Acton Academy

Early Education at Little River Montessori School

Peer to Peer Learning

What is a typical morning like in an Acton studio?

Introducing Acton Academy

LRMS is proud to announce that in the 2023/24 school year, our elementary program will join the Acton Academy Network. Acton is a network of independent schools focused on empowering young people to take charge of their own “hero’s journey.” Acton Academy is a kind of Montessori 2.0. Acton adheres to many Montessori principles, including self-discovery, hands-on learning, and teachers as guides, but it adds more “real-world” experiences, character formation, and leadership learning. Joining the Acton Academy network also allows us to seek accreditation through the International Association of Learner-Driven Schools should we choose to do so..

LRMS has a long tradition as a learner-driven community, and we look forward to learning and growing with the Acton Network to layer innovative approaches on top of our strong Montessori values so we can best follow the 21st-century child. 

At Little River, we believe every child is a hero, on a critical mission to share their unique gifts and talents with the world. These heroes come together to create generative learning communities where they Learn To Learn (becoming life-long, curious self-educators), Learn To Do (gain real-world experience with hands-on projects and exciting quests) and Learn To Be (developing the values, grit, habits, and character traits of a true hero).

In Acton studios, as the classrooms are called, learners use world-class technology to study core skills, including math and language. These efficient tools allow students to learn at their own pace in game-based environments. Acton studios allow students to work together on high-level concepts using the Socratic method, and discussion is crucial in their educational journey. With these modern tools based on Socratic, Democratic, and Montessori principles, Acton prepares students for secondary schooling and beyond.

Learning Design

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey, also known as the monomyth, is a fundamental structure shared by many of the world’s best stories. It persists throughout time and culture as a way to organize narratives and give insight into the fundamental needs of human beings.

At Acton, the Hero’s Journey is also a framework that defines our learning structure. Each student is a hero with an inner genius. That genius is forged through failure, success, and, most importantly, perseverance. The Hero’s Journey inspires students to share their most valuable gifts, keep trying, and have courage in tough times.

Our Promises

  • We promise, through Socratic guiding and experiential learning, your child will:
  • Begin a hero’s journey
  • Learn to be curious, become an independent thinker, and develop a life-long love of learning
  • Discover their most precious gifts, along with the dedication it takes to develop meaningful skills
  • Understand the importance of a strong character
  • Cherish the arts, the wonders of the physical world, and the mysteries of life
  • Treasure economic, political, and religious freedom

Our Beliefs

  • We believe that each person has a gift that can change the world in a profound way.
  • We believe in learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be.
  • We believe in a closely connected family of lifelong learners.
  • We believe in economic, political, and religious freedom

Our Philosophy

We believe that clear thinking leads to good decisions, good decisions lead to the right habits, the right habits forge character, and character determines destiny.

 

Early Education at Little River Montessori School

Introducing Acton Academy

LRMS is proud to announce that in the 2023/24 school year, our elementary program will join the Acton Academy Network. Acton is a network of independent schools focused on empowering young people to take charge of their own “hero’s journey.” Acton Academy is a kind of Montessori 2.0. Acton adheres to many Montessori principles, including self-discovery, hands-on learning, and teachers as guides, but it adds more “real-world” experiences, character formation, and leadership learning. Joining the Acton Academy network also allows us to seek accreditation through the International Association of Learner-Driven Schools should we choose to do so..

LRMS has a long tradition as a learner-driven community, and we look forward to learning and growing with the Acton Network to layer innovative approaches on top of our strong Montessori values so we can best follow the 21st-century child. 

At Little River, we believe every child is a hero, on a critical mission to share their unique gifts and talents with the world. These heroes come together to create generative learning communities where they Learn To Learn (becoming life-long, curious self-educators), Learn To Do (gain real-world experience with hands-on projects and exciting quests) and Learn To Be (developing the values, grit, habits, and character traits of a true hero).

In Acton studios, as the classrooms are called, learners use world-class technology to study core skills, including math and language. These efficient tools allow students to learn at their own pace in game-based environments. Acton studios allow students to work together on high-level concepts using the Socratic method, and discussion is crucial in their educational journey. With these modern tools based on Socratic, Democratic, and Montessori principles, Acton prepares students for secondary schooling and beyond.

