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Family Plans

PLANNING OR DOING?

PLANNING OR DOING?

Laura Sandefer

November 29, 2012

I am an Acton parent with a Family Plan in hand. My thoughts around the experience of having a “Sandefer Plan” may ring true for you:

We met. We shared. We took notes. We looked at calendars. We listened. We dreamed. We got real. We crunched a few numbers. We wrote a plan. For all to see.

And then life came at us hard and fast, as always. And we missed our family meeting again last Sunday. And I don’t like one of my goals anyway.

I wonder where Sam is. It’s 7am and he’s usually at breakfast by now. It’s so quiet upstairs. Something must be wrong. I knock lightly on the door. Sam? He holds a finger up for me to please be quiet. (I promise he didn’t learn that from me.) He’s reading on his bed so that he can cross his goal off his list.

He is taking action. Real world, independently chosen Action.

This is the purpose of it all. It is the beauty, too. Not the planning. Not even the plan itself.

The process of talking about our purpose and our plans is slowly sinking into the depth of our being. It is becoming real life. We are living our dreams and pursuing our goals even if we are terrible about having “meetings” and our plan isn’t well-written or documented with S.M.A.R.T. goals.

The intent to live purposefully is being played out with the little things I am seeing around the house. I might miss them if I don’t pay attention. We linger longer at our dinner table. The boys make their beds without a word from me (I know…that’s just my personal thing; I don’t care if your family makes your beds.) The television isn’t on much. We have free time on weekends. We are selecting important things to read together. We are having a blast.

This week a quote from Frederic Bastiat made me pause:

“The plans differ; the planners are all alike…”

Let us not be known as the planners. Let us be known as the doers. Sam has inspired me to put my running shoes on and get out the door. I must remember to tell him that.

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Parent Resources

ALLOWING THE STRUGGLE

Acton Academy Mesilla Valley

ALLOWING THE STRUGGLE

Laura Sandefer

November 19, 2012

One of my children hates to struggle with learning. He likes things to come easily to him. Learning is a joy for him until he hits a concept or a problem that requires great effort and quantities of trial and error. His confidence stagnates and I suddenly hear the pencil slam and the “I hate math” or “this is so boring” mantra begin.

I have learned over the years that these words really mean, “I’m so frustrated because I don’t understand” or “I wish I could do this! Can someone help me?”

The article below sent to me by Caleb’s mom, Jennifer, reminds me to pull from the best of western and eastern cultures. I want to celebrate my children’s struggles with learning as often as I celebrate their creative and indepedent innovation.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/12/164793058/struggle-for-smarts-how-eastern-and-western-cultures-tackle-learning?sc=tw

At Acton we incorporate discussions of “panic zones” and “challenge zones” almost every day so that students become familiar with the idea of struggling and self-managing in order to achieve their SMART goals.

We look forward to your portfolio review time so that you feel fully armed with the best information about your child’s achievements and struggles – both to be celebrated.

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Parent Resources

A TIME FOR REKINDLING

Acton Academy Mesilla Valley

A TIME FOR REKINDLING

Laura Sandefer

November 16, 2012

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer

We entered the yurt this week to sip apple cider and talk about the meaning of gratitude and how cultures throughout history have given thanks for their harvests, health, safety and family.

We asked ourselves: Is gratitude an emotion or an action? Are you born with it or can you create it? If your parents make you say, “thank you,” is that gratitude? Why are thank you notes valued so highly? Is gratitude contagious? Why is it considered the key to a happy life? We could have stayed all day.

I left our yurt wanting more time with the students. They rekindle my spark.

I am deeply grateful to each parent for sharing your treasure – your child – with us each day. My fire of gratitude burns bright. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Hero’s Journey

WHY WE DO THIS

WHY WE DO THIS

Laura Sandefer

November 6, 2012

As  7 year old Reese was falling asleep last night, she whispered in her mom’s ear, “I just can’t stop thinking about archaeology.”

Her words tell best why we invite heroes to share their stories with our children on such a regular basis.

Heroes and callings: these are the linchpins of Acton Academy’s curriculum. As we move through topics, subjects and ideas, we expose the students to as many heroes and callings as possible. They should meet hundreds over their time at Acton.

Thank you to Marcy Carpenter – a extraordinary mom, pilot, athlete and archaeologist. Marcy is sharing her story of being an archaeologist in history this week. She is an example of the generous souls who spend time in our classroom in order to open up the world of ideas, passions and possibilities to our children.

And here’s to Reese … a curious, independent learner who will change the world.

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