarding challenge and success in the classroom. Alternative education practices provide non-traditional methods, approaches and styles to teaching and learning. It takes into account the differences of each child, specifically paying attention to effects of biological, environmental, and situational influences that have been, or are present in each child’s life. Alternative education is a middle ground between ‘regular ‘standardized’ educational practices and ‘‘special’ education’.
Curriculum and learning is matched to the individual’s speed of development, not decided by chronological age.
Curriculum is also extremely flexible taking into account the needs of holistic training and learning. The use of Individual Education Plan(s) (IEPs) are typically used for children in alternative education, more specifically to those facing more serious challenges in one or more of the domains. Domains mean the various areas/categories represented by all learning and development where goals can be created. The domains that we take into account for our students are; 1) academic, 2) communication, 3) behavioural, 4) emotional 5) physical. There represent the possible spheres of development and learning that the child will need teaching and training in.
Homestead Alternative Academy has been developed and established to model this new style of education that better supports and equips students to become successful contributing citizens of their families, communities, country and global world.
With its holistic approach, it cares attentively for the children who have suffered traumatic situations, which have greatly affected several to all of their domains. By providing smaller classes and close relationships with the teachers and support staff, it creates room for safety in thinking, experimenting, practicing and learning.
We are both excited and passionate with the development and start of our school, and look forward to training and equipping no only our children as they grow and learn, but also the staff we bring on board to work with us.