Types of Education for Kids: Formal, Informal & Non-formal

Educators and academicians have differentiated multiple types of education to help kids get the best of different methods. From standardized learning to homeschooling, there are different types of educational opportunities for kids these days. As a parent, you need to understand the differences, advantages, and opportunities available to kids when you blend different educational types.

You can also uncover new strategies https://ethioexam.com/ of teaching your kids difficult subjects when you leverage multiple types of education. E.g., you can teach fractions and multiplication by using different colored balls of different sizes.

You can compare a small ball that’s half the size of a bigger one and ask your kid to count the total via multiplication. These are informal ways of learning that can help bring a new dimension to the learning experience.

For kids that are homeschooled, there are also good takeaways that you can pick up from formalized school and non-formalized learning. You can adapt the best practices from these structures and help your kid acquire the right life skills. For example, enrolling them in scouts & guides, fitness-based routines, language skills courses, etc. can help them be more prepared for multifaceted challenges.

What Is the Meaning of Education?

When trying to understand the world of education, we need to dig deeper into the meaning of education. Education is widely regarded as the guide towards developing a growth mindset, progress and freedom. By learning the right sets of skills, principles, values, and processes, kids can become more productive and successful adults.

You can teach your kids different ways of understanding the world around them through multiple lenses. With the right science curriculum, you can open their world to biology, physics, chemistry, etc. Through different languages, you can inspire them to travel globally and interact with different people. With math education, you can help develop the foundation for engineering, coding, and AI.

Understanding the Different Types of Education

To get a better sense of what education types are ideal for your child, you need to be aware of the types that exist in the world. There are primarily three major types of education available for kids, namely formal, informal, and non-formal. These provide value across different areas of development for your children.

Formal education consists of school-based learning, subject-oriented, uniform curriculum, and highly structured teaching methods. Informal education focuses on practical skills, diversity in teaching, real-life based, and independence in learning. Non-formal education drives flexible learning in a collaborative environment without formal prerequisites.

Formal Education – a Highly Structured Approach

When it comes to the types of education systems for kids, formal education is one of the first few things that come to mind. The image of a formalized school, with uniforms and school books, comes to mind, which is one of the major hallmarks of a formal education type.

Your kids are taught by certified teachers that are highly qualified in their field across different grades and standards. Teachers are also trained to develop the inherent skill sets of their kids so that they’re able to gain more confidence in different subjects.

Examples of Formal Education

Classroom management is one of the primary examples of a formal education setup. Your kids can learn alongside others in a private or public institution. The formal education system provides a structure for your kids to grow within through grade-wise graduation.

You can start formalized education for your child from Pre-K onwards by enrolling them in a formal school or Pre-K specific institute. A nursery or kindergarten-style school may also be right for younger kids that excel in a formal education environment.

Advantages of formal education

While there are different types of education for kids, the main advantage of opting for formal education is the structure provided. You can be assured that your kids will be able to maximize their potential within a highly structured and inflexible environment. The right skills required, such as grammar, arithmetic, and critical reasoning, will be provided to kids within the setup.

Formal education has also become standardized after generations of iterations on various types of education systems. For scale purposes, formalized education has been the leader within the schooling arena. Your kids can benefit from a hierarchical structure that has been developed to provide consistency.

Disadvantages of formal education

There are also clear disadvantages of opting for a purely formalized education standard. Students can find that the rigid structure doesn’t allow for creativity and flexibility. Your kids may feel held back intellectually if they only learn through books and instructional processes.

There is also the risk of falling into rote learning traps, as some schools tend to focus on what’s coming up in the examination rather than exploring subjects through curiosity. There may be a risk of brilliant students becoming easily bored because of a highly rigid system.

Why Informal Education is Vital for Kids

In terms of flexibility and engaged learning, informal education is one of the best ways to teach children. There isn’t a direct syllabus or not much practice in creating a lesson plan involved in daily learning, but more attention is given to practice. Kids can participate in a range of exercises that go beyond formal structures.

That’s why things like field trips, museum visits, and after-school programs are vital for holistic development. Your children should experience the practical world and apply their skills to widen their horizons through different types of informal education. Informal lessons can be taught throughout the day, but structuring them within a child’s schedule is ideal.

Examples of informal education

Some of the main examples of informal education are learning languages, autodidactic learning, skill-based learning, scouts & guides, etc. These informal educational experiences can be enrichening for your children, as it allows them to practice creative-thinking in the classroom and real life too. With a basic set of skills provided, your kids can take on new challenges to utilize them effectively.

Homeschooling is another critical example of informal education, requiring the integration of structure, technology, and tools. You can help your kids prepare for the challenges of the world by giving them the right homeschooling educational experience. You can introduce homeschooling resources, toys, online learning platforms, virtual learning, and book experiences that help them remain curious about the world.

Advantages of informal education

Some of the more obvious advantages of informal education are the focus on singular goals. These can help kids focus their attention on attaining one objective with multiple milestones. These could include specific skills, proficiency, and even mastery over certain things.

Your kids can also tend to enjoy the freeform nature of informal education, as well as its practical applications. Kids can sometimes not connect the dots between learning math and applying it in real life, which is where informal educational practices help drive the message home.

Disadvantages of informal education

As you make the decision of what type of education is best for your child, you should also know the disadvantages of a purely informal educational experience. You still need the right infrastructure to support a child’s development, especially during their younger years.

When it comes to informal education, you need to assess different classes, schools, and centers individually. They may specialize in unique skills and domains, but you may need to enroll your child in multiple schools to give them a well-rounded experience.

Let’s Look at Non-Formal Education

Another form of education is gaining in popularity these days, called non-formal education. This is a balanced approach to strict formal education and non-structured informal educational practices. It finds the fine line between flexibility and educational goals for kids. Kids also tend to enjoy learning when they have access to non-formal educational programs.

What differentiates non-formal education from informal education is the planned nature of the program. There is a well-outlined structure for the non-formal educational program, making it goal driven. It is also more practically oriented when compared to formal educational learning practices. It can be leveraged as both a part-time and full-time course as well.

Examples of non-formal education

You’ll find non-formal educational programs to be more impactful for specific areas of learning for your kids. Skills development schools, such as confidence, socialization in kids, etc., can also be beneficial for your kids if they have shown an interest in these areas.

Training schools, youth exchanges, and summer camp activities for kids can also be impactful. These non-formal skill-based educational programs also provide a collaborative environment for your kids to practice theater, executing painting ideas, mapping, bird spotting, and a range of other skills.

Advantages of non-formal education

When trying to figure out the benefits of different types of education, you need to look at the advantages offered by non-formal education. Non-formal educational programs are generally learner-centered. They are designed to engage kids of all ages and provide them with a rich and nurturing environment for them to develop.

Non-formal education also engages kids through different types of stimuli. This makes the entire program more participatory, practical, and goal driven. Your kids can learn about things they would never traditionally have in a formal educational system. There is also greater accessibility to non-formal educational programs for children as well.