Acton Academy Seacoast: A Hero’s Journey in a Time of Uncertainty

1
This post was written by Sarah Cheek. She is a Seacoast Parent and also, along with her family, began Acton Academy Seacoast in the Fall of 2020. Read on for more information -- thank you, Acton Academy Seacoast!

When my husband and I visited New England in the Fall of 2018 for our 10 year anniversary, we didn’t know that less than two years later we’d be trekking across the country with a 6 month old, 7 and 9 year old, a dog, a hamster, and a U-haul trailer in tow while a pandemic was causing a national shutdown. My husband and I shared a romantic vision of living in New England someday. This shared vision became a reality less than 9 months later when we decided to sell the house in Northern California and move east.

Friends told us about Acton at a dinner party two years prior to our big move.

From the Socratic guides to the out-of-the-box one-room schoolhouse approach, we were hooked.

One evening a few months prior to moving, my husband and I stood in the kitchen. A lightbulb went on in my head. I excitedly and randomly said to my husband, “I wonder if there is a Seacoast Acton Academy?” Seconds later after realizing there was a need for one near our future home, I looked up at my husband with tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my skin and said, “Bri, I think we are starting a school.” The seedling was breaking through the ground and into the light.

Fast forward 3 months…

Acton Academy Seacoast is born.

At Acton, we believe that everyone who enters our doors is a genius with the potential to change the world. We see our role as providing an opportunity for each scholar to discover their innate gifts and genius and support them in confidently sharing them with the world. Our community fans the flame of the ignited spark of curiosity that lives within each child.

Fanning the Flame of Curiosity

At Seacoast Acton Academy, we empower each learner to take full responsibility for their learning.

Seacoast Acton AcademyAfter working with their guide and parents, the scholar will set goals.

Both daily and annual SMART (specific, measurable, appropriate, relative, timely) goals will direct them on a specific path.

Instead of grades, we award badges.

For demonstrating excellence in and mastery of a specific area (math, writing, reading, spelling, civilizations, science, and character), students earn badges.

Instead of teachers, we have Socratic guides.

Each has a unique approach to supporting the learners on their journey. They answer questions with questions therefore forcing students to be resourceful and confident in finding answers themselves. We have two Socratic discussions a day where the scholars learn to take a stand, support it with reasoning, and respectfully listen to opposing sides. Some of our most vocal participants are the youngest in the studio. This year, our Question of the Year is, “Are heroes born or created?”

We embrace modern technology and the importance of collaboration.

The learning environment at Acton Academy Seacoast beautifully couples academic mastery through the use of adaptive software (2nd grade and up) with real-world quests (aka projects) to solidify a deep understanding of concepts and skills. Two of our most popular quests with the learners are the Robotics & Gaming Quest and the Forensic Detective Quest. A quest last 6 weeks and gives the scholars an opportunity to apply what they learn during core skills.

The canvas of a Hero’s Journey guides everything we do.

We refer to our scholars as Heroes. This reminds them that they are each on their own unique path with different challenges and growth opportunities. If they persevere and believe in themselves, they will prevail and transform. No matter how many times they fall. Our Heroes build and grow an inner strength and resiliency muscle early on. This allows all of the life ahead of them to unfold as an adventure.

Want to learn more about Acton Academy Seacoast?

If you’d like to join us and begin your own adventure, we have a few spots left in our K-5 studios. We have been able to adapt to allow for in person learning 5 days a week. We are also offering a 6 week long Quest Camp for grades 5-10. This will be where a pod of 10 learners meet twice a week to work on a real world projects and participate in Socratic discussions and outdoor activities. Please reach out to us to schedule a phone call and tour of our space.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here