(NewsUSA) - Six is a memorable number - It's the number of players on a volleyball team, geese a-laying in "The 12 Days of Christmas," and characters in Friends. There are also six main types of K-12 learning environments families can choose from. As we gear up for National School Choice Week (Jan. 26 - Feb. 1), can you name all six types of schools?
You'd almost certainly identify traditional public school, the most common K-12 education choice. More than 85 percent of students attend traditional public schools, which are free to attend. In some states, you can choose traditional public schools outside of your zone or even your district.
Public charter schools are also available to an increasing number of students across the U.S. Available in more than 40 states, these tuition-free public schools are unique because they have extra freedom to innovate.
Have you heard of a public magnet school? These public, district-run schools teach all subjects through the lenses of a particular track or "magnet." For example, the magnet could be health sciences or performance arts.
You've also likely heard of private schools, which charge tuition and offer learning environments that may pass on a particular faith tradition or provide a unique curriculum or focus. There are more scholarship options for private education today than ever before.
There are also full-time, tuition-free online schools in many states. These flexible, technology-based schools offer a blend of online coursework and in-person activities.
Finally, don't forget homeschooling. Families who choose to educate their children in the home can access a broad variety of in-person and web-based resources to support them in their work.
Of course, there aren't just six options. Each type of learning environment overflows with customizable options: No two public schools are exactly alike, just as no two families homeschool quite the same way.
Having these choices makes a world of difference to families, allowing them to look for a school that matches their child's unique interests and skills. During National School Choice Week, we invite families across the country to discover their options - and find learning environments where their children will thrive. You can learn more at schoolchoiceweek.com/mystate/.
Andrew Campanella is president of National School Choice Week and the author of The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child.