• Erin

As I sat in the studio during Core Academic Skills, I couldn’t help listening to one of our learners as he read his writing aloud to his peers during an online class. The topic was:

What Would Be Your Perfect School?

With his permission, I will share some main points from the writing of this learner in our Elementary Studio. In his perfect school, he would:

· Spend time in nature

· Work at his own pace

· Experience a lot of hands-on learning

· Learn about topics he wants to learn about

· Have everyday access to equipment for a variety of sports

· Have a class pet

As he read his essay, I couldn’t help but think about the past and present of DCLC. It made me envision what is to come. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the future of DCLC!

I can't help but wonder how I would have felt about going to a school like this. Of course there is no "perfect" school out there and DCLC is not a utopia, but without a doubt, getting up in the morning would have been a lot easier! If the ideas mentioned above sound like aspects of an ideal school to you, Like us on Facebook at Be sure to not miss an update about our next Open House or information about the latest happenings. There is so much to love and so much for you to discover about DCLC: An Acton Academy.

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Updated: Mar 3, 2020

If you were in the studio this week, you would hear kids asking questions…lots of them. Kids are indeed capable of asking questions. As a matter of fact, they excel in this area. If you think about it logically, of course they have all become experts in the ‘question asking’ arena. Why wouldn’t they be connoisseurs? They have been exposed to them since birth.

We all use questioning through the early developmental stages of a child’s life. These questions are used to guide a child as they discover the world around them. When you ask a one year old to find a ball, they find the ball through pointing or locating. If you ask a four-year-old what they wear on their head when it is cold, they likely can tell you, locate one, and place it where it belongs. Developmental milestones are measured by the questions our toddlers are asking. I find the conversations that occur with toddlers naturally lead them towards self-discovery and independence.

Communication though begins to change dramatically. For years, I haven't been able to figure out the why behind this. I am still not claiming that I have it all figured out, but I pose the question: Could it be because we begin to answer for our children? Maybe your kids are different, but I often find my children question me for three reasons:

1) They want something.

2) They want me to do, tell, or help with something that they THINK they can’t do on their own.

3) They want me to do something that they don’t FEEL like figuring out or doing on their own.

For years, I have fallen victim to thinking the examples above are okay because maybe they were developmental norms. This is where things began to get tricky. By being quick to rescue: I was answering too much instead of allowing them to navigate uncharted territory; I was making them do things that I thought were valuable, but in the long run are in fact SO NOT; I was working way harder than they were on household maintenance as they sat back and binge watched the first three episodes of Star Wars.

In retrospect, they were feeling they couldn’t do things on their own. Of course, they didn’t think they could do things on their own! I had been enabling their ability to work harder because maybe everything “was” to hard.

It wasn’t.

It isn’t.

I was trying to create an easier life for me, yet it wasn’t my life. They create, as I step back, a little further each year, to guide.

Kids are smart. They understand at a early age how to use the manipulation card. If I knew I was instantly going to get an answer, I would ask questions too! As a mom and former teacher, I will admit that I have found myself (many times) just answering while at home and in the classroom. In the short term, it makes everything less problematic.

From homework help, to “almost” doing projects, or replacing the batteries in the remote myself even though I never turn the tv on, I wasn’t helping to develop what we ALL need to navigate the one life we are so blessed to be living: GRIT. I was putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. I had the prideful stance of “I’ll Just Do It Myself” as if I were a superhero and this my motto.

No more.

From homework help, to “almost” doing projects, or replacing the batteries in the remote myself even though I never have the tv on, I wasn’t helping to develop what we need to navigate life well: GRIT. I was putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. I had the prideful stance of “I’ll Just Do It Myself” as if I were a superhero and this my motto.

The only thing it serves is a catered meal to our youth. We need to change the mindset of learners as we guide them towards discovery. They need confidence to know, understand, and believe that THEY CAN DO ALL THINGS!

My children will be ON a Chromebook and ask me how to spell something. In the words of Regis Philbin and the show, Who Want’s to Be a Millionaire, I lovingly tell them to “phone a friend” via google, a sister, or peer, but I am not their person for this type of information.

If I continue to spoon feed my kids, will I put handcuffs on their future?

In the studio, a learner asked aloud if she lived in the east. This led to a discussion about how that could be figured out. This then led to a discussion about NASA making it to the moon with less technology than everyone had in front of them right now. Their minds were blown, and the mindset shift in the room was palpable. It was silent, but perspectives were being stretched.

If NASA made it to the moon with way less, I think shooting for the stars is the only option.

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  • Erin

Thursday and Friday this past week, we had fun with glow sticks and geometry. During our afternoon co-op time, thanks to Crazy 8s Math Club, we learned that “Math will never be the same" again.

As we discussed geometry, the learners used glow sticks to give examples of the questions being asked. If you were in the studio, you would have heard questions like:

  1. Which regular polygons fit together with no gaps or overlaps?

  2. How many hexagons will be made using all the glow sticks? Why?

This led to a discussion regarding how they see this pattern in nature.

Which then led to the question “Do you know why bees build their hives in the hexagon pattern?”

I humbly share that I think the highlight of the activity was when two of the learners (grades 6 and 4) had to leave DCLC earlier than usual. When their dad arrived to pick them up, they respectfully complained about leaving. This was the blockbuster moment. We learned a lot about math, but we are also learned that our tribe seems to be getting stronger each day as we take a step back. That is when the real learning begins.

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Deep Creek Learning Center: An Acton Academy focuses on the developmental needs of ALL children. We want to make a positive impact on our community and the beautiful surroundings that included the Green Lane Park. We are a proud affiliate of the Acton Academy network. DCLC offers the very best in experiential learning environments that are driven by children's interests. 

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Erin Decker, Administrator

Deep Creek Learning Center: An Acton Academy   //   2109 Perkiomen Ave. Perkiomenville, PA   //   267.329.8520