WHY AND HOW DO WE START A FAMILY PLAN?

Laura Sandefer

September 24, 2013

One of our founding family members told me: “If Acton Academy were to go away tomorrow, the one thing we would never stop doing is our family meetings. Our family plan has changed our lives more than anything.”

It would be crazy to run a business without a mission statement, vision, clear goals, budget and strategic plan. Aren’t families more valuable as human organizations? Why not give the same attention and care to our most precious work? If we were so purposeful in our family lives, wouldn’t we be more satisfied each day? Less stressed? Better stewards of our time and resources?

At Acton Academy, we call this putting in your big rocks first and then filling in with the little rocks. (Ask your child to demonstrate this to you if you haven’t heard about it yet.)

We believe there is infinite value in a family sitting together regularly to talk about who they are, what they want to do as a group and as individuals, and writing up a real plan of action.

There are many ways to do this. We do not prescribe a specific method to you. We simply encourage you to do it.

To get you going, we have found one clear and easy route to writing a Family Plan with your children. It comes from Patrick Lencioni’s book, The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family. If you need a copy, let me know and you can borrow mine.

These are the questions that work to begin this adventurous and productive process for your family:

  • What makes our family unique?
  • What is our family’s most important priority – our rallying cry – right now

Going deeper on this one: To do this, we will……..; and we will also have to stay on top of our regular responsibilities which are…

  • How will we use these answers and keep them alive? (ie, hang them up on the door, have weekly family meetings…)

We have posted the family plans from our community in our parent section of our main website. I am inspired each time I read them. My family is probably the least disciplined in the bunch to sit down and check on our goals. Sometimes we hit a weekly check-in, other times, it’s each month. Some years, it’s each quarter. You’ll find your stride.

Our next parent lunch meeting will be a time to share stories and encourage each other in this process.

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