aeon: [ ē  än ]
limitless wisdom; timelessness; life; being; an epoch or generation

A unique secondary schooling experience for grades 7-12.  Aeon’s engaging thematic curriculum combines enlivened academics and immersive, expeditionary learning experiences that invite students into meaningful relationships with themselves, others and the world around them.

Aeon Learning Without Limits is a secondary schooling experience for grades 7/8, 9/10, and 11/12 that provides active, integrated, and meaningful engagement, through an immersive, thematic academic curriculum that encourages students to 'learn how to learn'.  Aeon students are invited into deep inquiry, enlivened understanding, and ‘heart-hands-head’ integration of their learning journey. 

​What if secondary schooling invited learners to experience themselves more deeply, to recognize their native gifts and safely explore their challenges? 

What if middle and high school academic studies were enlivened with relevancy, discovery, and wonder?

 What if adolescents were given an opportunity to develop and practice life skills within diverse social and cultural contexts? 

At Aeon, these are guiding questions, and the answers to them emerge as students and faculty co-create the Aeon learning journey.

Working with parents, skilled on site & distance learning stewards and faculty, Aeon learners will be prepared to confidently enter life after high school & fully engage their chosen lifepath. Working alongside our learning partners in the greater community, learners will gain real life experience of their artistic, professional or vocational interests. Students may even earn credits for their creative projects, travel, volunteer work, musical or artistic endeavors! Our Aeon team weaves together an academic curriculum from diverse resources, including Oak Meadow, PeaceJam Foundation, the Biomimicry Institute, Live! Education, and others.  Our daily and monthly rhythms allow time for contemplative practice, mentor-guided self inquiry, internships, expeditionary learning, & guided independent exploration & projects to create a truly unique secondary schooling experience. 

How does it work?

With guidance from parents and our Learning Stewards and faculty, each learner's weekly rhythm of Aeon classes will be created based on Aeon's recommendations, their family's rhythm, their own interests and preferences, and the course catalogue that Aeon offers each semester.  The process will resemble that of a traditional college setting, with parents and mentors assisting a student as they browse a course catalogue and craft a course of study.  For example, a learner may sign up for a full roster of classes, filling their days with Aeon learning from 10:00-3:30, or they may sign up for 1 or 2 classes, and independently guide the remainder of their learning experiences.
IMPORTANT NOTE:  Our rhythm of weekly, trimester, and 9 month course offerings will be evolving for the 2018/19 programming year. Stay tuned for updates!
Here's a sample schedule of a full roster of classes for 2017/18: 

Who are the students at Aeon ?

The Aeon student community consists of 3 mixed grade learning circles- 7th/8th, 9th/10th, and 11th/12th.  Each circle will have 12-15 learners, for a total of 36-45 students. Full and part time enrollment may result in varying numbers in the daily student population. 

Aeon learners are inwardly self directed, innately curious, creative,  & inspired by life & learning.  They value the challenges of academic engagement, deep self inquiry, courageous adventure, outrageous creativity, diverse, relational learning, & have an authentic desire to reverently, joyfully, meaningfully participate in Earth’s community of life. Aeon learners learn by doing and experiencing...rather than being told what to do. They are called to engage a learning journey that goes beyond the limitations of a traditional secondary schooling environment. 

What is a 'Living Curriculum'?

It is a curriculum that continually evokes learning-as-communion and that recognizes all life as Sacred, co-evolving, co-emerging. It is learning that invites learners to co-create their learning journey.  It is learning spacious enough to embrace the present moment and allow it to enrich or redefine an experience.  It is integrated learning that nests itself within what is emerging NOW.  Our Living Curriculum engages head, heart and hands with foundational, exploratory, and learner-chosen studies, and can be adapted to reflect any learning style or enriched to honor each learner’s unique life path.

We invite you to join us as we re-imagine middle and high school, and contemplate these questions:

Does the learning environment deepen the learner's connections to self, others, and the world around them?

Does the learning experience enliven relationships and enhance the learner's sense of belonging?

