American Academy of Strategic Education

Why Parents Should Be Concerned About the Decline of Patriotism in America

Each summer for the past 15 years we’ve packed up our five children with their one overstuffed carryon luggage to explore the world for 2-3 months at a time. I love visiting other countries and appreciate meeting new people and experiencing new cultures but I have also grown to love and appreciate our country more than ever. 

I’ve visited 38 countries. When asked my favorite country or place, my answer is always the same: “There is no country in the world like the United States. The more one travels, the more one appreciates home.” I know America has its share of problems that at times might seem insurmountable however, the more time I spend in dysfunctional international hubs, the more I realize that our problems are fairly manageable. 

Many Americans tend to overlook the many blessings of our country, focusing on its problems rather than its glories, but millions of immigrants want to come to America because it is a comparatively excellent place to live. If the US was so bad, why would people be flocking here? More than 23 million foreign nationals applied for green cards in 2018. The reason, because America is still the BEST country in the world. The United States has always championed individual freedoms more than most other countries, and patriotism stands firmly in solidarity with these ideals. Our country is amazing! Our freedoms are remarkable. Our founding fathers, and many heroes since then, have sacrificed their lives to ensure our liberty and our independence for generations to come. We should be proud of our heritage, our freedoms, and our heroes.

Why is teaching patriotism so important? It is because patriotism unites diverse groups of people. It is without question that the United States has one of the most diverse and uniquely diverse populations in the world. “A government is like everything else: to preserve it, we must love it.” During his youth, Thomas Jefferson carefully copied those words – a quote from the great political philosopher Montesquieu – into his private journal he kept as a student for future inspiration. “Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic, and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education.”

Jefferson believed that a strong foundation in history would ensure that the future citizens would cherish and sustain the republic the Founders had won for them. He held that the study of American history should be a main focus of education for children aged six to eight. However, in most schools, you will more often encounter the 1619 or Zinn version of history than any positive version of history. We’re telling our young people that America is racist and oppressive, and that over the years we have only failed to do right by the most vulnerable, instead of telling them that we were founded with incredible ideals that we have sometimes failed to live up to.

While patriotism is a politically incorrect term in our education system today, we know that this sense of attachment and identification makes participation in democracy meaningful. In order to feel civically responsible, students must be passionate about their state or nation. School leaders must nurture a positive climate to inspire students. To accomplish this, teachers need to urge students to look to our country’s heroes and heroines for role models rather than focusing myopically on the flaws and foibles of these individuals.

As patriotic Americans, we must redouble our efforts to convert our children, their friends, our colleagues, and our relatives who have lost faith in our troubled, yet still magnificent country. Ultimately, no nation can thrive if too many of its citizens no longer love it. We can become stronger, more united as a nation by embracing patriotism. 

We are enrolling now for Fall 2022. Please reach out if you’re interested and would like more information. Email us at info@american-academy.org or call or text 949-371-5785. We look forward to hearing from you.

Angela Hansen
President & Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education

American Academy Overiew

American Academy of Strategic Education was created to support parents in educating their children the way they feel is best. Parents, teachers, and students collaborate to design the child’s learning plan. Children experience learning that is targeted to their particular needs in our small classes with qualified teachers and at home through an individualized independent study curriculum. Children attend American Academy two academic days and one elective day per week. We also offer monthly field trips for the entire family. Click Here to learn more about our offered programs.

Fall 2022 – Spring 2023 Enrollment Information

We will be offering FREE TOURS at 9:15 AM at our Newport Mesa campus on Tuesdays (February 15, and 22) and at our Mission Viejo campus on Wednesdays (February 16, and 23).  RSVP HERE

RE-ENROLLMENT

We will begin announcing re-enrollment internally on Feb 7. 
Re-enrollment deadline is March 7. 
Enrollment commitment fee is $100 if re-enrolled by March 7, 2022.

PRIORITY ENROLLMENT

Priority Enrollment for new students officially begins Feb 18 
Priority enrollment deadline will be March 10 
Enrollment commitment fee is $500 for all new students.

