Journey Academy is a Completely Refreshing Way to do School

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The Passion to Learn at Journey Academy Will Inspire You

“A Student Driven Environment Where Students Take Ownership of Their Own Education.”

Journey Academy an Acton Academy elementary school that just opened in September 2016, holding classes within Ada Christian School. Recently rated the top blended learning program in the nation by Innosight, enrollment is open for the 2017-2018 school year.

Founders Matt and Dana Roefer gave us some insight about what makes the school unique and why children flourish at Journey Academy.

Click here to learn more about Journey Academy and begin the application process.

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What IS Journey Academy?

Journey Academy is a private school geared toward recognizing individual students’ skills and passions and building upon them. Rather than having a classroom where all the students are expected to progress along the same path toward a math or science goal, students at Journey are encouraged to explore learning in their own way.

“Our mission is to inspire each child to find their calling from the Lord that changes the world,” says Matt Roefer, founder. “Not a job or even a career. A calling — deeply rooted in individual gifts, passions, and skills. Matt believes that THIS Is what will inspire a child to work hard and overcome challenges.

“We believe that children are far more powerful than we ever imagine,” added Matt. “We take that belief seriously and the students, daily, rise to the challenge.”

Learning is exciting at Journey Academy.


“Here students imagine themselves as the protagonists in their own heroic journey through life,” says Matt.

Traditional schooling doesn’t invite students to ask the most critical questions: Who am I and where am I going? What makes me special? What gifts do I have? How can I use these gifts to do something great, even change the world?

“We do ask those questions,” says Matt. “And it’s so empowering for the students.”

A Student’s Day at Journey

Ten year old Will loves to create and last fall he spent his days prepping for a table at the Grand Rapids Children’s Business Fair. By the end of the fair, after he logged his expenses, he made around $200 selling his “Mini Makers” Lego® creations. Will incorporated business learning with math, creativity, engineering and more. But he didn’t feel like he was “at school” because he was so passionate about his project. Journey Academy gave him the tools and encouragement, and Will ran with it.

Jackson is first grader at Journey, and a math whiz. In just four months he surpassed first grade math and just now entered third grade math.

“If Jackson was in a traditional program he would be 40% through 1st-grade math, just like his peers,” says Matt.

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6 Promises that Journey Makes to its Students

Journey promises that your children will:

  1. Begin a hero’s journey
  2. Learn to be a curious, independent, lifelong learner
  3. Begin developing a strong Christian worldview
  4. Develop a deep respect for economic, political and religious freedoms.
  5. Discover his or her most precious gifts and learn to use them to solve difficult problems
  6. Cherish the arts, the wonders of the physical world, and the mysteries of life on Earth

Journey takes their promises so seriously that each week we ask the parents and students to rate the school: How did we do this week? What worked and what didn’t?

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Journey Academy is Looking for Students who Want to Take Learning to the Next Level

Are you tired of the status quo? Is your child self-motivated? Perhaps your children attend a Christian school or are homeschooled, and you’re looking for a vibrant learning community. Maybe you’ve just got that entrepreneurial spirit and want to join an exciting movement where learning is inspiring. Maybe you like this idea:

No Grades. No Tests. No Homework.


It’s true.

“We believe that learning requires students to get out of the classroom and engage with the real world, “ says Dana Roefer.

So instead of grades, students judge their work in comparison to world-class examples, through participation in apprenticeships in middle and high school, and in public exhibitions each session. Instead of report cards, students build a portfolio of their accomplishments by tracking points and earning badges.

“Real-world tests are far more powerful than letter grades.”

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More Details About Journey Academy

Journey Academy operates within Ada Christian school.

It currently serves 6-10 year olds in one blended-age Elementary studio. Starting in the 2017-2018 school year Journey will have two studios, early elementary serving 5 and 6 year olds, and an elementary studio serving 7-11 year olds. They will open a middle studio for the 2018-2019 school year will be eventually serve through 18 year olds.

As a micro-school, a full Journey Academy in the future will serve 120 students.

Call Matt at 616-303-0040 today or fill out an application here!

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6206 Ada Dr SE, Ada, MI 49301



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2 thoughts on “Journey Academy is a Completely Refreshing Way to do School”

  1. Awesome article on a super exciting new way to “school”! I have personally visited Journey Academy and am thrilled with the approach they are taking to developing our youth in our awesome community!

  2. Great to see this school thriving in the area. The business fair that Journey held was just a glimpse of what these kids are learning and it’s just amazing to watch kids grow in this environment.

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