Categories
Uncategorized

Five Things to Do Before the Acton Journey Begins Again

Five Things to Do Before the Acton Journey Begins Again

Laura Sandefer

August 16, 2018

For Acton parents, a new school year feels a bit different from the traditional buzz and busy-ness of buying new school supplies, meeting teachers and figuring out the school’s system for picking kids up at the end of the day or checking them out for a dentist appointment.

As a mom of two Eagles, I experience the start of school as a quiet recognition of my own inner journey that requires courage and stillness amidst the bustle around me.

A new school year means saying “yes” once again to the call to adventure – to a hero’s journey that includes facing my fears, digging deeply to discover my innate gifts and showing up with authenticity to connect to others…just as my children will be called to do each day.

It means remembering my children are created to do amazing things (beyond my expectations and projections) and for them to thrive, I must trust them with freedom and responsibility.

There are five things I do that put me in the right frame of mind to begin a new year:

  • Re-read Unschooling Rules by Clark Aldrich and Ethic of Excellence by Ron Berger. Quick, powerful, punchy reads that remind me why I started this journey.
  • Watch this video on the hero’s journey. We are gearing up for an adventure. Not for sitting in a classroom.
  • Have a family meeting to re-boot our family plan and create a new rallying cry for the fall season. We’re in this together. We are all growing and learning. We need each other.
  • Read and re-commit to the Acton Parent Contract and supporting documents.. These documents are for my own self-discipline. They gird me for the struggles that are bound to come in the journey this year. Reflecting on them helps me remember why the communication protocol between parents and guides exists – to push power to my children so they are equipped to make good choices, solve problems and stretch beyond just learning information but learning how to be in relationship with others and themselves. Reading the contract reminds me to focus on listening, waiting and asking questions rather than getting ready to pounce defensively when a problem arises. I want my children to know I trust them.
  • Get my calendar out and mark the parent meetings and monthly parent coffees on campus. They are listed in the Family Handbook and on the Acton Google calendar. The more I am in the studios and connected to the Acton community, the more excited I am as I see the mission unfolding in my own children’s lives and the other lives around me. It’s real.

Then, I can exhale, ready to say goodbye to summer and start a new year feeling strong. I’m almost ready. Almost.

More Posts

ADVICE FROM EAGLES TO EAGLES

Advice from eagles to eagles. 1. Make friends right away. Take the first step. Everyone is kind so don’t worry about starting up a conversation...

Read More

Subscribe and follow our adventures!

Categories
Uncategorized

High Tech, High Touch Learning

High Tech, High Touch Learning

Laura Sandefer

August 8, 2018

My favorite observation about the Acton Academy learning environment came from one of the nation’s education experts. After a morning of observing the Eagles at work, he said it was a “high tech, high touch” school.

You can see it and feel it: the emphasis on human relationship is tangible in an Acton studio. This is the messy but happy feel of humans honestly being together.

No one can hide under the radar at an Acton Academy. No one can slip through the cracks. No one can go a day without being noticed, engaged with and known. Every single young person is vitally important in our community and each learns quickly it is only through human relationships that we grow into our best selves.

Yes, there is online learning. Yes, there are laptops scattered around. Yes, we track learning data online and use email to document communication.

But the tech experience pales in comparison to the buzz of human interaction – verbal, non-verbal and physical – happening in every moment of studio life.

It starts with a handshake, eye contact and a hearty smile when a child steps onto campus each day. And ends with “character callouts” in a group circle with claps and high fives at the end of a day. Throughout the day it is seen in Socratic discussions, squad meetings, peer feedback sessions, conflict resolutions and free play.

The intensive learning to be a highly functioning human in relationship with others is a focus at Acton Academy. From problem-solving to reflecting on goals and from managing a team project to receiving peer feedback – it’s all in a day.

This is “learning how to be” and “learning how to do.” In my opinion, it is this learning that makes me feel secure about my own children’s futures.

Experts call these skills “soft.” I call them foundational. And the Acton Eagles who graduate from our studios have them in spades.

Acton parents, you can exhale when you finish reading this article..

I couldn’t be more excited to get back into our high tech, high touch studios. See you in a couple of weeks.

More Posts

ADVICE FROM EAGLES TO EAGLES

Advice from eagles to eagles. 1. Make friends right away. Take the first step. Everyone is kind so don’t worry about starting up a conversation...

Read More

Subscribe and follow our adventures!