At the dawn of this school year, I reported on the exciting possibilities for education in the coming decades. Significant strides were made in Alabama since then, notably with the passage of the CHOOSE Act, which empowers parents and energizes microschool leaders to spearhead innovative, grassroots educational strategies.

As I engage with corporate and industry leaders across the nation, a shared enthusiasm for transformative change in education is unmistakable. I think Alabama is ready for disruption. This isn't about minor adjustments to existing curriculum, but a revolutionary shift catapulting the education of American children to a new level.

However, challenges persist. Large, traditional public schools struggle to innovate swiftly due to their sheer size and established systems. Technology is changing every week right now, and if public schools have long curriculum contracts measured in years, our students will quickly be left behind. They are behind right now, in fact.

The CHOOSE Act underscores a pivotal shift, recognizing that homeschools and microschools represent a cost-effective, forward-thinking educational model because they require fewer resources than traditional schools. Even the authors of this Act provide evidence that homeschooling is the future by stating these students only need $2,000 per year, when public-schooled students require over three times as much.

This insight sparked my initiative to launch a cutting-edge STEM microschool at DiVRgence in Huntsville this fall, where I'll educate a small group of students using innovative resources and partnerships, potentially surpassing the offerings at traditional institutions like Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering (ASCTE). ASCTE took in millions of dollars to educate around 400 students. Their educational content is excellent, but their archaic, top-down business model requiring millions in capital just to open their doors must be challenged.

Our microschool curriculum will be vibrant and interactive, offering "AI Writers Guild" for English, where students will craft novels with the help of ChatGPT, or Biology in virtual reality, enabling students to engage in hands-on learning without traditional constraints. We'll also weave the narrative of U.S. History into digital and physical storytelling mediums such as website and podcast development and embrace innovative math programs like Beast Academy. Furthermore, we have plans to build a walking, talking School MascotBot with student and parent collaboration. And because parents are with their children a few days a week through this form of education, they will be more plugged into the learning experience and maintaining digital safety. This allows us to open the internet and AI tools safely to our students, where full-time schooled students must be locked out behind firewalls “for their safety” and for legal reasons.

We aim to replicate this micro educational model throughout Alabama's 94 recreation centers, potentially reaching 96 students in each facility. This approach not only revolutionizes learning, but also fosters a community of both parent and student creators, moving them beyond being mere consumers of technology. We will potentially serve 9,024 students per year, giving them real-world skills they can transfer into the workforce one day.

The supposed teacher shortage is not a concern within homeschooling and microschooling communities, which have seen a surge of skilled educators leaving the public system who are still passionate about personally nurturing the next generation. This influx of dedicated teachers allows us to create a truly collaborative and community-focused grassroots educational environment. Our kids also learn from doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The homeschool and microschool world has grown in both students and well-educated mothers across the state.

“People talk a lot about how microschools benefit families and students, but we often ignore how microschools are good for educators as well,” Tom Bogle writes on the Facebook group, “The Microschool Dream.” “Starting a microschool can be a great way for educators to reignite their passion for working with learners in creative and innovative ways. Starting a microschool helps you have an entrepreneurial mindset, which influences the way you talk with your students as they try to solve problems, experience frustrations and failures, or pivot when a project does not go as planned. A microschool founder also has more control over their work schedule, the families they serve, and the terms and conditions of their working environment.”

Those interested in starting their own microschool can join our “Alabama Microschool Leaders” Facebook group, and can also attend the “Microschooling 101” event hosted by The National Microschooling Center this summer. Together, we can redefine the educational landscape in Alabama, proving that when parents and communities lead from the bottom-up, extraordinary things happen.

School choice is about more than just funding. It moves educational decision-making from the administrator of a school system all the way down to the learner, giving students opportunities to choose their own facilitators, curriculum, projects, and even how much they get done each day. It’s exciting to watch children grab the reins and drive their own education. Let's embrace these challenges as opportunities to craft an inspiring future for our children and our state.

Jennifer Wolverton is the CEO of Log Cabin Schoolhouse and author of ALSchoolChoice on FB. To connect with the author of this story, email

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