E.S.T.E.A.M Academy has been such a wonderful environment for my son to feel understood in his learning needs and confident in who he is as a person. We tried many different schooling options over the years and were frustrated with not being able to find the right
fit for him. We learned that a traditional school didn’t work for him as he deals with anxiety and sensory processing issues but being at home for schooling didn’t give him enough interaction with others to grow as a student. He lost his confidence and often
felt worried about school. At E.S.T.E.A.M he has been walked through so many learning situations that have enabled him to grow as a student and person. He truly needed to feel that he was given the space and understanding of who he was and that his learning style
was something that didn’t make him “not good enough” as a student. He feels safe and happy at E.S.T.E.A.M and therefore able to learn with more ease. We are grateful for E.S.T.E.A.M caring for our son’s growth as a well rounded student as much as we do as his parents.
~Aysa (Kamron’s Mom)
E.S.T.E.A.M Academy is an educational experience like none I have known before.
With two decades of education leadership under my belt, both in the private and also in the public educational systems, I find E.S.T.E.A.M Academy to be innovative in their educational approach.
The students that attend classes at the E.S.T.E.A.M Academy are given tools that empower them to make profound personal choices as well as take personal ownership for their education.
The choice becomes personal as the Guide asks the student open-ended questions, gives the student an A or B option on decisions and then honors the choice the student has made. This ultimately becomes the training ground for thought based decisions as well as ownership of choices for the student. This model has a strong ability to instill mindfulness in the decisions process for the student, that then, may later help develop a responsible and thoughtful adult. It is my privilege and a true honor to support E.S.T.E.A.M Academy with my time and resources.
~ Guide Jenna
I have seen Brian’s growth shaped by a school that values first-hand involvement on the students’ side – from making the rules to determining the sanctions, from the concept of tribe to the end-of-day studio maintenance. More like “This is not their community, of which I’m a victim… this is our community, to which I can and I must contribute” type-approach.
Recently at the Healthy Kid Running Series…Brian was the only kid – out of more than one hundred kids AND parents – that after his own race stayed longer and cheered on all participants, and helped all volunteers clean up the running trail afterwards. As you know, Brian can be really sweet but it’s not exactly in his maturity stage to be aware of what others may use or need ;)))
I feel that Brian at E.S.T.E.A.M has learned what being part of a community truly entails: that with rights, protection and sense of belonging come duty of care, and responsibilities. Don’t we see just these days, how much of that is needed in the world right now?
~ Tullia (Brian’s Mom)
Video by Sara
An ESTEAM Mom.
Video by Mr. Eddie
THE AGA’S STORY
Both my husband and I came from traditional public school and earned traditional degrees from University. When we had children, as most parents do, we began to dream about all of the wonderful things we would do with them and eagerly waited to see what type of people they would be. When our eldest was 2, we saw a Ted Talk by Jeff Sandefer about this amazing school (not knowing it was in Austin!) and we wished our son could attend such a school when he was old enough. We went to our first Acton Academy Open House when our son was 2. He was in a stroller and they probably thought we were crazy because they didn’t accept students till age 7.
We were sold on the way that the Acton philosophy inspired students to be curious, want to learn, fail and be better for having failed and not worry about grades and other unnecessary stresses. As he got older we debated on what to do between Montessori and the magical 7 year age that Acton Academy would take him. We stayed in touch with Acton Academy through the years and they reached out to me with the news that not only was there an Acton Academy opening in Round Rock, where we live, but it accepted students entering Kindergarten. I felt like I was dreaming.
My husband and I went to multiple open houses at E.S.T.E.A.M Academy to be sure we were choosing the right school for our son. This year our son completed his third year at E.S.T.E.A.M Academy. He went from a very innocent 5 year old to a very confident 8 year old. He’s made mistakes that he’s learning from; had to work through challenges that didn’t break him; and has emerged stronger for having experienced them. Through every turn, Nicholle and the rest of the E.S.T.E.A.M family have been there with us. They were never on the sidelines – they were right there, each step with us as we helped our son celebrate accomplishments, and persevere through challenges and frustrations. They treat every single student as their own child. I have seen it first hand for three years. My little guy has never gone to school there but he will go give them hugs and feels 100% confident that they are his people too. We call ourselves a Tribe, and we really are. The families are all very involved and we try our best to take care of each other and our kids do the same. These students hold each other accountable at levels some adults wouldn’t even dream of. It’s not always fun but it’s real life. It teaches them how to be productive, kind hearted, spirited, honest human beings that will be able to handle whatever life sends their way. I am very proud to say my son goes to E.S.T.E.A.M Academy, the Round Rock, Acton Academy Affiliate.
I want to personally thank you for all of your help along our educational, homeschool journey. You have been a tremendous help and resource. This year has definitely been a learning process. Mason has thoroughly enjoyed the Art and Lego programs through ESTEAM. Regardless of where he goes, I know his journey will be an awesome adventure. Through your guidance and recommendations, Mason has developed some new passions, responsibility, accountability and independence. I appreciate you. Thanks for creating a safe space for him to learn and grow. You and your team are greatly appreciated.
E.S.T.E.A.M Academy was a huge turning point in my son’s education. To say it has been a long hard road is putting it mildly. Just before his 15th Birthday, my son began his journey with E.S.T.E.A.M. Previously, we tried many other schooling options: private, university model, project-based charter, homeschool, and finally public school. By the end of the 8th grade, after two years in public school, the creativity, curiosity and self confidence he once held were completely gone. He was convinced that something was wrong with him because he had such difficulty. I was desperately searching for ANY other options when I stumbled upon E.S.T.E.A.M. We went to the open house and my son was immediately hooked. We had finally found an environment where he thrives. He is an intelligent, independent, out-of-the-box thinker who learns best through self driven discovery and interaction. In addition to his academic learning, he is developing so many skills that are essential as an adult and in any business setting: problem solving, working with a team, leading and participating in discussions, setting goals, time management, and character development, just to name a few.
In the past 2 years, I have seen so much growth, and his confidence is returning, along with a desire to learn. He has recently embraced his talent for game development, specifically the visual aspects. Through self learning he is advancing in his level design skills and discovering a path towards his future. On this path he hit a roadblock and realized that he really needed to learn coding to continue. Using online tutorials and resources, he is currently working on this skill and applying it to his designs. Through a recent entrepreneurial quest at ESTEAM, he created an impressive online tutorial teaching others texturing, mapping, and modeling for Minecraft. This journey all began with E.S.T.E.A.M.
His experience is best summed up by a simple conversation we had a few months after joining E.S.T.E.A.M. We were driving home and he told me that he liked school. I said, “but….”, expecting something after so many years of struggle, He said, “That’s it. I like school”. Our E.S.T.E.A.M Community has become our family and our support, and we are thankful to be able to travel this road together.