Model is a hybrid of traditional Christian education and home schooling
A cutting-edge model of education could be the answer to many of the problems Christian education faces today, says Barbara Freeman.
Freeman is executive director of the National Association of University-Model Schools (NAUMS) Inc., based in Arlington, Texas.
The organization currently has 36 member schools, which are trademarked as University-Model Schools (UMS). Their most notable feature is that they are a hybrid of traditional Christian education and home schooling.
“The major distinctive between the University-Model School and any traditional, Christian school is the fact that the UMS gives the ‘gift of time’ to parents, so that parents have time to devote a significant part of their lives to their children,” Freeman tells OACS News. “They have time to be directly involved in their children’s education.”
This is possible because students in the University-Model Schools are home in what is called the “satellite” classroom part of the time, and in the “central classroom” on the physical property of the school the remainder of the time.
“The UMS philosophy related to time requires that younger children spend more time in the home — primarily with the mother in most cases — and increase time in the central classroom, the school, as they grow older,” says Freeman.
In most UM schools, elementary children are in the central classroom two days a week and in the satellite classroom three days a week; beginning in Grade 6 or 7, this is reversed.
While in the satellite classroom, students, with parents as supervisors, are required to follow assignment sheets from teachers.
Since the entire instructional program is under the supervision of the school, this is considered to be a five-day program, like any traditional school.
Typically at the elementary level, parents would be considered the co-teacher, although all instructions are from the central classroom teacher, at the middle school level or junior high, parents are considered supervisors, and at the secondary level, they are considered mentors to their children.
Since the name University-Model School is trademarked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, this concept of education and its integrity is protected by NAUMS, Inc.
Only schools that are full-member schools in good standing with NAUMS are permitted to use the trademark name or call themselves University-Model Schools.
NAUMS has created an official certification process for schools interested in becoming members. The process is based on quality standards that focus on developing student character as well as preparing young people for college.
Once certified, it is expected that schools will also pursue accreditation. To help make this happen, NAUMS was corporately accredited by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) in March, 2006. Twelve of the nation’s UM schools are accredited and several others are in the process.
As an educator for 44 years, 33 of those in public education, Freeman says she finds the UM School “to be the answer to most of the problems in Christian education today.”
“In my opinion, it is a ‘cutting-edge’ model of education and one that can, and will, be instrumental in the salvation of the Christian family, as well as our nation.”
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