Village News staff
A parent informational night is being held July 6, at 6 p.m. at Riverview Church in Bonsall for a new private school being started by Troy and Chelsea Young. The school will start this September and, to start, will serve ages 5 through 11.
This visionary Fallbrook couple decided to start the new private school called Monserate Christian Academy, when they couldn't find an Acton Learning Model school for their own children locally.
Chelsea Young, echoing the principles of Acton, firmly believes that every child is a genius on their own unique hero's journey, destined to make a positive impact on the world. She says her school will embrace this belief wholeheartedly, nurturing and empowering students to discover their individual strengths and talents.
"I'm an ardent believer in the potential of every child and want to capitalize on the joy of learning that I believe is in the Acton Learning Model. They have a clear mission: "Calling all Heroes!" Young said.
"Acton is a worldwide organization that has been in existence for over a decade, started by billionaire Jeff Sandefer," she said. "Sandefer believes most adults couldn't move past the middle school level of Acton because of the skill development. Acton really concentrates on critical thinking, leadership, skill development, conflict resolution, and communication skills," said Young.
Young says that one difference is the school is more like a one-room schoolhouse where younger children learn from the older students and the older students learn leadership. She said the Acton model provides "guides" rather than teachers. The guides don't answer questions as much as respond back to the student asking, "Where can we find that information?" They teach the students to become independent problem solvers.
By taking this approach, the guides empower students to become independent problem solvers. They nurture a sense of curiosity and resourcefulness, encouraging students to seek out information and discover answers for themselves. This not only fosters a deeper understanding of the subjects being studied but also develops invaluable skills for lifelong learning.
In the realm of history, for example, the guides immerse students in engaging scenarios. They might present a situation where a student assumed the role of King George, who had just received a petition. Guided by the question, "What will you do?" students are encouraged to think critically, consider multiple perspectives, and make informed decisions based on historical context.
Socratic discussions play a vital role in the classroom, allowing students to actively participate in the exploration of ideas. For instance, a student might step into the shoes of a colonist facing the dilemma of being overtaxed and desiring to fight for independence, while their family advised against it. They are asked, "What do you do?" These discussions prompt students to think deeply, articulate their thoughts, and engage in respectful debate.
The essence of this transformation lies in the very core of Acton's and Monserate Christian Academy's approach. They believe the days of mind-numbing tests and monotonous homework are gone. Young, along with her dedicated team of educators, has a unique curriculum that focuses on mastery of core skills rather than superficial assessments. At Monserate, she said learning will be a joyous journey, devoid of much of the stress, anxiety, and homework that traditional education often imposes on young minds.
"Clinical psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson, commended the Acton model pioneered by Acton Academy Founder Jeff Sandefer. Peterson recognized the efficacy of the Acton model and specifically highlighted the advantages of leveraging the child's 'zone of proximal development' through Acton Academy's cutting-edge adaptive learning programs. According to Peterson, this targeted approach ensures that learning and engagement are maximized while minimizing boredom and distractions. 'Targeting a child at their zone of proximal development means learning and engagement are at a maximum with boredom and distraction at a minimum,' Peterson affirmed, underscoring the transformative Acton approach," Young said.
At Monserate Christian Academy, students will discover the freedom to explore their passions and interests. Guided by mentors who work with them, allow them to work at their own pace and who believe in their potential, they will engage in hands-on projects, collaborate with their peers, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.