As the old African proverb says, "it takes a village to raise a child.” For us, The Island Academy is an integral part of that “village”. Our son, Kellen, quite simply loves this school and hates to miss even a single day, which is not something you often hear from an active twelve year old boy! When I asked him why he loved the school so much, he said: “Because I feel like I learn something every day and I really learn it. I don’t just memorize something and tell the teacher what she wants me to say. I get to really figure things out and think and explain and talk about it all. It just makes me happy to know that it can actually be fun to learn. I used to think that school was just punishment for kids. Now I know better. School is awesome.” Well, as a parent, you couldn’t hope for more than for your child to be happy and engaged. But what about the specifics? What have we found as parents? Well, for us, The Island Academy and its teachers have created a unique, dynamic learning environment for children of all ages. The curriculum is very challenging, but it is presented in ways that enable the child to truly understand even the most complex issues. It also encourages and promotes “real thinking” by which I mean that the children fully explore the issues they are studying and truly learn and master the subject. Take geography for example. Each child will pick a country and explore everything about that country—it’s history, people, culture, religion, sports, GDP, politics, etc. The child masters the subject and then presents it (in a meaningful, organized and professional manner) to the other students. By the end of such a lesson, all the students have extensive knowledge (not just memorized dates and facts) of numerous countries throughout the world. We also love some of the more practical ways the school uses to teach the students. For example, as a math lesson, the children were given a budget in which to create a complete and nutritious dinner for a family of four. All food groups were to be included and dessert was to be part of the meal. The children were taken to a grocery store, where they had to find their own food (based on what they decided to make) and stay within their budgets. Again a great learning experience that also taught real life skills and made the children aware of the cost of the food that they eat each day. The size of the school and the creativity and intelligence of the teachers allows such learning to take place on a daily basis. We truly could not be happier. As parents, my husband and I are thrilled to see our son growing into a happy, intelligent, generous, educated, open-minded individual. We believe the sky is the limit to what he can achieve in life and make a positive difference in the world. When he does, we have no doubt that Kellen will attribute much of his success to The Island Academy and its wonderful teachers who instilled a love of learning and looking at the world from different perspectives as the foundation for attaining his future dreams.
Leighanne Kubec, May 1