Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Micro-school?
The following are core traits of Micro schools (all of which Inspired Learning Academy has):
- Micro schools have no more than 150 students total, but are often smaller—from around 10 to a few dozen students; (Inspired has between 15-20)
- Classes have no more than 15 students; (Inspired classes typically have 3-6 students)
- Multiple ages learn together in a single classroom;
- Teachers act more as guides than lecturers;
- There's a heavy emphasis on digital and project-based learning; and
- Education is highly personalized.
What is an umbrella school?
Inspired Learning Academy is a homeschool alternative that serves as an umbrella school, an independent school that oversees students' education while offering enrolled families a way to comply with state laws.
What does the school day look like?
Student members follow their personalized schedule of activities including group classes/projects, individual study, group discussions and mentor meetings. See How It Works.
What classes do you offer?
We offer both traditional classes (i.e. Pre-Algebra, Biology) and non-traditional classes (i.e. Anthropology through Film and Food, Shark Month, World Creation Class, Ornithology). We bring in guest facilitators to share their passions that really inspire and engage the students. We also recommend online resources or bring in facilitators to fulfill students' specific requests. Many students have a mix of independent and small group classes (avg ~4 students/class).
Do they still have to take STAAR (state-mandated standardized test)?
In our purposeful learning community, student members are free from the anxiety of the STAAR testing and the associated "teaching to the test" form of education.
Are you accredited?
We act as a homeschool umbrella school. Our students are under the same classification as homeschoolers. Accreditation does not apply to the personalized nature of homeschooling.
Will my child still be able to get into college by attending a non-traditional micro-school?
Yes! Students who have attended self-directed learning schools similar to ours or who have been homeschooled have attended every kind of university, including top Ivy league schools, where admission officers actually seek out these non-traditional applicants.
Do you offer a diploma?
Yes. Your family has the option to provide a homeschool diploma or receive a diploma from Inspired Learning Academy. We offer three diploma/graduation paths: Traditional University Path, Community College Path, and Life Start Path. Your child's diploma will be accompanied by a narrative transcript and a unique ePortfolio that will impress colleges, vocational schools, and business investors.
Do you have grades?
Grading students in the traditional manner creates a negative environment that causes great anxiety and stress. Our students retain more of what they learn because the learning is authentic. They complete comprehensive self-assessments while receiving helpful narrative feedback from facilitators and mentors. Students earn Digital Open Badges that demonstrate mastery, create portfolios of their work and participate in our Presentation Nights at the end of each block, where they have the opportunity to present their accomplishments while practicing public presentation skills.
College-bound high schoolers establish a GPA through self-assessed grades with evidence and mentor approval to ensure integrity.
My child is not self-directed. Is this still a good fit?
The skills of successful self-direction (including self-motivation) are what your child will develop with the guidance of a patient and inspiring mentor and the support of a positive peer community.
Won't they just choose "fun" classes and never learn the academics?
With a mentor to encourage and help visualize future possibilities, students amazingly choose what's "best for them" if they know the choice is theirs. We encourage course selections from the following categories: Math, Communication, Physical Wellness, Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Wellness, Creative Expression, Citizenship, Technology/Engineering/Innovation, Natural World/Science, Practical Skills, Social Wellness, and Adventure.
Can my child attend part-time?
We encourage students to attend Mon-Fri to build a sense of community and to be able to take advantage of all the class offerings. However, we understand families who live further away or have to accommodate special schedules. Please talk to us about your situation.
Do you provide a transcript?
Yes. We provide impressive transcripts that highlight the unique strengths of your student in a more personable, yet professional, format than run-of-the-mill, traditional transcripts.