Every child is different, but the current school model doesn't always cater to that. The school day works around the assumption that all learners work at the same pace, but that just isn't the case.
Some students get bored because they finish their work quickly, and others get left behind because they didn't understand something, experience processing or other difficulties and they don't have the time to stop and go over it again.
This has nothing to do with how clever a student is, rather, it's related to individual difference and whether the learning is delivered in a way that can best support each student.
Students succeed with us because the whole platform is designed around them - not the teachers, subjects, or school timetable.
We recommend students spend about 3-4 hours a day working on the Inventorium, which is around how much time they actually spend learning at school once you take into account movements between classes and other aspects of the timetable not directly related to learning.
It is up to students when they learn, so those who struggle with mornings can study in the afternoon or evening, those who have a part-time job can study around their work, and those who have caring responsibilities can study around those.
The student's only fixed obligation is the time they spend in a tutorial with their teacher, and that's open to negotiation.
In a situation like the current Covid-19 disruption, where many parents are being asked to continue working yet also supervise and assist their children’s learning, the Inventorium provides flexibility in managing those competing roles.
Learners differ in their interests and what they actually want to learn. Some students love science but hate history, whereas others love history but hate maths.
While there are basic levels of literacy and numeracy that every learner should develop, the way they are developed can vary. All students engage in learning if they are presented with something that interests them - just see how long they spend on YouTube!
The trick is channelling that curiosity in a way that helps them learn things that will enable them to build healthy and fulfilling lives. Few people like to sit down and work through abstract exercises, but give a student a real-life problem related to their life experiences or their aspirations and they find their motivation.
Students succeed with the Inventorium because we build the curriculum around their lives.
If they have particular goals, responsibilities or interests, we design tasks and assessments around those so learning becomes a part of their life rather than an additional burden outside of it.
This helps them achieve both academic goals and life goals simultaneously.
Most students experience a level of anxiety associated with school, with some really struggling to manage it. The Inventorium’s curriculum is flexible and negotiated, where tasks and outcomes are adapted to avoid triggers for harmful levels of anxiety and where resilience is built. In time, students learn to adapt rather than to give up on learning.
The emphasis on assessment in the traditional school model connects learning to grades rather than to curiosity, knowledge and personal growth. Many students are particularly worried about assessment, to the extent they disengage from learning, even if content won't be formally assessed.
The Inventorium does not have any exams and every assessment is negotiated. Of course, some tasks are required for the student to achieve their chosen qualification, but it is up to them how these are evidenced.
Students are free to choose the work they are happy with, and to put aside work they found less engaging. They are therefore in a better position to celebrate their successes rather than dwell on their perceived failures.
If your child is disengaging from school, we can work with you and their school to offer an alternative route to success so their rejection of the traditional model does not impact on the rest of their life.
In our first year of operation (2019) we enrolled ten fully online students who would not attend school, and we finished the year with the same ten students.
They all achieved SACE credits and six of them re-engaged in formal learning the following year, either returning to school or studying VET.
We are expanding our operation this year, working with five schools and doubling our fully online start-of-year intake. We are also continuing to engage with other schools across all sectors, in terms of assisting them to better understand the context of the online learning environment and to offer support to teachers faced with the challenge of supporting student learning during the Covid-19 situation.
"John is loving the forums. It’s his first interaction with online media."
Mum of Year 7 student
"I've been homeschooled ever since I was in year 2, and before beginning Inventorium, I had little motivation to do my schoolwork, which made it a struggle to even get started with it in the morning."
Rural Year 10 student
"Your product looks awesome, much needed in the home educating curriculum market"
Beverley Paine, Home Education Community Leader