Why did you start Acton Academy?
Jeff and I started Acton Academy with the most compelling “why” of all — our own children. They were curious and fun and resilient, and we wanted to let that grow naturally. The joy of watching other parents, motivated by the same thing, launch their own learner-driven communities, has been icing on the cake.
Are you a parenting expert?
No; I am a simply a curious. learning parent on my own journey. I am inspired by other curious people who see children as teachers, heroes and geniuses. Incorporating the Acton ideals and methods at home is challenging, to say the least. I hope by sharing my ups and downs I can encourage other parents to listen more, ask good questions and ultimately set our children free to find their own callings.
What books do you recommend for parents wanting to learn more?
Here are a few of my favorites each with its own nuggets of relevance:
- Nurture Shock, Po Bronson
- The Gift of Imperfection, Brene Brown
- The One World School House, Salman Khan
- Mindset, Carol S. Dweck
- Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
- Unschooling Rules, Clark Aldrich
- Your Three Year Old, Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D. (Each book for each age)
- The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family, Patrick Lencioni
- A Thomas Jefferson Education, Oliver DeMille
- The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle
- Choice Words, Peter H. Johnston
- The Price of Privilege, Madeline Levine, Ph.D.
- Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Angeline Stoll Lillard
- 10 Conversations You Need to Have With Your Children, Shmuley Boteach
- An Ethic of Excellence, Ron Berger
- The E-Myth Manager, Michael E. Gerber
- The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got that Way, Amanda Ripley
- Mastery: The Keys to Success And Long-Term Fulfillment, George Leonard
- 2002 Ways to Show Your Kids You Love Them, Cyndi Haynes
- Free Range Kids, Lenore Skenazy
- Influencer, Kerry Patterson, et al
- Crucial Conversations, Kerry Patterson, et al
- The Dream Manager, Matthew Kelly
- Most Likely to Succeed, Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith
- The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker
- The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt
Who is your hero?
I have many. You’d probably guess who tops the list: my children. They listen to their souls, make hard choices, are not afraid to speak up for what’s right, cling to their curiosity and don’t follow the crowds. Also, Sugata Mitra, my husband and my mother – for similar reasons.