Every child needs to learn at their own pace. However schools are not designed to teach kids this way. Our Academy uses a blended method to ensure that every child learns at their own pace based on their own strengths and weaknesses. Students rotate between 1:1 laptops, group and 1:1 tutoring. Based on the results of taking a standardized test, students are provided with personalized, highly dynamic content (online videos, games, podcasts, documents) aligned to national standards to work through at their own pace. Our Math & English curriculum is suited for 3rd graders and up. Our Computer Science & Entrepreneurship curriculum is for kids 9+ years in age.
If students need to learn at their own pace, we believe that they should also own the process of learning. At our Academy, students develop short term learning goals, develop a plan to achieve these goals using digital and physical learning tools at their disposal, track progress towards their goals, show evidence of what they have learned by taking assessments and reflect on their efforts. Students are are encouraged to become self directed learners. This helps them better adapt to the unstructured world of college. Our Guides are always present to provide personalized support to students who are struggling to take charge of their own learning path.
While some kids are setting their learning goals and going through personalized, teacher curated content on their laptops, students who are struggling with the curriculum are pulled in to small groups for group or 1:1 tutoring of core Math and English concepts. Students will rotate stations so that they can also be taught basic and advanced concepts in Entrepreneurship and Computer Science. These skills are then put in to practice in a group setting using LEGO robots, designing video games, brainstorming on how to market a product, learning money management and getting first hand experience in starting a business. When kids demonstrate mastery of an area, they are periodically tested to show what they have learned.
Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars. Kids look up to entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Damond John, Mark Cuban and others. However, entrepreneurship is not being taught in schools. Entrepreneurship is a multi-disciplinary form of education - solving business problems requires students to combine knowledge in several subjects without kids even realizing it. We teach kids different aspects of entrepreneurship - from creating a business name to product/service pricing, determining a target market, creating a marketing plan, developing a customer service strategy, integrating social media and much more. We also educate kids on money management.
Computer related employment will rise by 22% by 2020. Technology has transformed education but while students learn how to use it, they rarely learn how it works. Now a growing realization among educators that this gap needs to be filled is prompting a new revolution, in the belief that teaching children how to code will give them a skill for life. We teach kids basic and advanced computer programming using a variety of fun tools like Scratch, Minecraft & Game Salad. Our students go from consuming digital media to creating digital media and learn how to develop an analytical mindset.
For students to excel in college and in life, they can no longer survive on lower order thinking skills like remembering and understanding. They need to develop higher order thinking skills like analyzing, evaluating and creating. Online videos, podcasts and documents are used to help develop lower order thinking in our classes. Then teachers facilitate projects in a variety of fun ways like robotics, video game design or creating a mobile app to develop higher order skills. This, combined with our Socratic approach to class discussions allows kids to move past rote memorization to analyzing, synthesizing and connecting.
Learning does not happen just within the classroom. Parents and teachers both play a critical part in on-going learning in a child's life. We provide detailed reports on every child's progress to both parents and teachers. In addition, we also provide resources to parents to better help their kids at home and to encourage critical thinking skills outside the classroom.