OPEN ENROLLMENT

Open Enrollment begins March 11.
Enrollment commitment fee is $500 for all new students.

GRADES 9 -12

American Academy of Strategic Education was created to support parents in educating their children the way they feel is best. Parents, teachers, and students collaborate to design the child’s learning plan. Children experience learning that is targeted to their particular needs in our small classes with qualified teachers and at home through an individualized independent study curriculum. Children attend American Academy two academic days and one elective day per week. We also offer monthly field trips for the entire family.

High School students enjoy a great deal of flexibility in creating their schedule and selecting their curriculum on the pathway to graduation.

Students may select an independent study curriculum from a variety of WASC accredited and NCAA approved sources such as charter schools, independent study programs, and colleges. Classes can include honors, a-g, and AP. Our caring, certified teachers are dedicated to partnering with families and helping all students succeed. Students spend 3-4 periods each day working on their independent study curriculum with teacher’s supervision and tutoring, if needed. Students also enjoy optional Life Skill classes, P.E., and a variety of social and academic clubs. 

Academy students continue to work on independent study at home to meet weekly goals and ultimately earn their high school diploma.

Why Parents Should Decide What’s Best For Their Children

If your child is unhappy at school, there is no reason to continue doing what you’re doing. You have options and choices.

American Academy is a mandate-free, stress-free, flexible alternative to traditional school where parents decide what’s best for their children! We offer exciting and engaging project-based core subject and elective classes as well as field trips and world language classes. We are able to help fill learning gaps as well as help accelerating students continue to excel. No mandates, no masks, and later morning arrival time (9:00 AM) allows for more family time and less stressful mornings and students still get out early (2:00 PM) to participate in after school activities. We meet students at their exact ability level and learning pace, and our classes are real-world applicable and are limited to 8-10 students. We have a proven track record and our students are healthy, well-adjusted, and love learning!  

American Academy of Strategic Education does not teach CRT, gender-fluidity, BLM/ Marxism, or sex ed. We are not required to enforce mask-wearing nor mandate the vaccine like traditional schools will soon be doing. We are not controlled by the teachers unions; we can choose to do what’s best for your children. 

Many people have reached out to us because of legitimate concerns they have about what is going on in education. I can separate most parents’ concerns into three main categories. The first one being that the curriculum is being manipulated to indoctrinate their children with teacher’s union philosophies. The second issue that has parents concerned is the adverse side effects of the long-term use of masks on students’ health as well as on their learning. The next concern is the imminent mandate to vaccinate their children with a vaccine that is not much of a safe-guard against the virus and which can cause adverse side effects. The fourth most common reason parents are contacting us for an alternate education option is the concern they have for their child’s mental health. 

American Academy offers awesome alternatives to all of these concerns. And we do it in a way that works for the whole family. Everything we do is based on what the parents think is best for the child, and best for the family. 

American Academy offers a stress-free, adaptive project-based course subject classes which meet all of the state standards in 2 to 3 days per week. Our teachers are kind, and gentle, and they care about each child. Each class is real-world applicable and not filled with hidden political agenda content. We also offer electives such as Overcoming Obstacles, Life Skills, PE, Fine Arts, Coding, Marine Biology, STEM Challenge, Passport Around the World, monthly field trips, and recess. We offer social and academic clubs such as Fine Arts, Entrepreneurialism, Trash to Treasure Crafts, Minecraft, Robotics, etc…Our classes are small so teachers get to know each child and their needs. We also work with parents and students to create an individualized learning plan for the days they are not at the academy. 

Let’s break down each of the three concerns I mentioned. 

First, parents don’t trust that their children’s teachers are providing an unbiased education for their children. During COVID when traditional school children were in their virtual classes with mom and dad listening in the background, parents learned what the teachers were actually teaching their children, (which schools went on to ban–imagine that, the teachers didn’t want parents to hear what they were teaching your children?!) Parents learned that many teachers were sharing their personal political beliefs and teaching controversial topics that should be taught by parents in the privacy of their homes.

