• Erin

Core Academic Skills at DCLC

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.


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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