Journey Academy Mission

Every day, we listen humbly, challenge bravely, and fail productively in order to
discover our God-given, world-changing calling.

We Promise...

 through Socratic guiding and experiential learning, to encourage each student to…

  • Begin a Hero’s Journey

  • Discover precious gifts and a commitment to mastery

  • Become a curious, independent, life-long learner

  • Embrace the forging of strong character

  • Cherish the arts, the physical world, and the mysteries of life

  • Work out their faith in Christ in a safe, nurturing environment that welcomes questions

  • Treasure economic, political, and religious freedom

You know you are visiting an
Acton Academy Learner-Driven Community
when you see and hear:

  • Evidence of the Hero’s Journey

    • Frequent references to the Hero’s Journey and callings

    • Use of Growth Mindset language

    • Acknowledgement of the necessity to fail early, cheaply, and often to learn

    • Parent Meetings at least 3x per year, focusing on parents’ own Hero’s Journeys

  • Self-governance and self-management

    • Public Exhibitions at the end of every session

    • Badges approved according to “Standards of Excellence”

    • Weekly points and SMART goals

    • Customer satisfaction surveys at least twice per month shared with Heroes and parents

  • Accountability and celebration of progress and hard work

    • Public Exhibitions at the end of every session

    • Badges approved according to “Standards of Excellence”

    • Weekly points and SMART goals

    • Customer satisfaction surveys at least twice per month shared with Heroes and parents

  • Heroes “Learning to Do”

    • Overarching Question posted on the wall

    • Journey maps posted on walls (Quests, Writer’s Workshop, Civilizations)

    • Heroes learning clear processes for getting things done, often posted on walls (writing processes, critique processes, conflict resolution processes, etc.)

    • Public posting of work and comparison of world-class examples

    • Feedback systems and deliberate practice

    • Nest Cams to capture visual patterns over time

  • Heroes “Learning to Learn”

    • Hands-on Quests to discover gifts

    • Socratic discussions in launches and Civilizations

    • Lexia, Spelling City, and other game-based tools to allow Heroes to learn at their own pace

    • Heroes choosing to “drop everything and read” (DEAR)

    • Writers’ Workshop and peer-reviewed writing

    • Apprenticeships in upper studios

  • Heroes “Learning to Be”

    • Character Call Outs

    • Servant Leader Badges or another way to intentionally develop heroic habits

    • Squad Leaders or Running Partners/Teams

    • Collaboration Cards or another system for purposeful collaboration

    • 360 Peer Reviews or another system for feedback on Heroes’ warm-hearted and tough-minded character development

  • Socratic Guiding

    • Guides only respond to questions with another question or a choice

    • The flow of the studio doesn’t revolve around the Guide; Heroes don’t look to Guides as their primary help

    • Guide can disappear for extended periods of time and nothing changes

    • Studio isn’t organized around a teacher’s desk

  • No examples of:

    • Teaching or lecturing by Guides

    • Grades or grading by adults

    • Shaming behavior or language or a condescending tone

    • Fixed Mindset language

    • Guides making announcements in front of the studio

  • Language that affirms the method

    • Young people referred to as “Heroes,” or “Learners,” and not as “students” or “kids.”

    • Adults referred to as “Guides” and not “teachers”

    • No reference to grade levels (“fifth grade”)

    • “Learn to Learn, Learn to Do, Learn to Be” instead of edu-speak like “developmentally appropriate,” “classroom,” “instruction,” “gifted & talented”

    • “Learning” instead of “teaching

Quotes that Inspire us…

“One of the secrets of the educator is to present nothing as stale knowledge, but to put himself in the position of the child and wonder and admire with him. For every common miracle which the child sees with his own eyes makes of him for the moment another Newton. The children, not the teachers, are the responsible persons; they do the work by self-effort…The teachers give the uplift of their sympathy in the work, but the actual work is done by the scholars.”
Charlotte Mason
“Parents who persistently fall on the side of intervening for their child, as opposed to supporting their child’s attempts to problem-solve, interfere with the most important task of childhood and adolescence: the development of self.”
Dr. Madeline Levine’s words in her book, The Price of Privilege
“At Acton Academy our job is to nurture not hinder the natural instincts of children. They are born ready to learn, ready to be a friend, ready to get up after falling down and ready to solve problems. Acton Academy is an invitation to a real life Hero’s Journey. The courage to say yes to the journey is the starting point for each child and parent.”
Laura Sandefer, Courage to Grow