Written by Laura Sandefer and originally posted 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.