One of the questions I receive most often when talking to parents about the Acton approach is "What does the daily schedule look like?"
The Acton model is so drastically different from traditional school that it's difficult to understand how it plays out in real life. In fact, I had the exact same question when I was diving into the resources and "drinking from a fire hose" on all things Acton. Understanding how the day is structured really clarified for me, and other parents, how we accomplish the learner-driven model in our studio at Apollo Academy. Although there are always exceptions and variances, the daily schedule remains intact throughout the school year.
But before I provide a sample daily schedule, I think it’s important to take a step back and introduce an “overarching” (pun intended) cornerstone that is part of everything that we do. Whether it’s a school day that lasts seven hours or a school year that lasts 10 months, every period of time that we have together is organized as a “learning arc.” A learning arc is just a fancy way of articulating the narrative arc of any heroic story. Like a great adventurer setting sail on his or her journey and returning home, each day, week, quest and year have a storyline that starts with a launch and ends with a reflection upon return. For more about the hero's journey, Check out this post.
With that in mind, here is a sample daily schedule:
8:00-8:20 Arrival and get settled
8:30-8:50 Circle time/ morning launch
8:50-9:30 Core skills or play
10:35-11:30 Core skills or play
11:30-11:50 DEAR (Drop everything and read)
11:50-1:00 Lunch and free play/recess (inside/outside)
1:10-1:30 Quest launch
1:30-2:20 Quest, STEM or Town Hall/Fun Friday
2:30-2:40 Studio maintenance
2:40- 3:00 Outside play
We incorporate specialty sessions like outdoor games and art into the school day a few times per week and offer learners many options during free play. We prioritize mental health alongside physical health by offering mindfulness through meditation. While no two days ever look alike, our schedule allows for consistent periods of work and play. And the best part? Our learners keep track of time and "ring the bell" at every transition throughout the day.
At Apollo Academy, we are dedicated to encouraging each child to explore the world to forge their learning journeys. To learn more about Apollo Academy and our approach to education, schedule an intro call here or check out our resources here. You can also find us on Instagram @ApolloAcademyTampa.