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  • Erin

I have been surveyed on this topic a lot recently. These inquiries have led to very thought-provoking discussions. Whether the questions are to inquire about enrollment or to challenge the mission and philosophy, I appreciate the conversations. I also use what I gain from the discussions as motivation to dare me to show up bravely as I begin this endeavor with my own children.


So, Why DCLC Acton?


I think to fairly answer this question, I need to be very clear that DCLC: An Acton Academy doesn’t intend to fix educational systems that are already in place. DCLC is an alternative model that I deem exceptional. This model provides learners in grades K-8 (currently) with the tools they need to be successful and add value to the world.


DCLC promises that my children will learn to be curious, independent, lifelong learners. They promise to inspire our family to find a calling that will change the world. They will equip my children with the latest technology in a self-paced learning environment that is designed to foster responsibility, goal setting, and teamwork. They vow to allow my children to lead the learning community. They ensure this will prepare them to be contributors in the 21st century, not consumers. They guarantee to guide my children towards developing an entrepreneurial mindset. They will allow my children to progress through the core skills of math, reading, and writing, without limitation and without a deadline. My children will be rewarded for improvement and required to achieve mastery.


As a parent of DCLC students, my children and I will be surveyed weekly and results are shared with the school community because DCLC Acton believes in the importance of customer feedback.


So, What About College?


According to the middle school website of the founding Acton Academy located in Austin, Texas the Acton model promises to “have you well prepared for any selective university where you can score high enough on a standardized test to gain admittance. Universities are changing so rapidly that it’s difficult to imagine what a college education will look like in ten years. Unfortunately, many colleges still place a great deal of importance on standardized tests, which are little more than IQ tests, and are difficult to improve on once you understand basic test taking tricks. Once you get over the test taking barrier at the university of your choice, your portfolio and critical thinking skills will be a big boost during the application and interviewing process. Most importantly, you’ll be well prepared to shine in the real world, whether you choose to go to college full time, part time or not at all.”


Does DCLC Acton work for every student?


No.


Can it?


I predict you will have to make that discovery by beginning your hero’s journey.


Open House is February 27 from 6:30-7:30pm at Deep Creek Learning Center. I hope you will join us as we embark on this exciting educational revolution.



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  • Erin

I have been homeschooling for the past year and using a curriculum that at its core involved a lot of direct instruction. I spent hours planning. Yes, I had freedom. I could choose what to teach and how I wanted to deliver the instruction. Of course, I could be creative and incorporate games, art, and music in different subject areas, but something was missing.


My kids were not becoming the independent learners I wanted them to be. It was simply because I was getting in the way. I was answering their questions and not allowing them time to figure things out on their own. I was teaching, not guiding. This prevented them from discovering what THEY wanted to do. I still had this feeling that if I didn’t teach what I was “supposed” to teach, my kids would be behind. I thought that they needed more of me, when in fact I am discovering they need less of me. Less of me is what prepares them for becoming tomorrow's heroes.


After spending time at Acton Academy in Austin, Texas, I had a total mindset shift. Trust me, I was headed in this direction, but I needed a push. I have been fascinated by the learning revolution taking place at Acton for years. I understood Acton used adaptive game-based programs for core academic skills, but I didn’t understand how this worked exactly.


When I returned home from Acton, I packed up my homeschool curriculum, returned it, and began the process of guiding my own children into becoming curious, independent, life-long learners. In other words, I started to Actonize them!


Let me take you through the steps of the why and what this looks like for us.




WHY?


Since the doors of DCLC Acton are officially opening in September 2020, I want to familiarize myself with the adaptive game-based programs available for core skills. If I can work out the kinks with my own tribe, I will be much more comfortable when we begin to introduce our families to the program options.


WHAT programs are we currently using to trial core academic skills?


Grade 3 and Grade 5:


Reading- Lexia Core 5


Math- Kahn Academy or CTC Math


Spelling- Spelling City


Vocabulary- Spelling City


Writing- No Red Ink (Grade 5)


How is it going? What other programs are we going to try?


Stay tuned… As my own learners work through these programs and try different programs I will be adding as we go, they will review them and keep you posted. If something doesn’t work for them, we will find something that does!


They know that they must commit to 2 ½ to 3 hours of core academic skills a day- 5 days a week, during the school day only- no homework! Through goal setting, they determine what they want to work on each day as they begin their journey towards learning to learn.



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  • Erin

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

As we embark on our Hero’s Journey, we will be spending time with our learners discussing what it means to be a hero. During our first Launch, we used Nelson Mandela as an example to introduce the idea that being a hero requires a person to be brave.


After watching a short video about Nelson Mandela, our tribe (Kindergarten- 8th grade learners) engaged in a Socratic Discussion. They were asked to think about the fears he may have felt and ways he showed courage.


We listened as the learners engaged in a conversation with one another. We took a ‘step back’ and ‘recorded’ their words. If you were in the Studio you would have heard the following:


· He was strong, brave, outgoing, intelligent, and a good leader.

· He feared being killed, not getting out of jail, and people not believing in him.

· He showed courage by standing up to the apartheid.


This then led to a conversation about courage. Our heroes defined courage as:


· Bravery

· Standing up to someone

· Standing up for something

· Standing up for yourself

· Being unstoppable


The tribe was then asked if a person could be brave and afraid at the same time. They not only shared with one another their thoughts, but vulnerably shared their own fears. We listened as they shared:


· You can want to do something, but still in the back of your mind worry about the outcome.

· You can be brave about one thing and afraid about another.

· Being in the army is a great example of being brave and afraid.

· Jesus shared that he feared crucifixion, but trusted God.

· I feel this way watching a scary movie.

· I feel this way going on a roller coaster.

· I felt this way when I was in a bike accident. I still have a scar, but I had a friend with me and that made it easier.


What was the takeaway from all of this? Our tribe concluded that it is nice to have a friend with you when you are afraid. Even though they (we) 😊 may be a little nervous starting our Hero’s Journey and are aware that we are going to face challenges together, through a real-life hero like Nelson Mandela we can remember that courage isn’t the absence of fear, but being able to overcome it.


Are you ready to start your Hero’s Journey?


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ABOUT US >

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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T: 267.329.8520

E: edecker@redhillschool.com

Erin Decker, Administrator

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