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Expeditionary Learning Schools-any experience?

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Have any of you sent your dc to an Expeditionary Learning School (EL)? If so, would you mind telling me about your experiences, likes/dislikes?


A new charter school is opening near me and they say they are an EL school. The model is based on the ideas of Kurt Han, founder of Outward Bound. They say it's their method, not the curriculum, that is so effective. I haven't found a lot of info. on all this yet, other than the very positive ads by the EL schools themselves.


My dd will start kindergarten in the fall. She is has been fascinated by medicine and the human body since she was 2. The school opening near us will have a focus on medicine and include participants from the local medical community here.


If you have any insight to share, it will be greatly appreciated. Here are some links: elschools.org and risingleadersacademy.org


Thanks for your help.


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My son is in kindergarten and attends an EL school. And the one thing I can say about his school is that they will not let you forget it is an EL school. His school is sooo very busy talking about what an EL school is, how it does things, and how spectacular it is, that it really doesn't tell you what the kids do. Sure, there is a secret, magical *rigorous* process, but beyond that, it's a little vague. They do community projects not because it is the right thing to do, but because that is what EL schools do. They have to color pictures using five different colors, as that is what a "quality" picture has in it, regardless of the subject of the picture. It's a little odd, in all honesty. I'm not sure if their messaging is off, or if the school is off, if that makes any sense.

The "expeditions" that they engage in have been hit or miss for us. For example, my son has been learning about plants since September. He, unfortunately, has no interest in plants. None. So getting him to excited to go and learn about plants, every day, has been a nightmare (he's had other issues, but that is the subject of another post). However, it sounds like your potential school has the potential to really fit your DC's interest, so that might not be an issue.

The quality of the expeditions also vary. For my son, he pretty much knew all of the stuff they covered in their expedition. We're big gardeners and hikers, so pretty much all of the information they covered was stuff he knew from home. I don't know if that is us over-doing afterschooling/life learning, or the expedition not getting very far.

We've only been in this school since September, so maybe I'm missing something, or haven't had the Kool-aid yet, or am just overly critical because I would rather be home schooling. However, I wouldn't say that the fact that a school is or isn't doing EL should be determinative in your decision making. But that's just me.

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Mommymonster - that is very interesting. Thank you for responding.


I will be honest and say that when a school can not be more forthcoming about what they do, flags go up in my head. Yet, I don't want to be overly skeptical and miss a good opportunity for my dd. I'll keep digging.


Thanks again for your response. It does help me. If I send her to this school in the fall, maybe we can compare notes. :001_smile:


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