Currently, we offer a shared-schooling model where three days per week, learners may meet together in community and use the other two days to learn in the comfort of their home. Younger students will need a parent to direct their learning while at home while older students can be self-directed. Independent work on core skills and project-based learning quests can take place at home because of the accountability within the Journey Acadeny systems we use in the learning studios on community days.
Our school year is divided into 7 learning sessions which all culminate with an Exhibition Night for friends and family to come celebrate the learning progress from that session. We also kick off each school year with a family camping trip and end each year with a student-led Discovery Trip that coordinates with one of the learning projects from the year. We run from September to May each school year.
Our learning studios are open from 9am-3pm each day. Our learning time is broken into morning Socratic discussions, core skills time, collaborative learning Quests/projects, PE, Art, and free time. Multiple outside recess breaks are an important part of each day. Using the incredible eLearning tools now available, we are able to provide the rigor needed for learning math, vocabulary, spelling, and grammar in about 90 minutes each day, while freeing up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based collaborative learning.
Yes, we promise it is! An unbelievable amount of time is wasted in traditional education because of discipline distractions, disengaged students, and inefficient learning methods. Journey Academy approaches learning radically different from the traditional model of a one-size-fits-all lecture with passive students who are required to move at the same pace of the class. Using a learner-driven model, we allow each student to set their own goals, choose learning platforms that work for them, and provide a consistent atmosphere of reward and accountability. While we do not believe standardized assessments are important, we do administer standardized tests at the beginning and end of the year to measure baseline data on core skills. Based on these test results nationwide, Acton Academy students have been advancing far faster than in traditional schools, averaging as much as three grade levels gained each year. By using a more efficient learner-driven model, we are able to free up massive amounts of time for students to pursue their own learning interests through collaborative projects, apprenticeships, and life-integrated learning.
While there will be work that needs to be completed on days Heroes are at home, we believe it is important that students do not have any evening or weekend homework. We believe that children need time to play, relax, and be with family and friends, and are committed to ensuring plenty of learning during studio hours so that time outside the studio can be free for other important pursuits. We also believe family time is sacred and those relationships need to be nurtured on evenings and weekends without the distraction and conflict that homework can bring.
A studio is a place where someone goes to learn, practice, or study. A classroom implies a space where a group of people are all being directed in the same activity at the same time. At Journey Academy, we want to create a learner-driven environment where children and young adults can learn, practice, and study at their own pace while being encouraged by others. Traditionally, we perceive a classroom as a temporary place you go to learn something until your real life begins and you ‘graduate’. Pursuing knowledge and wisdom in a community learning studio helps communicate that we believe learning to be a lifestyle that doesn’t end at graduation.
Heroes at Journey Academy demonstrate progress through student portfolios, learning exhibitions, peer reviews, goal monitoring, online dashboards, learning badges, and a once-a-year-standardized test. In place of traditional letter grades, we use a system of badges which are not earned until a student has reached mastery in that specific area, thus ensuring students successfully learn and process what they are studying. Badges are translatable as transcripts to other academic institutions. Completion of 80% of the required badges at 100% mastery translates to a grade of 80%.
We believe that children are natural learners who need adults to inspire them to wonder rather than prescribe to them an educational path that the student doesn’t own for themselves or feel passionate about. We believe that with the proper guard rails set in place by a Guide, a student will be inspired to pursue a Hero’s Journey and Learn to Be, Learn to Do, and Learn to Learn. We also believe along with Charlotte Mason that, ‘God the Holy Spirit is Himself, personally, the Imparter of knowledge, the Instructor of youth, and the Inspirer of genius’. We believe that when a teacher sets himself up as the ‘grand showman of the universe’ to inform the student of some truth, that adult is robbing from the student the joy of discovering a treasure of knowledge. Therefore, we seek to guide and let the students play the active role in their own education.
