American Academy of Strategic Education

2021-2022 Enrollment Information

NEW! American Academy’s Stars & Stripes Discount
– 25% discount to all children of active military parents on all of our annual programs (2-day in person or Fridays only).
– 25% discount on our Enrollment Fees.

2021-2022 Academy Hours:

Grade K    Kidspot    9:00 – 1:00     Extended hours: 1:00 – 2:00; or 1:00 – 3:00

Grade 1    Kidspot+    9:00 – 1:00     Extended hours: 1:00 – 2:00; or 1:00 – 3:00

Grade 2    Bridge        9:00 – 2:00    Extended hours: 2:00 – 3:00

Grade 3    Bridge+    9:00 – 2:00     Extended hours: 2:00 – 3:00

Grade 4-12    Academy    9:00 – 2:00     Extended hours: 2:00 – 3:00

Programs and Tuition

2-day In-person Program: $5999/ year plus enrollment fee. Monday / Wednesday at Mission Viejo or Tuesday / Thursday at Newport Mesa, invited to our monthly field trips.

2-day Hybrid Program: $1399/ semester plus enrollment fee. Monday/ Wednesday 2 hour per day virtual core subject classes. Invited to our monthly field trips. 

Fridays only: $1199/ year plus enrollment fee. Minimum 1 school year commitment. Fun electives and clubs plus independent study supervision.

FREE Fridays: For regular 2-day students. Students may participate in Friday electives and clubs plus work on core subject projects independently.

Please contact our Admissions Department for more information: admissions@american-academy.org

Enroll Now

Cutting-edge Education on the Rise

Over the last few years, I’ve seen the mass exodus of children from traditional education settings. I know where they are headed and why they are leaving…

By Angela Hansen, President & Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education (AASE)

More parents are choosing a non-traditional path for their student’s primary education. A few years ago 1.5 million students were schooling through non-traditional means. Now that number is estimated to be more than 2 million. 

Just ten years ago, homeschooling appeared to be cutting-edge or “alternative” but now is bordering on mainstream. It is the fastest growing form of education in the US. It is also rapidly growing all over the globe (ie. Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom).

Parents are taking this new route for a variety reasons such as more educational options, more real learning—less fluff, flexible schedules, more privacy from big government, more influence over their child’s curriculum, less influence from teachers with different values, complete control over how /when/where their child learns sex ed., more control over their child’s environment or friends, etc… 

As the number of students leaving public school grows, so do the legislative threats. Government officials in California and local school districts would like nothing more than to take away school choice for children. Parents, state legislators and groups like the Homeschool Legal Defense Association need to remain vigilant and determined to keep our options open.

With public education not going in the direction most parents want, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warned, “People will pull their kids out [of traditional public education], homeschooling will explode, and private schools will increase.” Looking back, Patrick was prophetic.

I created American Academy as a private academy to support parents in educating their child(ren) the way they best see fit. We go out of our way to provide tons of flexibility. We offer real learning opportunities in our Essential Discourses, our student-led clubs, and our adaptive and personalized online curriculum without wasted time on fluff and behavior management. We do not indoctrinate children with certain political or gender views; we do not teach Sex Ed—we leave that for families to address in a way that matches their parenting philosophies; and because we have a small teacher to student ratio, we get to know our students well. We foster good character development in your children and we are able to support what you are teaching at home.

Thanks for allowing us to partner with you in your child’s education.

Unnatural Age-segregation in Traditional Schools

By Angela Hansen
President and Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education

In today’s society, age segregation, where children are separated into age-specific groupings, has become increasingly prevalent. Although it is unnatural, and possibly unhealthy, children are regularly separated from adults in playgroups, daycares, and schools. These institutions further segregate children by birth year. Children live for 13 years in an age-segregated bubble. Their lives provide them very limited exposure to adults and children of other age groups. This artificial age-segregation is not found in nature and leads to a lack of understanding between ages.

Historically, age segregation has effectively diminished the understanding between people of different ages which occurred naturally. This lack of understanding of people of different ages has contributed to many of today’s social problems. Sheltered into their own age groups, children’s emotional and social growth is crippled. Children become incapable of fully understanding people older or younger than themselves because they lack familiarity with either. 

Unfortunately, children and families feel the ill consequences of this age-segregated society. Children’s ability to spend time with younger or older siblings is further limited by school and activities such as organized sports and after school classes. Children are also cut off from the real daily work and concerns of their parents. Children’s lives become too busy to spend quality time with grandparents. Many of society’s problems arise from this clear-cut age-segregation. I believe much crime would decrease if children felt like they were more deeply connected to people of all ages in their community, especially crimes related to children rebelling, crimes against society, and those against elderly people.

