Along the Acton journey, I have found a predictable pattern in my inner seasons.
They go something like this:
The Honeymoon Season. During the first two months of the school year there is a high of excitement mixed with mystery and nervous energy. The romance of the school day and all of its treasures is real for my children and me, too.
The Insecurity Season: In late October, the newness wears off. Friends from other schools are talking about homework and tests. As I reach for familiarity, my memories of school fail me for they are nothing like Acton. I lapse into nostalgia for reliving my own past – my comfort zone. My insecurity about this journey bubbles up. I start holding my breath – is this working?
The Confident Season: Big exhale. After the December exhibitions of learning and walking through the portfolio with my boys, I witness their growth as humans. They are solving problems, communicating new ideas and reflecting on hard decisions they have made. They are managing time and weighing costs and benefits. I see a love of reading and slow but strong progress in math. The joy of learning is tangible. Their independence is blossoming. We have time together as a family. I, too, am growing. I embrace this freedom.
The “Oh No” Jolt hits late March: Wait a minute! Can my children seriously learn physics and geometry without a teacher in–house?
…One week later, after observing a Socratic discussion in the studio and re-reading One World Schoolhouse by Sal Khan, Unschooling Rules by Clark Alrichand Ungifted – Intelligence Redefined by Scott Barry Kaufman…
The Renewed Commitment Season: Out of my private moments of weakness comes new strength. I remember again why Acton Academy is our path. I want nothing less than a love of lifelong learning for my children. Mastery over graded tests. Grit interwoven with joy. Kindness as a standard. We begin to plan some new family adventures. Summer arrives.
And the cycle starts again come September.
There is a support system for parents built into our design: Blogs, books on the parent reading list, the option for a running partner (ask me about this), parent meetings, exhibitions of learning, social gatherings.
Being fully engaged takes an effort but as our children can tell us, engagement is what makes the difference in this journey. Join in.
(Our next Parent Lunch Meeting is Wednesday, October 8 at 11:30am.)
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