The J. Reuben Clark International Academy is excited to announce the opening of their new school, an extension of the LIFE School program that is growing rapidly as more and more families choose to educate their children at home. The LIFE School program, an acronym for Life Integrated Family Education, is being used by families throughout the world. The program was originally written as a K-8 program, but as many families using the program had children moving on to high school, they wanted to continue educating as a family, utilizing the same type of gospel-based education their children had enjoyed in the younger grades. So the company took on the challenge and went to work.
The new school staff continues to use the LIFE School program for the younger grades, but is creating a high school program that is perhaps unorthodox, yet highly effective in bridging classic education and technology. The goal is to prepare students, not only for the rigors of higher education, but to coach them to be lifelong self-learners – competent and confident young adults who know who they are spiritually and emotionally, and who know how to find life’s answers. Jack Monnett, principal of the new academy, who has been called “the father of modern LDS education,” feels that students should have a say in the creation of their educational plan – even as early as high school. Patti Landes Adams, curriculum director agrees. “When a teen sits down with a parent and academic advisor and feels comfortable sharing his desires about what interests him in life, and then becomes a partner in creating an academic plan to achieve some of his dreams, excitement builds and miracles happen. Stewardship is powerful!”
Adams says each student is assigned an academic coach, a successful young adult who has walked the academic path fairly recently, but has added maturity through experiences of mission, marriage, and sometimes young children. “These coaches help students make and meet goals. The coach can sometimes motivate a student in ways that a parent can’t.”
So what makes the J. Reuben Clark Academy’s high school program so unique? The main ingredient is the Core4. The main four credits earned each year are all part of one integrated course that includes History, Religion, Science, Geography, Politics and Economics, Literature, and Art and Music History. Adams adds, “This integration of subjects creates an educational picture that is whole. It just makes more sense to the student – and he remembers what he learned because he was so involved in creating the picture.”