It is my belief that young people who have experience with people of a variety of age-ranges and those who have had the opportunity to experience a gradual shift from childhood to independence have a more fulfilling experience growing up and truly do mature. John Taylor Gatto, iconic American teacher and authority on education, writes of today’s schoolchildren as living in constant childhood. “School,” he says, has done a “spectacular job of turning children into children” and ensuring that they “would grow older, but never really grow up.” 

People of all ages and stages of life enjoy the company of others who share their interests. No amount of academic study, socializing, or media exposure can substitute this valuable life experience. Young adults need more opportunities to be with and learn from older youth and adults whom they respect. When given these opportunities, children learn to communicate openly and learn about growing up. Sometimes this means they will choose companions of a similar age, but not always.

We are privileged to learn from history of the benefits of families and communities living and growing together. There are so many intangible benefits of associating with people of all ages including emotional growth and stability and the opportunity of learning and teaching one another. Historically, young children were given more opportunities to take part in the lives of mature family and community members. We are missing this richness in our modern age-segregated lifestyles. There is a richness that cannot be replaced when we give and share our lives with people of all ages. Hopefully the one silver lining of the COVID quarantine and having our children home for a length of time, is that we see the benefits of children associating with people of a variety of ages even within their own family. I hope we will all continue to seek these types of opportunities to recapture that richness and incorporate it into our children’s academic and community lives to help them continue to grow and mature with a better understanding of those around them.

At American Academy, our curriculum is multi-layered. Students work individually on core subjects at their exact ability-level that meet the State Standards. This is accomplished in part through a textbook-based curriculum, detailed course syllabus with specific learning outcomes, or a technology-based program with the support of qualified teachers. The other elements that make up our student’s academic curriculum include our project-based and discussion-based core subject classes, which also meet the State Standards, and our Student Clubs. 

Our project-based, discussion-based classes provide students of close age, but not exact age, to work together. Students are selected and balanced by age, ability, and gender. This grouping is deliberately made for the benefit of the students, leading to a true family of learners. A multi-age classroom is not the same as a multi-grade classroom. A multi-age classroom is where students are still taught as separate grade levels even though they are in the same room. Within a multi-age classroom, students are often regrouped according to interests, talents, multiple intelligences, and ability. Instruction is differentiated according to each child’s needs; teachers assess where students are starting from and help them progress.  Rather than being taught at a certain age level, students are taught at their point of learning.  A multi-age school is subject to the same accountabilities (state testing, MAP testing, report cards) as single-grade schools. However, students won’t be confined to a single grade level of learning.  

When parents ask Roman Fernando of American Academy, “Are the children of different ages together in the same class?” He happily responds in the affirmative and adds “It is amazing how different ages can learn to work together.” At American Academy, students of similar ability, interest, and age–but not exact same age, are grouped together to form their Essential Discourse class. Mr. Fernando further explains that, “The older students take on leadership roles and help the younger students, and the younger students help the older students by giving them teaching opportunities.”

This approach to grouping students based on ability and interest helps to build strong relationships and teamwork between students and teachers. It allows for consistency in providing personalized learning and stronger relationships between students, teachers, and families.  Multi-age classrooms promote social skill development and leadership skills as students interact with other age peers and learn from one another.  A multi-age classroom is more reflective of real-world situations, such as workplaces, committee groups, extra-curricular activities, etc.

Teaching our students in ability-based groups with project-based and discussion-based learning helps our students become successful, articulate, and well-rounded contributors to society. Let us show you how!

Making Children’s Learning Assessments More Purposeful

By Angela Hansen
President and Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education

At American Academy of Strategic Education, everything we do, we do with the best interest of the child in mind. This is no different in the area of assessments. 

Conducting a proper assessment can be tricky. For example, timed assessments and scripted instructions which must be read word for word, can provide valuable information but do not offer flexibility. It is counterproductive to the building of a child’s self-esteem to demand the child to accomplish a task that we know they may not be capable of doing. If you ask a child who you know cannot read to read during an assessment, it will affect their confidence and his/her excitement for learning; too much emphasis can be put on what the child CANNOT do.

I would suggest at the younger levels, we toss aside the formal assessments and instead take a “purposeful” assessment approach.  Purposeful parent-teachers gather data that are needed to guide learning and help ensure their child grows and develops at his/her individual pace. Purposeful parent-teachers also use assessments to find a child’s strengths and to figure out which areas need to be targeted for early intervention. It is best to use a variety of methods of observation and assessment to find what young learners are able to do so that we can help them progress. 