Second, parents are worried about the known and unknown adverse side effects masks are having on students’ health and their learning. I don’t need an experiment or long, drawn out study; I see the results firsthand with the students who come to us from schools that require masks. Children are stressed out! Their anxiety is intense. They are experiencing dental and gum disease, breathing issues, severe fungal acne that is leaving permanent scars, headaches, increased illness, etc. Masks are not as effective at stopping a virus as other scientifically proven measures that don’t adversely affect children. American Academy has taken effective measures to keep children and families safe. We sanitize surfaces, encourage hand-washing and sanitizing, limit class size to an effective and reasonable size, encourage parents to keep sick children home, install HEPA filters, limit contact by scheduling in-person classes only every other day, etc…

Third, there are many parents who are not comfortable with giving their children a vaccine that has not stood the test of time. They do not believe a government agency should tell them what’s best for their children especially when there is no evidence that children are at risk nor that the vaccine is helping abate the illness. At American Academy, we support parents in doing what they think is best for their children. 

Finally, let’s discuss children’s stress as it relates to academics. Some schools are feverishly trying to catch up students due to being behind because they shut down during COVID. This catch up is causing a LOT of undue stress on students. American Academy knows there is a better way to catch up students who are behind. We fill in foundational education gaps in a way that does not cause ANY stress. Our approach actually helps the child feel confident and calm. If your child is stressed about catching up, there are better ways than to put this kind of pressure on your child. Take control and take your child out of that environment ASAP. 

On the flip side, there are some children who did NOT get behind during Covid and who are now bored out of their minds in classes where the teacher is taking the entire class backwards a year and a half. This is causing mental anguish and a general disdain for school. American Academy offers unique alternatives to this issue. We offer hands-on project-based classes taught by tender and loving teachers, we also offer one-on-one independent study options that are geared to meet each child exactly where they are. No stress, no catching up, no worrying about classmates’ progress. 

If your child is complaining about school, please listen to your children’s concerns. Please reach out to us if your children are expressing anxiety about having to wear masks at school, or if you’re still unsure about the vaccine, or if you’re seeing signs of stress and anxiety about going to class each day, or if they are bored out of their minds while the teachers are catching up students who are behind. Please consider that there is a wonderful alternative at American Academy where children can be assured that their personal and academic needs are going to be met. 

American Academy of Strategic Education was recently awarded the #1 Homeschool Academy in Orange County by ParentingOC. Everything we do revolves around allowing parents to choose what they feel is best for their children. 

We are leaders in innovative homeschool education and we are making a difference in the lives of many of tomorrow’s leaders.

We are enrolling now for Spring 2022 as well as Fall 2022. Please reach out if you’re interested and would like more information. Email us at info@american-academy.org or call or text 949-371-5785. We look forward to hearing from you.

Angela Hansen
President & Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education

Best Homeschooling OC!

American Academy of Strategic Education is honored to be elected as the winner of Parenting OC’s 19th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Homeschooling. Our heartfelt thanks to all those who have voted us for this prestigious position.

Public School: “Massive learning loss” reported by school board.

Angela Hansen
President & Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education


Many public school boards are hosting their final meeting the week of May 17, 2021. I attended one last night that, unfortunately, was about what I expected.

The meeting began 29 minutes late. Then school board members spent the first 36 minutes patting the teachers on the backs. They also voted to give the teachers a bonus for their efforts. Then attendees listened for 24 minutes to school board member’s experts explaining that there was “so much learning loss this year” and such “grave academic gaps that need to be filled,” so much so that next year will be a “repeat” and “a make-up year” for all students. …They also informed the masses who came to complain about their children having to wear masks at school, that the topic was being pulled from the agenda for the night. Then they somehow finagled a way for some of the attendees to speak about masks. It seemed like thousands of parents complained about the ill-health of their children due to wearing masks at school. The school board eventually got to the “cultural proficiency” curriculum topic at 12:10 AM. I spoke at 12:40 AM.

