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Family Plans

A CARROT FOR A FAMILY MEETING

A CARROT FOR A FAMILY MEETING

Laura Sandefer

April 13, 2013

I’d like to offer a tantalizing carrot to you. But first a little spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning is built into my psyche. For my Norwegian mother it was a time of mattress flipping and gutter sweeping. My take is more of a mental and spiritual “de-cluttering.”

Included in my list of things to reflect upon and fine-tune is the Sandefer Family Plan. Our weekly meetings for the past six months have been family “huddles” (taken from one of my favorite management books, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish.) We meet together for no more than 15 minutes each week and answer the questions: What’s up? Where are you stuck?

Each spring, we take out the piece of paper we wrote last summer and analyze our Family Plan. Is our rallying cry still valid? Do we need a new one? Are some goals unrealistic? Should we add new ones? Where have we grown? What can we cross off our list? Who needs ice cream?

As Acton Academy families, the concept of family plans and meetings is central to our community. We have experienced the truth that having a sense of purpose in our family frees us to live well rather than to live busily.

And here is the carrot that may inspire you to have a family meeting this week: Resilience.

Research shows that having a family narrative, a family mission statement and family meetings is key to building resilience in our children. I am gratified to know this for I dream that my children will cultivate their own resilience before they leave the roost. Thank you to Heather Staker for sending me the following link discussing these findings:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/fashion/the-family-stories-that-bind-us-this-life.html?pagewanted=1&_r=5

Our next parent luncheon will include a conversation about the ups and downs we’ve experienced with our family meetings. I look forward to learning from you and I am encouraged by this higher vision we can now share around these efforts.

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Parent Resources

WILL MY CHILDREN BE COLLEGE-READY AND FIND A GREAT JOB?

Acton Academy Mesilla Valley

WILL MY CHILDREN BE COLLEGE-READY AND FIND A GREAT JOB?

Laura Sandefer

April 8, 2013

Haven’t we all wondered this? Is this even the right question to be asking?

As parents, we care, worry and ponder about an endless list of issues with regard to our children’s well-being. From safety and health to spiritual and moral development – the decisions we face daily can be daunting unless we have clarity around our purpose and beliefs.

The topics of “education” and “school” seem to be the hot buttons that bring these issues to a piercing focal point. The litany of questions and confused looks we received when we first began talking about Acton Academy had me holding my breath at times. It was a tad frightening for me to row against the cultural currents within which I had lived comfortably for so long.

The time of holding my breath is over. I now exhale slowly and easily because I know we are on the right track. We are not only on it, we are paving it.

You may know this in your gut as an Acton parent because you have seen the joy of learning in your child’s eyes, but it does help to read data and notes for some personal confirmation. Please enjoy an example of such confirmation in the following piece by New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Thomas Friedman. Our middle schooler Ana’s mom shared it with me with a note saying, “An incredible read that basically describes Acton.” It may just help us all ask the right questions about what we hope our children will be able to do in the future: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/opinion/sunday/friedman-need-a-job-invent-it.html

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