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:
Our programs for students 2-12 grade include:
All of our programs also include Friday electives which include:
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!
Founder & President, American Academy of Strategic Education
By Angela Hansen
Founder & President, American Academy of Strategic Education
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Art or Design
Elective #1 _______
Language Arts Basics
Elective #2 _______
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.
Art or Design
Silent Reading Station
Elective #1 _______
Language Arts Basics
Elective #2 _______
Elective #3 _______
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.
American Academy of Strategic Education
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.
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:
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.
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.
EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020
Hello American Academy Families,
The health and safety of your children is of the utmost importance to the staff of American Academy and we have been reassessing the situation in real-time, as we promised.
As of today, March 12, 2020 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, and our nation’s leading health authorities called for all of us to prepare and be ready to adjust in support of the health and well-being of all Americans amidst this rapidly evolving health challenge.
Although there are still no reported cases of children with COVID-19, we are taking this situation very seriously and heavily weighing all aspects of our responsibility to protect the health of our students, Academy community, our staff, and then our larger civic role to mitigate the spread globally.
Our position will always lean toward carefulness and caution. We have made the decision to begin an organized, temporary academy closure at the conclusion of all school activities on Tuesday, March 17 and move students to a remote learning temporary platform to complete their projects. I am proud to say that our students are already incredible remote learners–which is a useful 21st Century skill to continue to hone! I am also happy to announce that we have a remarkable staff who are ready to provide an excellent online experience for all of our students.
We will move to a remote learning model for students on Wednesday, March 18. We will use Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17 to train the students on Google Classroom while at the Academy. Please be assured this is a preventative, proactive decision, and we have no indication that there is a case of COVID-19 in our American Academy community. Please expect a minimum two-week school closure.
All of our teachers including our Kidspot teacher, our Essential Discourse teachers, and World Language teachers are prepared for working with students remotely on their projects and to offer private tutoring sessions through our online scheduling calendar.
We will be using Google Classroom to work online. Google Classroom is a streamlined, easy-to-use tool that helps teachers manage student’s coursework. In Google Classroom, teachers will work with students on their Essential Discourse projects, World Language activities including one-on-one conversational practice, send feedback, and generally help students progress forward according to each class syllabus. Also, within Google Classroom, students will have the opportunity to regularly communicate with the teacher and other students regarding their projects and see everything in one place.
We have created Google Classrooms that align with the student’s current Academy classes and levels.
Google Classroom Set-up
American Academy staff will help your child set up his/her Google Classroom while at the Academy on Monday or Tuesday. Please make sure your child has his/her electronic device and charger. If your child will not be at the academy on Monday or Tuesday, we will be offering resources for you to help set your child up on Google Classroom personally at home.
We ask parents to prepare at home as well. We need each child to have their OWN “Gmail” email address to use Google Classroom. Please set this email address up now and send it to your Academy Director. Gmail is free. You can cancel your child’s email address later if you prefer for them to not have one down the road.
We recognize this temporary school closure will create new considerations for our families to navigate. During this health crisis, we will lean on our strong school-parent partnership.
We understand you may have many questions. Please expect more detailed messages from your Director on remote learning and Academy operations. We will also continue to communicate with you throughout the closure and in the event of any new developments.
We are in this together and are guided by our mission and core values. I am confident that the extraordinary strength of our American Academy community will enable us to persist and thrive in these challenging times. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
President and Founder
American Academy of Strategic Education
NEW! American Academy’s Stars & Stripes Discount
– 15% discount to all children of active military parents on all of our annual programs (3-day in person or Fridays only).
– 15% discount on our Enrollment Commitment Fees.
* In-person or remote classes, clubs, and field trips
* Hybrid K-12 Flexible Programs –choose the days and hours that work for your family!
* Hands-on Project-based engaging classes that meet the State Standards
* Technology based curriculum that also meet the State Standards
* Discussion-based core subject classes
* Spanish and Mandarin immersion programs
* Private tutoring
* Student-lead academic and social clubs such as Cooking, Music, Digital Design, Drawing, Chess, Crafting, RPG, Mad Scientist, History Club, and more!
* Accredited, adaptive, honors, AP, A-G, K-12 curriculum
Please contact our Admissions Department for more information: email@example.com
Your personal tour guide will begin your visit by taking you on a tour of our academy and introducing you and your child to our students and teachers. You can expect our students to greet you with a smile and handshake. Teachers will stop and say hello.
Next, your guide will share detailed information about our programs and the student experience, including: classes, clubs, field trips, and educational adventure tours as well as the enrollment process, and charter funding. The entire process will be informative and enjoyable. We look forward to getting to know you.
“Reading, writing, and calculating are small components to being successful in the twenty-first century workforce. However, what about the less tangible skills like thinking critically, embracing curiosity, and being part of a team?”