Parents doing their own flexible assessment enables them to collect information about their child that goes beyond the scripted and formal assessments. Observing your child and keeping a running record will allow you to look at your child holistically, rather than the sum of a diluted assessment. Your informal, purposeful assessment can include all aspects of a child’s development such as a child’s preferred approach to learning, language expansion and communication, intellectual development, emotional and social growth, and health and physical development.

It is most useful to observe children throughout the day in their natural learning environment. You can take photos and videos to quickly and easily document your child’s learning. 

When assessing your children, look for additional queues about their progression. Are they familiar with holding a book, turning the pages, and knowing the difference between print and pictures? Do they look closely at the pictures on each page and use pictures to enhance the meaning of a story? Do they understand the difference between the front and back of a book, do they turn pages from left to right, and do they track left to right when looking at the text? Do they know that a period at the end of the sentence signifies a stop? These more “nuanced assessments” provided valuable information that enabled the parent to target each child’s unique needs.

Blocks of time when children are playing and making decisions are a great time to gather meaningful data about each child to observe their skills and strengths. What they choose to play with or watch will provide additional evidence, especially when children are not able to use oral language to fully demonstrate their learning.

As you are observing and interacting with your child, there are questions you can ask that will help to promote a child’s thinking and to deeper assess their learning such as, “What other ways can we do that?,” “How can we do this differently?,” “Tell me how you did that,” “Why do you think that?,” “Tell me how you figured that out,” and “You worked really hard on that. How did you come up with that idea?,” instead of something more general, like, “Nice work” or “Good job.” Asking deeper, more meaningful questions helps to focus on the process of learning—not just on your child’s finished products. 

Conclusion

These informal, on-going, flexible, purposeful assessments, allow the parent to focus on their child’s strengths and dig deeper into their child’s individual needs. 

Download Free Kindergarten Assessment Here

American Academy’s Response to COVID-19

– Updated for FALL 2021 –

Dear American Academy of Strategic Education Family,

Our “Safety from the Front Door Forward” is our renewed commitment to your safety and health. The academy’s faculty, staff, and administration have been collaborating with medical and operational experts to build a multi-tiered and multi-layered approach that encompasses a number of measures to deliver a safe learning experience for all. We will reopen consistent with applicable state and local orders.

American Academy of Strategic Education’s Safety From the Front Door Forward protections include:

·       Taking extra precautions to ensure staff members are healthy 

·       Ensuring clean air and sanitized surfaces

·       Limiting academy entrance to current students only

·       Offering flexible learning options

·       Training all employees on health and safety protocols

Healthy staff members
For their safety and yours, we do not want our staff to come to work if they are unwell regardless of the illness. Not only do we have policies that require staff to take time off but we will be requiring staff to have their temperature checked prior to coming to work. American Academy teachers are also able to teach remotely if needed. 

Ensuring clean air and surfaces
We will be utilizing hospital grade HEPA air filters. These filters take in fresh air and mix it with indoor air, the indoor air is then filtered through a HEPA filter that is very effective at capturing more than 99% of airborne microbes including the coronavirus. In addition, the indoor air is completely changed about every 4 minutes. We will also continue to sanitize surface areas on an hourly basis and deep clean the academy at the end of each school day. Will continue to promote healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing and hand sanitizing.

Limiting academy entrance to current students only
We will be limiting entrance into the academy to current students. Drop-off and pick-up procedure will entail students being walked to and from the cars once parents have arrived. 

Flexible learning options
We will continue to offer remote learning options for students who need to continue or those who need to restart remote learning due to health or safety concerns. 

Trained staff 
We have trained our staff on health and safety guidelines and practices. American Academy believes that a combination of these precautions will contribute to an overall healthy and safe experience for all students.

American Academy’s Safety from the Front Door Forward policy will continue to evolve as our staff and students’ needs change to assure a comprehensive approach to learning at American Academy.

We look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Warmly,

Angela Hansen
President & Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education

PLEASE READ
American Academy believes that a combination of these precautions will contribute to an overall healthy and safe experience for all students, however, we cannot disinfect all areas of our facility in a manner to eradicate the potential spread of COVID-19. American Academy assumes no responsibility for any injuries or exposure you may receive from the use of our facility.

Academy letter to friends

Dear Friends,

I keep hearing from friends and family about how stressed they are about what next school year might hold for their children and grandchildren. I am writing to you to let you know there are some great options for children’s education next year, despite how you might be feeling about the upcoming school year. 