I want to address the issue of the Board’s incessant back-patting last night. While it is wonderful that the teachers figured out unique ways to do some teaching during the pandemic, it is important to remember, these teachers are getting paid to do their jobs. Sometimes I get the feeling that public school boards think they represent the teachers and the “Teachers’ Union” when in fact they are supposed to be representing the students, parents, and taxpayers of the district. I am so disappointed that this school board did not acknowledge the PARENTS for the work they did this year. Teachers were getting paid to teach our children even when parents are doing half the teachers’ jobs while at the same time, those parents are also doing their own jobs—hosting Zoom conference calls, trying to keep their own businesses afloat, etc. However, I know many parents who filled-in for public school teachers yet didn’t get any sort of pat on the back from our school board last night!

My own children, and the students who attend my academy did not experience any learning loss. Our students were being taught, in-person all year by courageous, diligent teachers. Our students learned all the State Standards and how to apply those standards in their lives. 

People keep asking my opinion about the two hot topics discussed at the meeting: the mask mandate and the cultural proficiency curriculum. Here are my thoughts on the mask mandate issue. The school boards were up against the State of CA and the State Board of Education pushing them to remain remote or require masks. Only a few boards chose to require students to wear masks and opened their doors to in-person learning for various grades at some point this past school year. Parents sent their children back KNOWING the rules. Afterwards, the parents claim that the masks are making their children very sick, listing a myriad of ailments their children experience daily, yet the parents keep sending them back wearing masks, day after day. At some point I would think that parents would have pulled their kids out of the toxic environment they described in such horrific detail and homeschooled them or sent them to an alternate academy like American Academy of Strategic Education. If homeschooling or private school wasn’t an option, parents could have gotten creative to figure out another solution for their children like so many other parents have done. 

The other hot topic was the new cultural proficiency curriculum. First, I want to state that it’s NOT the school’s responsibility to teach values which is what they are doing with this curriculum. Teaching values is the parents’ responsibility. No matter what the school board thinks, it isn’t their place to teach values. Although they might think they should teach values because they think they know best, but it is not their place—they are overstepping their bounds. Let parents teach the values they think are most important and schools stick to what they are paid to do—teach academics. 

Second, this curriculum might have been better received by parents had the school board posted the teachers’ lesson plans rather than a student’s version of the curriculum. Only posting the student’s version doesn’t feel 100% transparent. 

My biggest concern is that these lessons are further segregating our students rather than uniting them. For example, their discussion on bullying was really about differences in race, gender, family makeup and sexual orientation. This same lesson could be taught successfully without having to single out specific groups based on identity. This type of discussion these lessons propagate protects a select group of students while insinuating that the remaining, unprotected group, are the aggressors. 

Furthermore, it appears to me that the sample lessons they posted were actually more of a decoy for the real lessons the school board is planning to sneak into the curriculum with their book burning tactics and through implementing the new high school a-g courses such as “Equity and Access Inclusivity.”

I have two white sons who, through no fault of their own, due to programs such as this new “cultural proficiency” program, are now classified as the enemy and, although they are the nicest, kindest, most inclusive young men one could ever hope to meet, they are seen as the most hated people in America. I hope no school board adopts any kind cultural proficiency curriculum. I would rather they not perpetuate hate by focusing on differences. I want them to find a way to include and unite rather than exclude and divide. 

My final thoughts are about the parents who did what was right for their children this year. What’s right for one family is not necessarily what is right for another. There are many parents who homeschooled 100% on their own this year because they felt that was the right thing to do. I want to applaud PARENTS for all the teaching they did this year. If you are one of the millions who taught their own children this year, please give yourself a pat on the back!

I am proud that American Academy of Strategic Education could be part of the solution for many families. We had a huge influx of students in our hybrid programs. I am proud to say that our students  did not suffer a “massive learning loss” like students in public school suffered this year. American Academy of Strategic Education’s students will not have any need for “learning recovery” next year. Our students will be ahead of the curve.