Living in the moment can be a refreshing way to seize the day. However, how does a child live in the moment and yet be ready for the future workforce? Some may say a traditional path to a career such as a teacher, an engineer, a doctor, a tradesperson, and a lawyer are enough for children in the future. However, most jobs that will be available for children who are now in Kindergarten are currently not even in existence yet. Looking back thirty years ago, few would predict that technology would be an essential component of the workplace or integrated into our daily lives. Careers are continually evolving, and new opportunities arise for future generations. Reading, writing, and calculating are small components to being successful in the twenty-first century workforce. However, what about the less tangible skills like thinking critically, embracing curiosity, and being part of a team? These attributes can propel a child to deeper understanding and success. Parents want to help prepare their child to lead productive and successful lives. Educators plan vigorously to help their students succeed. Educators thirty years ago would never have guessed how computers, the Internet, and mobile devices would come to be an integral part of a person’s life. Now, they can prepare their students to better use such technology. The technology industry has produced new careers requiring new skillsets. Preparing for an unknown job market is a daunting task; yet, parents and educators have helped children be successful in such career fields as technology by building life skills. Tony Wagner, PhD. of Harvard University has conducted massive amounts of education research in the United States. He has called for educational reform as he finds that our school system has been satiated in the nineteenth and twentieth century learning mindset. Dr. Wagner has challenged parents and educators to view a new paradigm in education and learning that will assist children in the twenty-first century. He has identified “7 Survival Skills for the 21st Century” as the cornerstone of the Project Based Learning for the 21st Century (PBL21), which is a unique approach developed by Anne Shaw.
Dr. Wagner interviewed hundreds of CEOs in businesses, educational institutions, and non-profits. Those interviewed were able to provide valuable data in which Dr. Wagner found a common thread in their statements. The “7 Skills Students Will Always Need” were then derived: Curiosity and Imagination; Initiative and Entrepreneurship; Agility and Adaptability; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Effective Oral and Written Communication; Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence; and Accessing and Analyzing Information. Parents and educators may not know what the future holds for career opportunities, but a present advantage is knowing what skills students will need once they get there. In 2001 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum started to appear. Judith A. Ramaley, who worked with the National Science Foundation from 2001 to 2004, is often considered as the person who coined the term, STEM. STEM has picked up considerable momentum within the past decade as a response to the twenty-first century workforce.
Educational academies — like American Academy of Strategic Education — have identified that parents and educators must visualize a different paradigm in education and have learned that helping students to be successful in the twenty-first century, requires parents, educators, and students to view a different paradigm in education and learning. That is why American Academy incorporates PBL21 lesson concepts into its program, where students are able to collaborate, problem solve, and articulate their answers. In addition, student-led clubs allow children to develop leadership skills, build confidence, and explore their curiosity. The academy’s built-in STEM lessons give students an opportunity to showcase their problem-solving skills. Traditionally in education, teachers begin with the standards and then develop the lesson. Unfortunately, this places barriers to the “7 Skills Students Will Always Need.” Creating projects that students are engaged with should be the main focus — those that provide rigor, opportunities for collaboration to problem solve, and spark curiosity and creativity should be the main focus. The standards will be naturally built into each lesson. American Academy is one such educational institution that believes in PBL21 and carefully designs its curriculum around project-based learning for real-world applications. The word “standards” refers to the minimum level of acceptability. PBL21 lessons provide a broader array of assessing students and goes beyond the minimum standards by encompassing the real-world skills that students need to be successful.
As a result of project-based lessons, students often learn more, achieve high aptitude levels, score high on standardized tests, and are more prepared for the twenty-first century workforce. In addition, student attendance and motivation to learn gradually increase over time. In order to transition from a focus on improving academic testing scores to a more intuitive holistic approach, parents and educators need to have the big picture in mind. Helping children understand the roles they can assume — such as being engaged thinkers, resilient and resourceful learners, creative problem solvers, and active members of the community — provide thinking, social and emotional, and attitudinal skills, such as motivation and self-efficacy, that can be applicable to the twenty-first century workforce. These skills overlap with one another creating a web of understanding that help children adapt to new situations with creativity. Students can seize the day in the twenty-first century workforce with skills rather than content. Albert Einstein once said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”
21st Century Schools
21st Century Schools
American Academy of Strategic Education will be presented this Saturday (10/12) at this year’s Irvine Global Village Festival. Our exhibition booth will be locating inside the Kids Village at booth #57 where most of the kids’ activities will be hosted.
To celebrate the launch of our Mandarin Immersion program this Fall, children who visit our booth will enjoy building and coloring their own miniature dragon puppets.
Parents who visit our booth will get an opportunity to meet our teachers and the academy directors. In addition, all visitors who stop by our booth can enter a draw for a pair of movie tickets every hour throughout the day of the event.
Tickets to Irvine Global Village Festival are $5 per day, per person for those ages 3 and older. A $20 Family Pass offers one-day admission for up to six people. Tickets are on sale now at irvinefestival.org.
Parking is free, but premier parking closer to the festival site will be available for $10 on-site (cash only).
The Orange County Great Park is at 8000 Great Park Blvd., Irvine.
To learn more about Irvine Global Village Festival, please click here.