I recently spoke to a friend who has been praying for the right educational opportunity for her elementary and middle school children. She has been concerned about the political agenda being pushed on her children, the never-ending bullying and finger-pointing her children have endured at the hands of students and staff, and the lack of flexibility the traditional school system has provided her family in addition to the pure chaos they have dealt with during the shelter-in-place due to the COVID19 lockdown. I felt so bad that I didn’t know she was seeking this type of learning opportunity and that she didn’t know that my academies were the perfect low-cost answer to her prayers. She fortunately found my academy’s contact information on one of the many virtual homeschool charter schools’ websites preferred vendor lists that we are on. However, I still feel bad that I wasn’t more vocal about the opportunity my academies offer to like-minded families.

I know so many of you are concerned about what next school year will look like. Some are saying their school district is going to have the children come back a couple days per week, or a few days a week but at alternating times of day, or on some kind of rotating basis, some say their school is going to be completely remote, some are saying that their district hasn’t given them any indication what they will be doing next year which has added to their anxiety. 

I have talked with so many parents who say they did not have a good “baptism-by-fire” homeschool experience. Their children’s teachers were not prepared for remote teaching; children weren’t prepared for remote learning; parents weren’t prepared to be their child’s manager, secretary, teacher, and supervisor on top of being the breadwinner, parent, and playmate. Everything and everyone was disorganized, teachers have given up, students have fallen behind, IEPs have been ignored, children are depressed, an entire semester has already been lost–and now they are talking about doing it all over again in the Fall.

The students at my academies transitioned smoothly into our shelter-in-place remote learning. Our teachers were prepared, organized, and they care deeply about our students’ learning. Our students were prepared because they had already been experiencing part of their learning in an independent remote-type platform. Because we allow our students to work at the pace that is best for each student, many of our students have actually completed this current school year’s courses and have already begun on the next year’s curriculum. 

Our parents were not overwhelmed because American Academy teachers continued to teach their children—our teachers didn’t resign and turn the teaching over to the parents. Our students met virtually weekly with their classmates and teachers for each core subject, plus they met virtually weekly with their core subject teachers for private tutoring, plus they met virtually twice weekly with their World Language teachers for private language tutoring, plus they had the option of meeting virtually with the Director as needed. Our students were also invited to participate in a variety of virtual weekly social and academic clubs to continue developing meaningful relationships with friends and classmates, attend virtual field trips with community businessmen and women, and participate in virtual art classes. 

Our students will finish this school year ahead of their counterparts and feel proud of their accomplishments. Our parents will finish this school year feeling reassured and ready to enjoy summertime with their children and families. And our teachers will begin preparing to do it all over again next year. ☺

I started my academies several years ago to offer families a no-cost educational opportunity that offered flexibility and adaptability. I believe that parents need options and children need an educational plan that fits their learning style. One size does not fit all. We offer comprehensive curriculum opportunities for all ability levels, a wide variety of electives, field trips, clubs, etc, and we provide families a lot of scheduling options and flexibility. Our classes are directed at helping students obtain real-world experience; our older students enjoy project-based, discussion-based core subject classes while our younger students enjoy play-based project-based opportunities. 

Our programs for students Tk-2 grade, include: 

  • Kidspot program play-based project-based classes
  • Kidspot World Language program for Spanish, Mandarin, and French
  • Bridge program for students in 1 and 2 grades who will be transitioning from our play-based program to our academy-level programs. 
  • Options for daily schedule: 
    • Kidspot 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM 
    • Bridge 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Our students have the option to attend Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday 
  • And as always, Fridays are FREE optional drop-in fun electives!

Our programs for students 2-12 grade include:

  • Academic Essential Discourse program project-based, discussion-based
  • World Language program for Spanish, Mandarin, and French
  • Pathways program for students who want early career and technology experience 
  • Options for daily schedule: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM or 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Our students have the option to attend Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday 
  • And as always, Fridays are FREE optional drop-in fun electives!

All of our programs also include Friday electives which include:

  • Social and Academic Clubs
  • Electives such as:
    • Deconstruction & Unbuilding
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Marine Biology
    • Strategic Games
    • Survivor
    • Cooking Chemistry
    • STEM
    • Coding, etc…
  • First Friday of the Month Field Trips (for the whole family) 

Our students return year after year. There is no pressure for parents to volunteer, contribute to fundraisers, or attend a bunch of unnecessary meetings. We make it easy to enjoy the educational experience for everyone. We do the hard work and you get to enjoy the fun opportunities. Our current families tell me they enjoy their flexible schedule. They love the more relaxed daily pace and the less stressful weekly schedule. The other added benefit—there is much less homework! Instead of missing your child’s life because they are either at school or have their head in homework around the clock, you actually get to enjoy them, and they get to be immersed in outside-of-school activities that are of interest to them such as music, sports, art, leisure, family activities, travel, etc…

Again, the cost of the 2-day programs are covered by your taxes through a public virtual charter schools. You pay nothing out of pocket. 