​Does the learning experience invite the learner to consider their values, actions, and intentions as elements of a living system, having integral consequences?

How can Aeon faculty and learning stewards encourage learners to co-create their own learning journey?

How will I learn?

Our faculty and learning stewards will invite Aeon students to learn through deep relationship- with themselves, others, and the world around them.  Aeon's Living Curriculum is adapted to each student's unique learning style, and is integrated to soulfully engage head, heart and hands.  Authentic learning unfolds under  wise mentorship & skilled guidance from Aeon's on site Learning Stewards and teachers; through observation, inquiry, experience & participation with artists, professionals and other skilled individuals in our community & abroad; through self reflection & deep contemplation; & through communion and comaraderie with others who are sharing the learning journey.

Will Aeon support my transition into college, a career, adulthood?

Students will emerge from their Aeon learning  journey with the self-awareness, life skills, inspiration and courage to fully embrace their life-path, whether they plan to attend a college of their choice, engage a vocation, launch a business, or freely explore the world. Aeon faculty will work with students and parents to prepare a graduation portfolio and comprehensive transcript including quantitative and qualitative evaluations that holistically reflect their learning.  In partnership with AB Technical College, Aeon will offer AP academic courses in several subjects for 11th and 12th grade students.  Credits earned in these courses can be applied towards an associate’s degree.
Colleges and universities are currently revolutionizing their admission process and requirements to acknowledge the well rounded learning that occurs within the emerging shift towards holistic education. Many now include student graduation portfolios as part of their entry evaluations.  Our learning stewards and faculty will assist parents and students as they create a portfolio of their work and experience at Aeon. A graduation portfolio invites the student to gather and document a diverse treasury of their learning experiences, to be submitted to the college of their choice, alongside a transcript.  During the 11th and 12th grade years, a thematic block class will be offered to allow space and time for this important work.

How will student work be evaluated?

Aeon uses a combination of qualitative assessments (narrative) and quantitative assessments (rubrics, quizzes, graphs, & other data based efforts), in several formats. Assignments and projects throughout the year are evaluated in different ways, depending on the goals of the assignment, and the student’s preferences. At the end of each programming year, Aeon faculty create a comprehensive work biography for each student, that includes quantitative  assessments/grades, as well as teacher observations regarding the student’s social, emotional, academic, and life skills development during the year, as it pertains to each subject area.  Here are some examples of our approach:

Work Portfolios and Thematic Lesson Books: Students work with faculty and parents to create a comprehensive graduation portfolio, which will include Thematic Lesson Books/Projects, research projects, work or writing samples, art, multi-media presentations, etc.  A thematic unit is dedicated to this process at the culmination of  the 11/12th grade years
Quantitative Assessments: Aeon offers quantitative assessments, while also providing a balancing context for these kinds of concise assessments, to inwardly and outwardly prepare Aeon students to encounter these methods in their educational journey beyond Aeon. Students and their families determine if they wish to receive grades, pass/fail, or other  concise indicators.
Sharing Through Multiple Intelligences: Aeon students are asked to engage creative ways of sharing their learning through multiple intelligences and arts integration.  Visual displays, multi-media presentations, art, dramatization, and demonstrations, are a few examples 
Student Led Conferences: Aeon’s students participate in ‘self and other’ assessments, including feedback loops that capture varying perspectives (E.g. student to student, teacher to student, student to teacher, student to self).  This approach is articulated through 2 student led conferences each year.

How is Aeon organized? Is it a private school, charter, co-operative?

Aeon is part of an emergent movement called Community Supported Education. The CSE approach was inspired by Community Supported Agriculture programs, where members pay a fee for services/farm products, while providing economic and participatory support to the the farm. Working within the CSE framework,  Aeon and it's teachers, parents and staff provide the learning environment, and member-families reciprocate by gifting their time, energy and monetary resources to Aeon.
As participants in an exciting, much needed revolutionary movement in secondary education, Aeon’s parent-staffed governance circle maintains regular contact with the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education, to ensure that we are offering the highest quality educational experience within the NC guidelines for co-operative schooling.  Our member families are required to register as a home school with the NCDNPE, a very simple, one-time process.

