THE HUMANIST ACADEMY

We cultivate the human spirit...

CURRICULUM

Welcome to our learner-driven community of happy, healthy heroes who are ready for the 21st Century.

OUR PROGRAMS

  1. Montessori (5-6)
    This studio follows a Montessori based curriculum to allow our younger students more time to mature and acclimate to the approach at THA. We use the full complement of Montessori materials to give them a concrete, sensory and developmentally ideal experience of learning.
  2. Elementary (7-10)
    Here, students become ready to take the journey to become an independent learner. They learn how to set goals, work collaboratively, and love learning, while also helping and being helped by their friends in the studio. The goal of this studio is for students to develop responsibility of their own learning process, respect, proactivity, self-control, honesty, leadership, and growth mindset
  3. Middle School (11-13)
    This studio is where students transition from childhood to adulthood, achieving more freedom and taking on more responsibility. This program is for those who have already proven that they are able to work independently. Students work on difficult real world problems, and learn to write and think more deeply. This studio ultimately brings students to a deeper understanding of their character, while exploring where they are headed.
CORE SKILLS
Core skills are the basic toolkit that students need to master to become lifelong learners.  Students spend approximately three hours each day, setting SMART goals and choosing which Core Skill (reading, writing, and math) to improve. THA uses the Montessori method, as well as the latest in adaptive online systems and educational gaming in a purposeful, meaningful way, allowing students to learn at their own ability level and at their own pace. Online systems such as Khan Academy and Dreambox deliver an immersive and customized learning experience which motivates and challenges THA students, while also functioning much like a GPS navigator for each individual.
QUEST/PROJECT TIME
Projects and quests are carefully developed and designed for students to learn traditional topics like science, social studies, and history, while concurrently instilling and incorporating the growth of valuable real world skills and abilities. Quests are student-designed projects which not only provide opportunities to learn concepts through “doing,” but when strung together, answer larger questions, fuel student passions, and motivate students to strive for a gamer-like set of rewards. In these ways, student quests become powerful drivers of learning. 
WRITER'S WORKSHOP
The purpose of Writer's Workshop is to instill a love of writing, reading, and story-telling and to empower young heroes for the rest of their lives with an understanding that putting clear thoughts to paper leads to freedom and opportunity. To establish the habit of always striving for excellence through repeated process and daily writing for the entirety of the Elementary School journey. Each session of Writers’ Workshop is based on a different genre. The guides design a new writing quest each session in which students have full freedom in their choice of content; however, they must learn how to navigate the creative constraints that come with each genre. Writers’ Workshop takes place 2-3 days per week for 1.5 hours. It begins with a launch that includes a call to action for the day. During the launches, students are introduced to new writing techniques through various mentor texts.
   
   
P.E./ART
Formal PE occurs twice per week, one hour a day, where students complete units of various sports/games, so striving for mastery in personal fitness and sportsmanship become part of the Hero’s Journey.   Students also have between two and three periods a day of free time outside, breaks that are important because they allow nervous physical energy to be released.

Formal art happens once a week and is incorporated in the quest for the session. Students are given the chance to express their learning in a creative manner through various art projects that expose them to different art mediums. Students are also given a variety of tools for artistic explortion during their free time. 
SOCRATIC DISCUSSIONS
Guides at THA use the Socratic method rather than lecturing as experts or asking leading questions. A Socratic guide sets up scenarios and asks questions to stimulate critical thinking through debate and inquiry.
Launches and closes are critical, consistent Socratic periods in each day at Acton Academy. We begin each day and major block of work time during the day (e.g. Core Skills or Project Time) with a 15-minute launch to create high energy and focus.  During the Socratic launches, a guide might share a story, a video clip, or a world-class example to inspire and encourage, address the purpose behind the upcoming activity, bring up a community need, focus on building character, or establish priorities for the day.  Alternatively, the guide might set up a scenario that puts students in the shoes of someone facing an important decision, and ask the students what they would do in this hero's position.  Such Socratic discussions are also great tools for maintaining the learning community and addressing standards that are not being met in a more collaborative manner.

D.E.A.R.
​The acronym D.E.A.R. stands for "Drop Everything and Read". Students spend 30 minutes every day developing a love for reading by, well, reading! Students choose from a wide selection of books in the THA library, find a comfortable place to sit, and silently delve into a book of their choice.