If you think you might be interested in learning more about our hybrid homeschool options, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to help in any way I can. Please consider forwarding this letter to others who might also be interested in a unique learning opportunity for their children. Every child deserves a learning plan that meets their particular learning style and needs!

Your friend,

Angela Hansen
Founder & President, American Academy of Strategic Education

Post-COVID19 Education System

Education Will Never Be The Same After Coronavirus – And that’s a good thing.


By Angela Hansen
Founder & President, American Academy of Strategic Education
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We need to ask ourselves this basic question: What is the purpose of education? The time is right to answer this question with a new perspective. The objective of education is to prepare young people for their future in a world that is rapidly changing. 

Many people have said the world will never be the same after Coronavirus. In the realm of education, this is good thing. Fascinating articles like this (Education Has Resisted Society’s Trends For Decades. Will Coronavirus Turn It Around?) have been popping up since this pandemic begin, suggesting education will never the same. The old system—the one before the virus, failed to meet the most basic goal of education while it was simultaneously creating unnatural stress and anxiety.

With the mandatory self-quarantining, many have been compelled to experience a new reality of education. Here is what we have learned:

  • Traditional school is overrated.
  • The customary 7-hour school day, Monday through Friday isn’t a requirement for learning. 
  • Too much emphasis has been placed on outdated curriculum and exams, and not enough emphasis on life skills.
  • Flexible schooling is not as frightening as the authorities have scared us into thinking it would be.
  • Flexible learning is humane, comfortable, and effective

We must ask, “What are we doing to prepare children to thrive in this ever-changing world?” 

Traditional school is overrated
Parents have recently learned that they have been buying a lie for many years. They have been intimidated into believing that sending their child to a traditional school is the “right” thing to do, that “responsible” parents should not question the archaic education system. This untruth has now been uncovered. Parents have learned firsthand that traditional schools are designed to teach the masses and not each child as an individual.

7-hour school day, Monday through Friday isn’t a necessity
Parents and students have had their eyes opened to new schedule possibilities. Parents have seen that children can learn a great deal more in less time through a flexible education program. An average child can learn three times more if he/she is taught through a flexible program at his/her own pace. Since Coronavirus compelled parents to homeschool, many have learned that once the “classroom behavioral management” element is removed, more time is spent learning. 

Outdated curriculum 
Project-based education is difficult to implement in large classes, therefore it is not typically taught in traditional schools. Flexible education programs that have small class sizes, like American Academy of Strategic Education, are better equipped to teach these skills and adapt to meet the individual needs of each student. 

Parents will no longer accept outdated curriculum based on rote memorization. Problem-solving, designing and inventing, creative thinking, digital skills, and collaboration are in greater need. These skills are inherently learned through real-world projects and home-based tasks.

In traditional schools, many of the subjects that are still being taught will no longer be essential in the 2030s. A student that starts in Kindergarten today will graduate from university in the mid-2030s and their career will last beyond 2060. While we don’t know the exact needs of tomorrow’s workforce, we do know the needs are changing with technological advancements. 

Testing overload
In traditional schools, many subjects still being taught will no longer be essential in the 2030s. A student that starts in Kindergarten today will graduate from university in the mid-2030s and their career will last beyond 2060. While we don’t know the exact needs of tomorrow’s workforce, we do know the needs are changing with technological advancements. 

We have got to stop the exam hamster wheel that burns children out. We must replace the toxic testing culture—which could possibly be responsible for a dramatic rise in mental health illness and suicide—with better, performance-based curriculum projects that include authentic whole-child assessments. Parents will now demand a new culture that reduces the importance of exams and provides a new testing system that does not continue to leave a third of students labeled as failures. 

Flexible schooling is not frightening 
Parents have recently learned that even without much preparation, they in fact are equipped to take on much of the responsibility previously given to the government to educate their children. Flexible hybrid programs offer parents more influence over their child’s curriculum, methods of delivery, and the family’s daily and weekly schedule. Hybrid academies that offer remote, as well as on-campus programs such as American Academy of Strategic Education, provide parent and student support so they don’t have to go it alone. 

Flexible learning is humane, comfortable, and effective
Parents will require a new education system to treat children humanely. Families will have come to appreciate having a flexible schedule that meets their individual needs, comfortable study environments that are safe from enraged classmates, assignments that do not cause an exorbitant amount of anxiety, and assessments that do not cause an overwhelming feeling that they are just one test away from life-long failure. 

