If you haven’t yet made a visit to the Austin Children’s Academy, perhaps you’ve seen our iconic school bus/van with the tree logo winding through the streets of North Austin in the afternoons. Our licensed and bonded driver hits the road just before the local schools let out, gathering all our after-school students and transporting them to our Cedar Park facility to enjoy a few blissful hours of enrichment programs, free play, and homework tutoring help.
As a parent of a grade-school child, you probably already know that all after-hours child care programs are not made the same. During the extended-hours programs of your child’s current day school, he or she may be playing on the same playground equipment, in the same classrooms, and with the same educational materials in which he or she has labored throughout the day. Other child care situations can’t offer a full menu of varied activities to keep your child active and engaged, or certified teachers to effectively help with homework.
Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.
Dr. Maria Montessori
At Austin Children’s Academy (ACA), our after school pick-up-and-tutoring program is designed to please both parents and children. Our safe transportation service relieves you, the parent, of the stressful mid-afternoon dash from work to drive your child from day-school to after-care. As an accredited school, ACA ensures that you can rest easy knowing that our facilities conform to all safety requirements and our experienced and certified teachers are trained not just in early childhood education, but also in CPR and first aid.
More importantly, ACA’s after-school program provides our students not just opportunities to relax, engage in free play, eat healthy snacks, socialize with friends, and do homework. We offer so much more.
An after-school program is an opportunity for your child to get up and move after spending most of their time sitting in a classroom. Our students have full access to two fully-enclosed and monitored playgrounds as well as open spaces available for picnicking, sports, and free play. If the weather is intemperate, an indoor recreation area is available to make sure your children get a chance to shake off the stress of the long school day.
These areas are also the focus of a wide variety of enrichment programs that we offer. Our programs vary and are meant to allow your child to indulge their creativity, engage in group projects, as well as to be introduced to extracurricular activities that they wouldn’t normally be exposed to during a regular school day.
The enrichment programs we offer include, among others:
- Cooking Projects
- Theater Productions
- Soccer (and other low-key pick-up sports)
- Art (of all kinds)
- Water Play
The Montessori Advantage
ACA is a member of the American Montessori Society. This non-profit organization sets the criteria for accreditation of member schools as well as acts as advocates to promote the Montessori philosophy of education. ACA is currently completing the rigorous accreditation process.
The Montessori Method is a learning philosophy developed over a hundred years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician. By setting up schools, observing hundreds of classrooms, and watching how children best advanced in academic understanding, Dr. Montessori developed a child-based learning philosophy so successful that it has since spread across the world.
ACA’s fundamental mission is to instill in every student a lifelong love of learning. We do this by encouraging children to follow their natural curiosity to new discoveries and joyous academic advancement. Our Montessori-certified teachers guide, not lecture, and use keen observation to intervene in conflicts, direct fruitful cooperation, and nurture mutual respect.
The students in our school, ranging from three-month-old infants to six-year-old kindergarteners, benefit greatly from our educational specialization, but that philosophy of learning doesn’t stop at the end of the academic day. This dedication to a child’s own individual interests spills over into our after-school program. Your after-school student will discover the freedom to explore to their heart’s content in classrooms with an open design, each with dedicated computer labs and libraries.
Depending on the day school that your child attends, your student may arrive at our program with a backpack full of projects and homework assignments. If you as a parent have to nudge your child to tackle these obligations while dinner is being made, when your child may be hungry and you distracted, or in the evening when everyone may be tired, it’s likely you’ll eventually experience homework battles and breakdowns. Understanding this common family dilemma, many after-school programs encourage students to tackle homework after they’ve had some time to play, fuel up, and socialize.
At ACA, we do the same, but with a distinct and decided advantage. All our teachers are Montessori-certified. This means that, having completed the initial educational and certification requirements, our teachers must continue their own education in childhood education and the Montessori Method on a continuing, three-to-five-year basis in order to retain their credentials.
During the after-school program tutoring hour, our teachers bring the full weight of that experience and expertise. Let our certified teachers guide your student through the maze of spelling drills, long division, and the basics of photosynthesis. They’re up-to-date and whip-smart about optimizing the learning process, guiding your child through the homework labyrinth in a way that ensures that he or she will retain more understanding and do it with less stress and heightened interest.
At ACA we believe that communication is vital in providing us, you, as well as your child with the tools and information needed for a smooth, comfortable, and successful program. We encourage you to visit our facility, tour our classrooms and outdoor areas, hop on our bus for a look-see, and talk to our teachers. You may be considering many after-school programs, but we are convinced that once you take a good hard look at ours, you’ll agree that the Austin Children’s Academy is the perfect place for your child to learn, play, and grow.