A Message from Our President and Founder

April 2021

Dear Prospective American Academy Families,

There are simply no words to describe what this past year has brought to all of us. What the world has experienced has been beyond what many of us could’ve ever imagined. However, amid the worldwide pandemic, in which many schools across the US are still boarded up tight, American Academy of Strategic Education remained open to educate children. Thanks to our courageous staff and our strong health and safety practices and following layered prevention strategies, American Academy proved to be among the safest places in the whole world while still offering children a comprehensive year of in-person or hybrid learning. Many of our students have chosen to return to the academy fully in-person at this point, we still offer remote options for students who are away from the academy.  

This year, while many other schools were struggling to meet their student’s needs, children at American Academy of Strategic Education completed fascinating Math, Science, English, and Social Studies projects! Children participated in real-world discussions, learned new languages, deconstructed machinery to explore it’s inner workings, coded unique video games, journeyed around the world through our Passport Program, and participated in clubs that are of unique interest to each of them. Student’s met their match in dodgeball tournaments during PE and enjoyed playing like children during recess.They attended academic field trips where they learned first-hand about whale migration, the importance of honey bees to our ecosystem, and the reality of the four forces of flight while airborne in a wind tunnel. They also panned for gold, learned about renewable energy, and explored Ocean Institute’s amazing array of marine creatures up close. The school year of 2020-2021 will go down in our history books as unique for many reasons, but for American Academy students, it will be because they had the opportunity, whether in-person or a hybrid of in-person and virtual, to be physically learning, engaging, designing, and exploring while other children were merely zooming.

Our commitment was to ensure that every child had the opportunity to receive an education that was just right for their situation. From the joy I see on our students’ faces as they enter their academy doors, and witnessing their lively discussions about real-world issues, along with their parent’s testimonials, I am satisfied that we have accomplished our mission.

We look forward to the opportunity to teach your child as partners with you. I promise you that American Academy’s commitment to your child is unwavering. 

Warm regards,

Angela Hansen
President and Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education

Free Workbook Download

Download our new St. Patrick’s Day workbook for a fun project to learn about this global celebration! 🍀

Our Fall Enrollment has begun! Learn about American Academy’s K-12 flexible education, kidspot program (ages 5-7), bridge programs (ages 8-10), social activities including monthly field trips & more. Schedule an appointment with us now and get an early bird discount here: https://american-academy.org/enrollment/

What are Your Standards? – Know Your Educational Standards in a New Era to Help Your Children Thrive

Executive Director – American Academy of Strategic Education

In recent times, there has been a paradigm shift with regard to how education is viewed. No longer are classrooms in brick-and-mortar buildings with desks in rows. Educating children is fluid and has changed drastically in less than a year for students and teachers. There are those who have been able to thrive with this drastic change. Families who have been homeschooling their children have had little disturbance in their child’s education. The flexible model of homeschooling provides children wonderful opportunities for them to learn and meet state standards in an environment that promotes higher-level thinking.

Educational standards for core subjects such as Math, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies are determined by each state. In addition, there are some states which have adopted national standards for Math and English. The reason for many states adopting these standards is to help unify learning outcomes for students across the country. 

The state’s educational board assures that these learning standards are concise, with written descriptions of what students are expected to know at their specific stage of education. There is a learning progression that is purposeful for learning across multiple developmental areas, stages, age, and grade-levels. The basic idea is to ensure that students are learning age-appropriate material and that educators are sequencing materials as they teach their students.

Highly proficient schools use curriculum mapping to help their teachers deliver instruction. Teachers work collaboratively on unit plans, lessons, cross curricular activities, and real world applications to help students meet the standards. Teachers incorporate as many modalities of learning such as sight, sound, feel, taste, and smell into their lessons to help students with different learning styles and help with retention of content.