The recent COVID-required homeschool situation has proven to parents that students do not need to spend all day every day at a physical school plus spend all evening and most weekends doing homework. Parents have also found that for some of their children’s core subjects, they do need newly designed classes with trained teachers. COVID isolation has reinforced to children that they appreciate the interactions they have with their peers. Many parents and children have come to realize that flexible education is most effective when partnering with programs that offer learning opportunities with knowledgeable and skilled teachers and positive interactions and discussions with peers such as American Academy of Strategic Education.

The out-going education system will soon be replaced by a 21st-century model of education that is far more energetic, engaging, and applicable than anything we have seen before COVID.

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5 Helpful Homeschooling Tips from American Academy

By Angela Hansen
Founder & President, American Academy of Strategic Education
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So, you’re suddenly homeschooling and you need some help? Follow American Academy’s 5 Helpful Homeschooling Tips to make your day, and your child’s day go smoothly. 
Download your Homeschooling Planner FREE

1.     Create a Daily Structure

Daily schedules should reflect your lifestyle and your educational philosophy—this is the template, or the “skeleton” of your day. Having a Daily Structure will reduce your child’s stress and anxiety because he/ she will generally know what to expect from day to day. Each family’s Daily Structure will look different.

(*If you are viewing this page on a mobile device, please rotate your screen horizontally. Thank you.)

8:00-8:30
Get Ready 
30 min
8:30-8:45
Morning Chores
15 min
8:45-9:00
Morning Walk
15 min
9:00-9:45
First Subject 
45 min
9:45-10:15
Silent Reading 
30 min
10:15-10:30
Break 
15 min
10:30-11:15
Second Subject 
45 min
11:15-11:45
Music 
30 min
11:45-12:15
Lunch Break 
30 min
12:15-1:00
Third Subject 
45 min
1:00-1:30
Student-directed learning 
30 min
1:30-2:15
Fourth Subject
45 min

2.     Construct a Loop Schedule

Do you frequently run into days when you have more subjects on your to-do list than time in the day to complete the work? Do you wish there was an easier way to carry things over to the next day instead of trying to cram it all in one? Would you like to spread your curriculum out over a longer time period or run a lighter schedule on days that you’re just not feeling it? If so, loop scheduling might work for you. 

When you begin your homeschool day, you start at the top of your list and move down, doing each subject in order. Whenever you stop for the day, you mark off the last subject you completed. When you resume lessons again the next day, you simply pick up where you left off. Eventually you will reach the end of the list and start again at the top.

1
Art or Design
2
Math
3
Science
4
Elective #1 _______
5
History
6
Language Arts Basics
7
Elective #2 _______
8
Handwriting
9
Creative Writing
10
Elective #3 _______

3.     Make Different Learning Stations

Children like to move around. They get antsy when they have to stay in one place for too long. You can create stations within one room or in various rooms around the house.

1
Art or Design
Kitchen Table
2
Silent Reading Station
Family Room
3
Science
Kitchen Counter
4
Elective #1 _______
Garage
5
History
Living Room
6
Language Arts Basics
Kitchen Table
7
Elective #2 _______
Family Room
8
Handwriting
Kitchen Counter
9
Creative Writing
Patio Table
10
Elective #3 _______
Living Room

4.     Give Breaks!

I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. We use it extensively at our learning academy. This popular time-management method helps students’ power through distractions, hyper-focus on the subject at-hand, and get things done in short bursts, while taking frequent breaks to come up for air and relax. Best of all, it’s easy. 

5.     Explore American Academy’s Programs by Joining a Virtual Meeting!

Join us to learn how American Academy’s commitment to providing a fun, safe, and innovative environment for students allows our students to flourish academically and socially. Sign up to attend our weekly virtual introductory meeting and Q&A session. Nelly Aguilar, our Academy Director is available online to answer enrollment questions for our in-person and remote programs.

Download your Homeschooling Planner FREE

Transitioning from Traditional Schooling to Flexible Schooling and Remote Learning

American Academy of Strategic Education
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What is Flexible Schooling versus Remote Learning?

What is flexible schooling?

Flexible schooling allows a student to attend a learning academy for all, some, or part of the week at flexible times. Students learn remotely at home on days they are not the academy– an ideal compromise for some families, and becoming increasingly popular.

What is remote learning?

Remote learning occurs when the learner, instructor, or source of information are separated by time and/or distance and therefore cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting. This is especially useful during illness outbreaks such as Covid-19, extracurricular activities that conflict with traditional school days and times, parent(s) work schedules, and travel.

Why would someone want to choose flexible schooling?

