Which families are a good fit for Acton?

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Often, we are asked what type of families are a good fit with Acton Academy.  We used to say: “Anyone can flourish,” but recently we realized we must have Eagles and parents who have the courage and conviction to set and hold high standards.

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Originally, we believed if either an Eagle or both parents were committed, the odds were good an Eagle would soar at Acton Academy.

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We still believe almost any young person can succeed at Acton.  But we now know an Eagle and both parents must be fully committed to a Hero’s Journey or it puts too much pressure on the studio.

In other words, if our Acton Academy is a model for hundreds of Learner Driven Communities, we cannot ask Eagles to put up with studio-mates who shirk work or disrespect others or parents who allow such behavior to continue.

A Courageous Stand Against Corrosive Forces in Modern Society

Acton Academy families face three corrosive forces in modern society:

  • Resistance – a fear based reluctance to take the first step in learning a key skill; and
  • Distractions – addictive like behaviors towards video games, television and social media.
  • Victim-hood – lashing out at others rather than courageously assuming personal responsibility for life’s surprises and challenges.

Under and over-parenting in America has led to:

  • The average nine-year-old spending over 50 hours per week in front of a screen;
  • Child obesity increasing 500% in a single generation;
  • Americans medicating teenagers at seventeen times higher rates than parents in Great Britain.

Even more troubling than tumbling rankings on international tests is the loss of self-control, conscientiousness and civility that are the bedrock for a satisfying and fulfilling life at age 30 and beyond.

Celebrating Eagles and Parents Committed to a Hero’s Journey

Acton parents refuse to cede critical responsibilities to schools in return for a report card that makes them look like successful parents.  They care less about being “liked” by their children or short-term happiness, and instead accept the struggles, failures and lessons needed to prepare for a fulfilling life in the real world.

Acton parents are willing to hold the line when an Eagle refuses to work or acts disrespectfully:

  • Overcoming Resistance by insisting Eagles take the first step.
  • Removing Distractions by setting strict limits on or even eliminating access to television, social media and the internet;
  • Ignoring Victim-hood and instead letting the natural consequences of studio contracts and covenants shape habits and decisions; and
  • Making manual labor or a much less attractive traditional school the alternative to Acton Academy instead of a painless transfer to a less demanding school where every child receives a trophy.

Here’s to a great year in 2017-18, as we build a Tribe of Eagles and parents who can be a model for hundreds of Acton Academies all around the world!

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