We believe each student is created by the triune God to have a relationship with Him and to bring Him glory. We bring God the greatest glory by being who He created us to be and utilizing our gifts, skills and passions to make the greatest impact in the world. We believe the living God revealed himself to all mankind through the inerrant words found in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We expose children to the importance of their spirituality and we stress the historical importance of Christianity to the development of Western Civilization. Journey Academy is not a place of religious indoctrination, but rather a community that is safe place for our students to discover and dig deep into their faith journey. Knowing each person needs to work out their faith in various ways, we welcome questions of every kind and approach faith study in a different manner than you would find in a traditional Christian school or homeschool program. While all our staff operate under the tenants of belief found in the Nicene Creed, our students are welcomed at any point in their faith journey.
Lord John Emerich Edward Dahlberg-Acton (1834-1902) was a Victorian scholar of Freedom who saw liberty not as a license, but as the freedom to do what was right. He was suspicious of power for the sake of power, which led to his most famous quote: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” At Journey Academy, we celebrate his defense of economic, political, and religious freedom.
We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose, in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special journey by discovering God’s calling and purpose for their lives. Although there are many heroes we look up to and even super heroes we admire…Jesus is the ultimate Hero!
We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy as well as the Reggio-Emilia philosophy in many ways, but we are not an official Montessori school. Our Sparks studio for our youngest learners will have more evidence of Montessori methods and works than the other studios. Once students graduate into the Discovery Studio (elementary ages), we do use the latest interactive technologies, hands-on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions. We also make use of many Charlotte Mason methods and her “20 Educational Principles” in much that we do; however, we have made some adjustments to bring our students the best 21st century education possible. Journey Academy does fall under the Inquiry-based Model of Education which is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems, or scenarios. It contrasts with traditional education, which generally relies on the teacher presenting facts and his or her knowledge about the subject. Inquiry learning is defined best by these four distinctives:
An independent learner is someone who can research questions, follow instructions, solve problems—admit that they don’t know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock without asking an adult for help — participate in discussions, and strive for mastery.
Running Partners are fellow learners in a learning studio who meet together regularly to set goals and hold each other accountable for meeting those goals. Running Partners encourage and inspire each other by asking good questions, listening, and providing affirmation. This prepares our students for a lifestyle of seeking out and welcoming peer accountability and not only working on goals and learning projects because it is being expected of them by an adult authority but because they enjoy the reward of learning itself.
We believe that children learn best when working with children younger and older than themselves rather than split up into groups based solely on age. In addition to individualized curricula, students of all ages work together in multi-age groups within each studio. This allows children to be both teachers and learners, further developing each student’s own learning.
We believe each of our students will find a passion — something they love and have a gift to do. They will use this gift to glorify God, serve others, and fulfill a need they are passionate about in the world. This may be by becoming a shoe-shiner who tells stories and makes people’s day just by doing his job with love and vigor; it may be by becoming a coach who sees the light in a child’s eyes and guides her to pursue a dream; it may be by becoming a father or mother who leads a family on a Hero’s Journey; it may be a child who dedicates his life to the foreign mission field; it may be becoming an entrepreneur or business leader guided by compassion and integrity; or it may be by becoming an artist or writer who brings beauty to peoples’ lives.
We believe God’s hand was on the formation of our nation and the ideals upon which it was founded. We believe in liberty and justice and the ideals of the American revolution as the cornerstones of our civilization, culture, and economy. In addition to experiential learning, we will study the American documents and the true meaning behind them, as we examine other cultures and forms of government.
Deep at the core of Journey Academy is our commitment to serving customers and receiving transparent feedback. Because of this, we ask families to participate in a monthly Customer Satisfaction Survey, where we ask them to rate us 1-5 on how well we accomplished our promises. We then share the results with the community. These surveys are our most important metric to measure the success of the learning community.
We believe parents are the most influential adults in any child’s educational journey, and we exist to empower and reinforce that relationship. Journey Academy is currently structured as an Independent/Umbrella school where parents are responsible for complying with all Colorado homeschool laws. Parents, students, and Guides will work together throughout the year to set appropriate learning plans and goals. Parents are asked to be involved in our Exhibition gatherings every 6 weeks where the Heroes showcase all of their academic progress in core skills and Quest projects. We also ask parents to visit our community regularly and lead occasional deep dive book clubs for the students. We kick off each year with a family camping trip and conclude each year with a student-planned Discovery trip that links to one of the learning quests. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in all of these ways.