Academic excellence, physical safety, and the desire to pass on the family’s governing values to the children are perhaps the most common reasons parents choose a flexible schooling approach. Flexible schooling maintains the enthusiasm for learning that a child is born with and allows each child to receive individual attention, taking into consideration his/her own learning style and interests. There are probably as many reasons or combinations of reasons for flexible schooling as there are families. It is not the demographics that unites flexible schooling families, but their motivations. 

  • Flexibility. Students and families can complete their academic work on a schedule that works for them. 
  • Choice. Choose the program and philosophy that meet the needs of your family and child. Learning is not a one size fits all process. 
  • Customization. Each student’s curriculum is customized to fit their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and pace of learning. 

Charter Schools

Are Charter Schools considered public schools?

Yes, charter schools are public, free and open to all! Charter schools are accountable to state and federal public education laws and undergo extensive oversight by a local charter authorizer, which is often the local or county school board.

What are “educational funds” and where do they come from?

The majority of California’s educational funds come from income taxes and to a smaller extent property taxes and the lottery. When you enroll in a virtual charter school, you can choose to use those funds at approved vendors for academic programs such as American Academy of Strategic Education.

What is the difference between my charter school and American Academy?

Your child’s charter school is their school of record (SOR). A SOR is an institution that documents and awards credit for courses or programs and will ultimately give your child their high school diploma. If your child is enrolled in a virtual or independent study charter school program, you can elect to send them to American Academy to receive enrichment services like project- and discussion-based classes, student clubs, tutoring, and amazing educational experiences like field trips.  

Is the enrollment process difficult?

Not at all! There are no intense entrance interviews or complicated paperwork. 

How long does it take to enroll and what is required?

Enrollment for American Academy is simple. Just fill out a personal information and health form and sign our basic waivers. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Enrollment for charter schools takes about 45 minutes and requires:

  • Proof of California residency such as a mortgage, rent receipt, or utility bill
  • Birth certificate or US passport
  • Immunization record (if you participate in immunizations)
  • American Academy or Strategic Education participation form

Enrollment in a charter school allows you to receive charter funds and will provide your student with a school of record.

Social & Academic Progress

How will I know if my child is learning while flexible schooling?

American Academy believes that test scores are a small component of your child’s overall education. Flexible schoolers are well-rounded, critical thinkers that are fully equipped to handle…well, LIFE!

We utilize technology-integrated learning as well as project- and discussion-based learning. We provide performance assessments and evaluations based on the student’s understanding of the core-subject curriculum as well as the student’s physical work including writing samples, teacher observation, and projects. 

The usefulness of standardized tests has been questioned by many educators and researchers. Because they are multiple-choice, they don’t measure the ability to think or create. Many critics call for replacing standardized testing with “performance assessments.”

How well are children socialize who flexible school?

Flexibly schooled students overcome the potential for “lack of socialization” through heavy involvement in learning academies such as American Academy of Strategic Education. Students participate in discussion-based classes that help develop student’s communication skills. They also join social and academic clubs such as Drawing Club, Music Club, Cooking Club, and more. Students also have opportunities to conduct and attend virtual and physical field trips. Most flexible students grow up extremely involved with other children. Flexible learners participate in more field trips, spend more time planning their own education, have unique opportunities to pursue their interests and to apply their talents and work with a wider age span of children and adults—all “real-world” opportunities. Read our ‘Are Homeschoolers Ready for the Real World?’ Blog post here

Can my child still go to college if I flexible school them?

Of course! Almost every college or university has policies for flexible schooling admissions. If a flexible school student wants to pursue a college education, they can certainly do so within some of the finest universities.

Research suggests that those students who were taught in a flexible school environment who attend college, successfully integrate socially and excel academically.

How do flexible schoolers test compare to public school students?

Although California charter schools encourage but do not require students to participate in state testing, in states where testing is required of flexible school learners, they usually score in the 80th percentile or above.

Website Resources:

https://www.homeschool.com/getting-started/faq/

https://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/home-schooling/index.html?cmp=cpc-goog-ew-ks+topics&ccid=ks+topics&ccag=homeschooling&cckw=%2Bhome%20%2Bschool&cccv=content+specific+ad&gclid=Cj0KCQiAhojzBRC3ARIsAGtNtHXcXqdRSi5bnybJMmZRro40JkrwswcaeGrLWiiXcByaNkS2yRGPCvwaAnu2EALw_wcB

https://ed100.org/lessons/whopays

https://www.ccsa.org/charters-up-close

https://www.californiahomeschool.net/how-to-homeschool/faq/

https://www.hlcommission.org/Publications/guidelines-school-of-record.html

Never Thought You’d Be Homeschooling? Neither Did I…

And, how I decided to pull my children out of traditional private school…

By Angela Hansen
Founder & President, American Academy of Strategic Education
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Driving to my children’s private school across town one morning, I became increasingly stressed about one of my boys being prepared for his history exam. I was fairly certain that he had not prepared for this exam which I was sure would result in a call home from his teacher! This childish fear of receiving a reprimanding phone call from the teacher caused me to start an impromptu cram study session right then and there in the car.