Fees and Value Exchange

In keeping with the economy-as-ecology approach of The Learning Village and Sacred Mountain Sanctuary, Aeon will strive to create a rich, economically diverse learning community by offering an affordable, sliding scale fee schedule that allows each family to determine value exchange basd on their own comfort level. We also intend to offer multiple work-trade opportunities families and learners that will empower them through economic stewardship of their learning experiences.  We want Aeon to be an opportunity that is available to all who are called, and we will work with families to create balanced reciprocity that works for our program budget, while acknowledging each family's ​unique economic circumstances.  The Aeon initiative is still developing, and budgetary markers are still subject to change.  We are working with a model that will minimize costs and ​offer a unique, secondary school experience for a tiny fraction of the cost of private schooling at the middle and high school level.  Click here for our current fee schedule.


2017/18 Living Curriculum Grades 9/10​

​History: Earth-Story 1
This Earth-centered view of history endeavors to bring generational relevance and ecological context to the learner’s idea of history.  EarthStory will not be a story organized around human “progress” - politics, battles and boundaries of “sovereign” nations.  Instead, we will recover the Story of Earth and its long unfolding over billions of years to gestate and birth our human presence, a story rich with science, music, art, dances, mythos, and Mystery.  What if we were to contemplate the beginnings of civilizations and their rise and fall within the context of human relationship to the Natural World? How can we better understand the gradual deterioration of that relationship, and the effects on the culture and well-being of each civilization?  What if we could begin to see and understand the real heroes of the human journey- our amazing ancestors- who, even in the midst of civilization’s loss of connection, created enduring art, poetry, literature, music and science that celebrated their Belonging to Earth? 
This epic exploration of of humanity’s Earthen connections will invite learners to recognize their own sense of self, connection, and Belonging, as we walk into a future that cannot be seen. EarthStory will integrate lecture, reading, collaborative learning, art, music, story, composition, scientific inquiry, and experiential, ‘hands-heart-head’ learning to create a deeply engaging historical survey of humanity’s Earthen origins.

​Offered September-May, Monday, 10-12:30 pm, followed by cooked lunch prepared by students during Aeon Cafe cooking class/ lunch period, 12:45-3:15pm  
FEES: $120-$150 per month sliding scale, 9 monthly payments, plus one-time materials fee of $25
Language Arts: The Hero's Journey
This course looks at literature featuring ordinary people who find themselves in circumstances that require extraordinary acts (sound familiar?), and examines these acts in relation to the archetypal hero’s journey. Lessons provide historical background on the setting and author while offering discussion points students can use to explore literary themes and issues with family and peers. Students develop a wide range of composition skills throughout the course, exploring techniques and formats such as comparative essays, first person writing, figurative language, summarizing, poetry, persuasive writing, inferential reading and contextual clues, and observational writing.  The included course book allows learners to work independently, as well as under the guidance of a facilitator/teacher. 
​Offered September-May, Wednesdays 1:45-2:50
FEES: $60-$80 per month sliding scale, 9 monthly payments, plus one-time materials/textbook fee of $85
Social Studies:  PeaceJam Ambassadors
PeaceJam Ambassadors is a unique program developed by the PeaceJam Foundation to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities and the world.  The course will explore issues related to peace, violence, social justice and oppression through the lens of history, political science, geography, social justice, human rights, citizenship, conflict resolution, and more.  Learners study the lives and work of 13 Nobel Peace Laureates and the strategies they use to address pressing global issues, while they create and implement their own PeaceJam Global Call to Action projects within our own Asheville community, and beyond.  The program also includes an annual PeaceJam Youth Conference where youth spend a weekend with a Nobel Peace Laureate, giving them an unprecedented opportunity to share with, learn from, and be inspired by a world leader for peace. Click here to learn more about PeaceJam.