Homeschooling and flexible schooling are adaptive educational options that give parents a greater role in the educational direction of their child. Children’s educational progress is tracked by parents or in the case of students who attend a learning center such as American Academy, student’s learning is tracked by the student’s teachers just like in a traditional school setting. American Academy of Strategic Education understands the importance of meeting the standards to help students become successful. Our project-based classes and personalized curriculum options assures our students not only fulfill state requirements but in most cases, surpass these requirements. 

American Academy teachers and administrators develop relevant and real-world units that promote student learning and intense student engagement. The academy’s project-based units reinforce the importance of curiosity and imagination, initiative, adaptability, critical thinking and problem solving, oral and written communication, collaboration, and assessing and analyzing information. These key indicators help the academy’s programs be successful in meeting each student at their learning level and deliver the standards for learning.

If families are new to homeschooling or flexible schooling, rest assured, there are plenty of opportunities to collect measurable achievements for children that are aligned to the standards. American Academy works closely with parents to provide meaningful feedback for students. We outline each educational unit ensuring they are aligned to the State Standards. In addition, having low student-to-teacher ratios help teachers assess students’ learning effectively. Furthermore, the academy’s flexible-tailored programs help students at their learning level which assists in bridging learning gaps created in previous academic years. Standards are surpassed at the academy through independent study where students are able to work at their pace of learning and higher-order thinking through discussion-based project-based lessons.

American Academy of Strategic Education takes great pride in helping students achieve measurable goals, supporting teachers with instruction, and using project-based lessons to showcase student achievement – all of which are aligned to the standards for each student at their learning level. Furthermore, the academy exceeded standards by helping provide consistency for student outcomes to give students the necessary tools for the twenty-first century workforce.

Character Counts: Helping Your Child Navigate their Complex Roles During COVID

Ask yourself. Amidst this pandemic, where has COVID left you…physically, emotionally, mindfully? Not only has COVID incited devastating tragedy, but it has also played with the minds and emotions of many…especially our youth. It is difficult enough dealing with the pangs and challenges of growing pains but now COVID has added a mask-ridden anxiety lifestyle to our children’s repertoire. Our youth now exist in a different world where their character development may be stymied due to the hiatus in society and nature of “regular life” as we know it.

How can we keep our children motivated and engaged when they are being told to stay home and when they have limited avenues of connection and social interaction? We can ask them to look within and use this time as introspection. The other day, out of the lips of a child, I heard, “2020 is the worst year ever…” While this year has been a challenge for many, especially those who have been personally affected by COVID, many are still fairing life as normal as possible with the exception of a few social changes. As adults we know that in times of trial and adversity, characters are often refined and defined. This is the ideal time to call on the attention of our youth and ask them to focus on their character.

In this day and age, we must ultimately understand that the character of our children is perhaps the most important, most urgent quality a parent must instill. Parents often worry about academic progress, homework, test performances, etc… As these are essential success factors for our children, we must also be concerned about the type of person that our children are becoming. Who are they? Who do they consider themselves to be? When no one is looking, does your child do the right thing? Is your child reflective about the way they treat others? What do they stand for or do they fall for anything? Sometimes, at our children’s whim, we give them everything they want, and why shouldn’t we? The world is a cold and unforgiving place and we want our time with them to be as loving and as nurturing as possible. But we also want to ensure we find a balance and we teach them about the different ways their character affects the world around them. The world is not only about them, no matter how precious they are to us. As a parent, it is our moral obligation to help our children develop their character.

Character is all about roles and how those roles are performed. Have each child analyze themselves. What different roles do they play? Have them consider the different aspects of their lives and the significant roles they play: son or daughter, sibling, friend, student, athlete, teammate, performer, artist, church member, neighbor, etc… 

Now have them make an evaluation of the roles they play to honestly assess how well they are meeting the expectations of each. Is each role barely meeting their expectation? Is there a role that needs more attention and energy? By doing a self-evaluation and by emphasizing the roles they play and how that affects the world around them–COVID or not, our children can honestly hold themselves accountable as they continue to develop their character of excellence.

Download a FREE Weekly Organizer and Prioritizer for Children