My son pulled out the study sheet that looked like a ditto copy from the 1940s filled to the brim with bite-sized historical facts. The subject of the history exam was an early explorer, Juan Cabrillo who discovered the Channel Islands (ask me how I remember this…) One of my boys was quizzing the other on the subject matter. The one being quizzed could not recall who discovered the Channel Islands.  Me, getting frustrated with my son not knowing the answer, blurted out: “Juan Cabrillo!” All of my children were shocked and surprised that I knew such a random answer.

And then it hit me. How did I know that answer?! It was not because I was some sort of early explorer history buff. Rather, I realized it was because my three children before him had studied this exact same lesson. Of course, that in and of itself is not bad but this one small story only emphasized the fact that over the 12 years between my oldest and youngest child, while the world had experienced so much technological change, there had not been a single technological innovation when it came to how this lesson was taught.

And suddenly, in that moment, I had an epiphany. I thought to myself, “There has to be a better way for my children to learn than by memorizing piles and piles of facts off an old ditto-copied handout!” To make matters worse, my son frequently told me that his teacher kept saying in class, “I hate computers, I wish they would just go away.” Well, I think computers are here to stay, so I think we should make the best of it and teach our students how to use them.

Furthermore, when my other son kept coming home with 105% or higher on his Advanced Math exams (105%!), the apparent lack of challenging assignments led me to look for alternate schools. He was not being taught at a level that would keep up with his many different talents and abilities. Somehow, in that moment, it became very clear to me that I needed to find the right school for my children.

So, as much as I loved the school my children had attended for all those years, I realized that it was time for my boys to have a change in academic scenery. I went on the search for just the right school. I was sure that in Southern California I would be able to find at least one that would be able to satisfy all of my children’s needs. Unfortunately, it was not that easy.

I ended up enrolling my children in another private school, which turned out to be a mistake. Although the new school was a non-denominational religious school, its morals and standards were in utter disarray, and harmful to its students. Throughout the course of the year, students at this morally-bankrupt school shared inappropriate videos on YouTube with my children – all with the support of the teachers and principal. Additionally, the school’s education and curriculum were of subpar quality, and I was paying far more than what I should have paid for an inferior education.

After having many discussions with the teachers and principal over the students’ inappropriate conduct and the school’s overall curriculum, I decided that if by the end of the school year I could not find the perfect new school, I would pull my children out of their traditional private school and find an alternative education system for them. This compelled me to go back to school to earn my Master’s Degree in Education in Teaching and Learning and to obtain my teaching credential. After making this decision, I quit my full-time job as a Human Resources Director of a large company and set out to be the best teacher my children would ever have.

As the end of the school year came, we did not have a viable new school to send our children to. I told my husband that I would be teaching our boys myself next year. In the beginning he was mildly freaked out by the notion, as evidenced by his first response: “We have invested thousands and thousands of dollars in our children’s education, and for what? So that you can pull them out to teach them at home? Won’t that mess up their education, not to mention their social skills?” It was a tough sell, but in the end, I managed to persuade him to let me take responsibility for their education and socialization.

Since then, our educational journey has been incredible. We opened our doors of American Academy of Strategic Education in September 2017. Our academy was created to support parents in educating their children. Parents, teachers, and students collaborate to design the child’s learning plan, and the teachers at the academy support that learning plan by offering the students the opportunity to study and learn at his or her own pace, participate in lively discussion- and project-based core-subject courses and foreign language classes. Students also participate in fun and interesting electives as well as social and academic activities and field trips.

The partnership among parents, students, and administration provide experiences that encourage students to develop an appropriate sense of independence and the opportunity to engage in a wide range of academic, applied-learning and social experiences.

American Academy promotes a love of learning through flexible, adaptive, and unique educational opportunities.  At our center, the individual talents of students are nurtured while the individual needs are supported in a collaborative and thoughtful learning environment.

Our teachers work to foster habits such as organization, extended concentration, cooperation with peers, compromise and perseverance. As a result, the innate learning that occurs is often more valuable and transferable than objective content alone. It is our goal for students to develop a true love of learning, an inherent will to building lasting relationships with their peers, and a growing love for life.

We look forward to partnering with you and your children on this educational journey.

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