Peer to Peer Learning

What is a typical morning like in an Acton studio?

Learning Design

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey, also known as the monomyth, is a fundamental structure shared by many of the world’s best stories. It persists throughout time and culture as a way to organize narratives and give insight into the fundamental needs of human beings.

At Acton, the Hero’s Journey is also a framework that defines our learning structure. Each student is a hero with an inner genius. That genius is forged through failure, success, and, most importantly, perseverance. The Hero’s Journey inspires students to share their most valuable gifts, keep trying, and have courage in tough times.

Our Promises

  • We promise, through Socratic guiding and experiential learning, your child will:
  • Begin a hero’s journey
  • Learn to be curious, become an independent thinker, and develop a life-long love of learning
  • Discover their most precious gifts, along with the dedication it takes to develop meaningful skills
  • Understand the importance of a strong character
  • Cherish the arts, the wonders of the physical world, and the mysteries of life
  • Treasure economic, political, and religious freedom

Our Beliefs

  • We believe that each person has a gift that can change the world in a profound way.
  • We believe in learning to learn, learning to do, and learning to be.
  • We believe in a closely connected family of lifelong learners.
  • We believe in economic, political, and religious freedom

Our Philosophy

We believe that clear thinking leads to good decisions, good decisions lead to the right habits, the right habits forge character, and character determines destiny.

 

FAQ for Montessori Families Converting to Acton

Will my child still be able to access the hands-on materials?

Montessori materials will continue to be the cornerstone of the lower elementary learning experience. Older elementary students may use them as needed.

What is the difference between Acton and Montessori?
A lot of people refer to Acton as Montessori 2.0. In a sense, Acton is a 21st-century renaissance of Montessori values – independence, self-discipline, and critical thinking. Acton Academies leverage modern technologies and advancements in motivational psychology and leadership to provide the systems, resources, and environments necessary for children to take the next step in their hero’s journey.
What is the Hero’s Journey?

The Hero’s Journey is a lens through which we see events that encourages us to overcome challenges and maintain a growth mindset.

Does this mean that my child will be stuck in front of a computer all day?
No. Acton utilizes computers for learning, collaborating, and communicating, but we aim to keep the overall screen time to less than ⅓ of the school day. Students in lower elementary (1st – 3rd grade) will be gradually introduced to computer work as they make the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Guides will assess each student’s needs and work with families to tailor these experiences to each child.
Why do Acton Academies follow a “year-round” calendar?

The calendar includes more school days (196 vs. 180) and is broken up into five-week sessions (or “sprints”). These sprints are an important part of the thematic learning design. Breaking up time off into smaller chunks helps learners remain engaged and curious by reducing fatigue and maintaining novelty. Here is a link to next year’s (tentative) calendar.

Where can I find out more about Acton Academies?
What’s this I hear about a STEAM lab?!

Yes, we will be converting the old Greenway School art studio into a STEAM Lab to include art materials, robotics, loose parts play, craft materials, video production equipment, and more. Available in the Fall of 2023.

What ages will Acton serve?

1st-3rd grade students will attend class in the same room they have been previously assigned. 4th-6th grade students will work in the lodge. 5th and 6th-grade students will not be allowed to enter the program from outside the school. New-to-the-school students must enroll by 4th grade.

Will my family need to apply or audition again to be accepted into the program?
No. Current families will not need to re-apply. We will hold an informational Q & A meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, October 12th at 6:00.
Will the new calendar change how tuition is paid?
Yes, the new 11-month calendar will allow us to spread tuition payments out over twelve months. Currently, tuition is only spread out over ten months for those that pay monthly. We are working diligently to make rates for the coming year available as soon as possible.

Why Montessori?

Overall, what makes this method of learning so different compared to other conventional forms of early childhood education today? Our teachers do not stand in front of the class and teach each child the same lesson all at once. Each child is allowed to learn at their own rhythm in a way that allows them to feel as though they are not learning or being taught, but discovering the world. Even young children gain a sense of independence, curiosity, and esteem that is only accomplished through Dr. Montessori’s methodology with Little River. By starting Montessori Education at the beginning of a child’s academic journey, guardians can set their child up for success in many facets of their lives.