American Academy of Strategic Education

Why Parents Should Decide What’s Best For Their Children

If your child is unhappy at school, it’s not too late to pull him/ her out and do something better NOW.

American Academy is a mandate-free, stress-free, flexible alternative to traditional school where parents decide what’s best for their children!

I wanted to give an update on what’s going on at American Academy of Strategic Education. We have had a lot of like-minded parents reach out to us since I recently posted about American Academy not teaching CRT, gender-fluidity, BLM/ Marxism, or sex ed and that 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 the children. 

Many people have reached out 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 the adverse side effects of the long-term use of masks on students’ health as well as on their learning. The next is the 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 third 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. No mandates, later arrival time (9:00 AM) in the mornings allows for more family time and less stressful mornings, we meet students at their exact ability level and learning pace, and our classes are interesting and engaging 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 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, Passport Around the World, monthly field trips, class holiday parties, and recess. 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. At American Academy, 

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

First, 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…

Second, 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. We say, “To each their own.” 

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 the most 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 students to begin January 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

Free Trial Day

Welcome New Students! We are excited to have you attend one of our FREE in-person trial days.
Now Available:
Mon. 1/24 at Mission Viejo | Thu. 1/27 at Newport Mesa

We are offering one FREE day with engaging project-based classes to students TK-8th grade on either 1/24 at our Mission Viejo location OR 1/27 at our Newport Mesa location:

  • Mission Viejo (near Saddleback College): 28892 Marguerite Parkway, Suite 260, Mission Viejo, CA 92692 (*Marguerite Plaza)  View Map  (upstairs in back)
  • Newport Mesa (near airport): 3920 Birch Street, Suite 105, Newport Beach, CA 92660 
  • (*Enter off of Quail St, second driveway.)  View Map
Kidspot (Grades TK-1) 8:45AM – 1:00PM

Activity-based, developmental program suitable for Grades TK-1. Our Kidspot (Grades TK-1) and Kidspot+ (Grade 1) activities are designed to provide a well-rounded experience and ensure that your child becomes a happy and confident individual. Research shows that children experience genuine and natural learning when they are having fun. Our play-based, project-based curriculum offers science laboratory experiments, music, P.E. activities, painting, reading stories, dress-up, STEAM, and many culturally rich activities.

Bridge (Grades 2-3) 8:45AM – 2:00PM

American Academy’s Bridge (Grade 2) and Bridge+ (Grade 3) program is developed for students who are bridging to the Academy next year. Students will work closely with the teacher to learn core subjects through projects that are developed specifically for them. We have found that students become deeply engaged in their learning when they have options on the projects that they choose.

Academy Program (Grades 4-8, separated into specific age groups) 8:45AM – 2:00PM

Includes Essential Discourse Classes (core-subject project-based classes) and Social & Academic Clubs

Essential Discourses & Projects is American Academy of Strategic Education’s cornerstone academic program. These captivating and engaging discourses meet California state standards and provide an excellent opportunity for students to be personally and deeply connected to important core subject matter. Students sharpen their ability to articulate and defend positions, consider different points of view, and enlist and evaluate evidence. Essential Discourses & Projects prioritizes the learner’s acquisition of knowledge and skills through active dialogue rather than passive teacher-centered lectures.

American Academy’s Club Hub – social and academic student-led clubs provide excellent opportunities for students to develop their verbal communication skills, develop their leadership talents, apply their cross-curricular knowledge, and make real-world connections. 

Information Day and Q&A

– Tuesday, Sep 7th: Transitioning to Flexible Learning Virtual Presentation

10:00a – 11:00p | 2:00p – 3:00p

Join us to learn how American Academy is providing a fun, safe, and innovative environment for students. Our programs allow our students to flourish academically and socially. This virtual event will be held by Angela Hansen, President and Founder of American Academy to answer enrollment questions for our 2021-2022 programs.


– Tuesday, Sep 7th: In-Person Open House (Walk-Ins Welcome)

Mission Viejo | Newport Mesa | 11:00a – 2:00p

Join us to learn how American Academy is providing a fun, safe, and innovative environment for students. Our programs allow our students to flourish academically and socially. Just drop in. RSVP is not required.

  • Opportunity to tour our Mission Viejo or Newport Mesa academy and meet with our director and teacher
  • Bring your child for fun STEM-based activities (Grades TK-12)
  • Learn about the programs offered .
  • Ask questions
  • Everyone is welcome! Current and prospective families.

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.

Open Houses Fun Youth Activities

Get to Know American Academy of Strategic Education
&
Fun Youth Activities

8,17, 8,18 | 8/25, 8/26 | 8/31, 9/2

  • Opportunity to tour our Mission Viejo or Newport Mesa academy and meet with our director and teacher
  • Bring your child for fun STEM-based activities (Grades TK-12)
  • Learn about the programs offered .
  • Ask questions
  • Everyone is welcome! Current and prospective families.

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.

Summer Camp 2021

Project-based & Academic-based Learning All Summer – Perfect for Filling in Learning Gaps!

Join us for an exciting summer filled with thrilling and stimulating programs!

Students can participate in fun, engaging, and hands-on STEM activities like designing a strategic escape room, outdoor wilderness shelter survival, game design, learning about the Olympics through our Amazing Race Challenge, physics egg drop experiment, creating exploding volcanoes, testing different slime recipes, entrepreneurship and business development as seen on Shark Tank, play strategic board games, learn how to code video games with programs like Tynker, FlowLab, and Scratch, join in the competitive action during our PE games and WiiFit. We will also offer fitness activities and active outings, such as walking field trips to eat lunch at a nearby park or cafe, community service opportunities, and more!

2-week camps; 3 days per week
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday
Remote or In-person
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m (In-person) | 10:30 a.m – 1:30 p.m (remote)
Aages 5 – 14

See details and register at our Summer Camp Page.



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.