Virtual EMA


Due to COVID-19, there is great uncertainty about when schools will be re-opened; late August or September may be a more likely timeline. In the meantime, we are inviting families to join a community of learners and launch a Hero’s Journey – virtually – together to share the love of learning, build independence, gain new skills, face struggles and learn from mistakes along the way. We are offering a virtual week-by-week program that is separate from those already enrolled at Empowered Minds Academy.

As a homeschooling mom of 13 years, I know how challenging and rewarding it can be! With core values, routines and structures, a set of relevant and clear objectives and goals, and a community to connect with – it works! While nothing replaces real connections made in person, we feel that our systems may help – as evidenced by how Empowered Minds Academy, along with our fellow Acton Academy affiliates around the world, have transitioned fairly seamlessly over the past month.

So, if you 1) you want something more, 2) have a child who is an independent learner who would benefit from connecting with other learners via discussions, games, and challenges, and 3) you believe that learning should be self-paced and there should be ample time for exploration and fun then maybe Virtual EMA is a viable option for you and your family.

This isn’t simply online learning; this is a cohort of learners connected and working together to accomplish goals! ! It is a program which creates a learner-led community where they have the freedom to learn at their own pace.


Shared Schedule and Calendar – The schedule has large blocks of time set aside for Core Skills; this includes reading, writing, and math. Time is set aside for Writing Workshop (for growing the art and craft of writing), and Civilization (geography, history, and social studies together) and Quest projects. There is some flexibility within the schedule to allow time for exploratory learning or wherever their curiosity and passion takes them.

Group Launches and Online Discussions – Twice a day learners meet with their community to get inspired, get connected and equipped for the day. Each learner meets with their running partner and their Guide, and the entire family meets once a week with a Guide.

Emphasis on Character Traits and Self-Governance – Each community of learners will spend time developing their own rules of engagement for their online discussions and interactions, as well as accountability and consequences. This will result in a contract to sign and uphold during their time with the group.

Adaptive Software and Core Skills Learning – With online subscriptions to tried-and-tested programs, learners work at their own pace, going deeply into math, reading, typing, foreign language basics, and more. A series of milestones and targets help keep learners motivated, engaged, and on a path to progress.  The magic is not the technology;  it is the fact that learners are given the space and opportunity to learn at their own pace and discover tools and strategies that work.

Daily and Weekly S.M.A.R.T. Goals – Each learner will create and record personal goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based) to track their efforts and work at their own pace.

Tracking Software – Instead of report cards, at EMA, learners log their hard work and efforts and submit their work online. This way learners and parents always know how much progress is being made in real time.

Running Partners – Within each group, learners will be paired together to support one other’s Hero’s Journey, and they’ll meet at least twice a week to set goals, share their struggles and celebrate accomplishments along the way.


How do I register?

There are 3 steps: 1) Take this SURVEY (for ES Virtual Studio, Ages 7-10) or this SURVEY (for MS Virtual Studio, Ages 11-13) to start your process, 2) Schedule a chat with the Head of School, and 3) Complete the registration.

Do we need to dis-enroll from our current school?

NO! The program we are offering is supplemental and optional; it does not replace, nor is it designed to replace, any relationship that you have with your current school.

As a parent, how much of my time is needed?

At EMA, we believe that you know your child best, and one of our promises is to never come between you and your child. Your child’s level of independence and self-mastery will determine how much you as a parent may need to guide at home. Don’t worry! These skills grow over time, especially when there’s freedom to make mistakes and plenty of space and time to test tools and strategies.

What materials are needed at home?

A computer, whether that is a Chromebook, other laptop or PC, a good internet connection, a web camera, and headphones. All other learning materials will be provided given our ability to drop off or ship kits for hands-on projects. Some projects may require common household items.

What is the timeline and cost?

Our virtual learner-driven community is in its developmental stages. As such, we are planning to fine tune and learn along the way, while also listening to your valuable feedback from weekly surveys and virtual check-ins. For the ES Virtual Studio, we will offer two sessions: Session 1 is April 27th to May 22nd (4 weeks) and Session 2 is June 1st to July 3rd(5 weeks). For families who choose the week-by-week option, the cost will be $75 per week. One session costs $325. Both Sessions 1 & 2 cost $650. For learners who are interested in joining our Current MS Studio, the cost is also $75 per week, or $390 for entire session from April 20th – May 28th (6 weeks). Cost will be prorated according to when your learner registers.

Once registered, are we automatically enrolled for Empowered Minds Academy?

No. Our admissions process for Empowered Minds Academy is different (it’s longer and multi-step) from our registration for Virtual EMA; this process is shorter and the onboarding is faster so that learners and their families may get started right away. If you’re interested in enrolling your child as Panther into our learner-driven community, click HERE to view our full admissions process. Additionally, we are in the process of designing our contingency plan if Stay-at-Home Orders are extended beyond the summer.

How do I get more information about Empowered Minds Academy?

We invite you to visit our website, read our FAQS, and check out our Facebook and Instagram accounts to learn more. In addition, we are happy to mail you a copy of the book Courage To Grow: How Acton Academy Turns Learning Upside Down. Just click here to complete the online form.