​​Offered September-May, Wednesdays, 11:30-12:45
FEES: $60-$80 per month, sliding scale, 9 monthly payments, plus one-time materials fee of $50
​Environmental Science for a Changing World
This course introduces fundamental ecological concepts and explores the interactions between all living things, including humans, and our environment. Students learn about the biosphere, major biomes, ecosystems, chemical cycles, and the role of living things in ecosystems. In addition to learning about environmental problems, students explore practical alternatives for protecting the environment and moving toward a sustainable future. More and more, the broad subject of environmental science needs to be considered on a global scale, and this course helps to increase students’ awareness of global environmental issues, as well as their role in their environment, both local and global. Students are encouraged to think deeply about the issues discussed and their responsibilities as stewards of the Earth. The interdisciplinary nature of environmental science is reinforced throughout the course.​

​Offered September-May, Thursdays 10:35-12:30   
FEES: $60-$80 per month sliding scale, 9 monthly payments, plus one-time materials/textbook fee of $80

Integrated Mathematics: 9th Grade Geometry & Algebra 
A truly relevant, richly integrated exploration of Geometry and Algebra, based on the Waldorf approach to high school mathematics.  Students will learn practical, artistic, and scientific application of both Geometry and Algebra, through an engaging curriculum that includes a historical and cultural survey of the people and events that brought forth important these mathematical developments.  Students will learn to draw geometric constructions based on there appearance in nature, botany, astronomy, building, and learn how Algebraic equations are a language that can help us express and understand higher mathematical concepts. Concepts introduced will include, but not be limited to: 
  • Static and Dynamic Loci, movement under law, including Conic Sections and 3d projections 
  • Axiomatic methods
  • Engineering Drawing
  • Probability and Statistics 
  • Pascal's triangle, Binomial Theorem
  • Quadratic equations, polynomials, and formulae
  • Algebraic proofs
  • Factoring and completing the square
​Offered September-May, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:45-3:30
FEES: $80-$100 per month, sliding scale, 9 monthly payments, plus one-time materials/textbook fee of $50

Global Village: Cultural Immersion, Travel, Foreign Language:  2017/18 Venue: Southern France This year’s class will be an immersive experience of the unique culture of Southern France- a place where diverse world cultures have intersected for thousands of years!  With guidance from our Learning Stewards, students will begin a fundraising campaign for their trip using online platforms, events, student-run business, service work, and more.  During the months preceding travel, learners will also familiarize themselves with the language, culture, ecology, food, and economy of the travel venue. Through this process, they will learn more about themselves as creators of their own class/community culture, and dive deeply into cultural identity as an element of their own humanness.  Experienced guides will facilitate and lead these trips, with the idea that parents are welcome to join the fun and adventure.  Lavender fields, prehistoric cave art, pottery, paint and pigment making, delicious food, history, art-making, swimming, and nature-based immersion will create adventure stories and memories that will last a lifetime. (We are currently establishing additional venues in Ireland, Costa Rica, and Bali which will include even more art, food, culture and adventure experiences).

​Offered September-May, Tuesdays, 10:00-12:45pm.  Travel to France June 3 - June 18 2018.
FEES: $60-$80 per month, sliding scale, 9 monthly payments, plus travel fees, TBD.  Students will be fundraising for their trip during the year as part of their learning journey.
​2017 Trimester 1 Electives & Internships 
Trimesters are approximately 12-13 weeks.  Fees vary, and are split equitably among the families enrolled in each class. Contact us for more information.

Board Game Cafe/study hall: hosted at Well Played Cafe
Studio Art:  with Elizabeth Porrit-Carrington
Green Building: with Blue Ridge Energy Systems
Equine/Animal Arts:  with Joy Kennedy
Cooking & Nutrition:  with Septimbor Lim
Circus Arts/Functional Anatomy/Acro-yoga:  with Thea Wilkins
Animal Rescue Internship: Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

Listening for the Wisdom of Young People

​Charles Kouns of Imagining Learning speaks about his global experiences listening to middle and high school learners as they re-envision education.