Learning At Home, Together
Given this unprecedented time when families are at home out of schools and work environments, we are presented with an opportunity to reimagine education.
With the uncertainty of when schools will be re-opened, September being the more likely timeline, we are providing support for families who would like to ensure learning isn’t stopping, but actually growing. It is possible for children to come through this experience with a renewed love of learning, new skills, and confidence in themselves!
We’d like to introduce you to: Infinity School: A Home-Learning Community.
This is a separate co-operative of learners from those already in Infinity School. We are offering a modified program to the community as a home-based education system.
Having tried homeschooling with our own children before starting Infinity School, we know that it can be hard! The biggest challenges we faced were the lack of structure, unclear objectives and goals, as well as the absence of a learning community. While nothing replaces the connections made in person, onsite, we feel that our systems can help address those issues as evidenced by how our Acton Academy programs around the world (Infinity School is an affiliate of Acton Academy) transitioned fairly seamlessly to home-learning over the past month.
This isn’t simply online learning: this is a cohort of students connected and working together! It is a program which creates a highly organized student-led community of learners, despite the distance, where children have the ability to learn at a pace that feels right to them with people ready to support and guide them.
Key aspects of our Home-Learning Community:
–Shared schedule and calendar. The schedule has large blocks of time ear-marked for academics in the morning — we call those, “core skills.” In the afternoons, time is set aside for, “Writer’s Workshop” (growing the art and craft of writing), and “Civilization” (geography, history, and social studies together). There is some flexibility within a daily and weekly routine allowing time for further learning wherever the students’ curiosity and passion takes them.
-Group and individual online discussions. Using software like Zoom, Slack, or Google, the students and their adult guide connect twice daily as a group and at least once a day individually with the Guide.
-Emphasis on Character Traits and Self-Governance. Each community of learners will spend time developing their own rules of engagement for their discussions and interactions, as well as accountability and consequences to each other. This will result in a contract to sign and uphold during their time with the group.
-Software for core skills learning. With online subscriptions to tried and tested programs, the learners use individually-paced modules to go deeply into math, grammar, spelling, typing, foreign language basics, and reading. A series of milestones and targets help keep students on track, with all of this organized and monitored by the Guide and peer-mentors.
-Daily and Weekly SMART Goals. In keeping with the focus on self-paced learning, each student will create and record personal goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based) to motivate and track their efforts.
-Tracking software (replaces report cards). The academic modules, connections with peer mentors, writer’s workshop, and civilization, are tracked by everyone using Acton Academy‘s tracking software. This way parents always know how much progress is being made in real time.
-Peer mentors. Within a group of 12 learners, they will be paired together to support each other’s learning journey.
-Adult support and guidance. With a one-to-twelve ratio, the Guide and learners spend time getting to know each other as best they can through the online methods available. The Guide is continually seeking to know the learner better, helping each child along the way.
Do we need to de-register from our current school?
NO! As the school is physically closed, you are under no obligation to continue the school’s current course of study. Your child will be promoted to the next grade regardless of productivity between now and when school starts up again. You can simply let your child’s teacher know that you are opting out of whatever work they are assigning and will be “home-schooling,” which means deciding as a family what will be learned moving forward. This website from The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents has some good information about that.
As a parent, how much of my time is needed?
That depends. We are seeing that children already in our Infinity School as young as eight-years-old are doing most of their home-learning independently within the structure we have in place. Please keep in mind that these children had time before this to become grounded in our program, systems, and community first.
Your child’s reading, self-discipline, and organization abilities will determine how much you as a parent need to step in. Don’t worry! We’ll help grow skills those over time.
What materials are needed at home?
A computer, whether that is a Chromebook, other laptop or PC, a good internet connection, a web camera (if there isn’t one built into laptop/ computer), and headphones.
All other learning materials will be provided given our ability to drop off or ship things.
What is the timeline and cost?
We are going to discount this program while we are in the developmental stages. We are planning to roll out a year-long program in September.
Learners are accepted at any time with an end date of Friday, June 26th.
The program is being offered just at cost and will be prorated for the number of weeks the child is enrolled. The total amount from April 20 through June 26 (10 weeks) is $670 per child.
How are the learners being grouped — what ages of children do you serve?
We will put the learners into two age groupings: 1) Ages-8, 9, & 10, 2) Ages-11, 12, & 13
How do I register or ask questions to see if this is right for us?
Call us at 519-852-5810 or click through the contact field to be reached via email.
How do I get more information about Infinity School?
We invite you to look through this website to learn more about our program. In addition, we are happy to mail you a copy of the book Courage To Grow: How Acton Academy Turns Learning Upside Down — please click here to complete the online form.