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