I thank Jake Thompson, founder of Heroes Academy in Boise Idaho, for co-writing this with me.
A common question we get is: “What are the main things parents can expect when they join an Acton Academy?”
Whether you join an Acton in Lahore, Pakistan or Albuquerque, New Mexico, here are the top three:
1) A Contract.
We are a community grounded in promises to each other. During the application process, you have opportunities to review and discuss the parent contract. If you agree with it, get ready for a transformative and fun journey – not just your child but for yourself.
If you don’t agree with it, don’t sign it. In fact, we’ll try to un-sell you upfront. The last thing we want to do is try to convince someone the Acton’s Hero’s Journey is for them.
2) A Moment of Truth.
At some point, often early in the journey, your child will come home with something that is particularly hard for you. This will be the moment of truth. Will you step in to solve the problem, breaking the parent contract? Or will you dig deep and trust your child to pick up tools in the studio to solve his/her own problem?
If you choose to uphold the contract and lean into the heat, I promise you will experience an “aha” moment when you discover a new truth about your child’s potential and discover how truly brave you are. You’ll ultimately discover fresh energy and joy in daily living.
A new Acton parent recently said to me, “Since our kids have been at Acton, it’s like they’ve come back to life.”
“We feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they are not.” (From “Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected” by Tania Luna and LeeAnn Renninger.)
3) A new sense of freedom.
Your child will feel honored and respected as they are granted space and time to learn for themselves. It will be bumpy, but they will feel the dignity that comes to all of us who are treated as human beings with great potential. This is why most love coming to school every day.
And you, too, will feel more free. As an Acton parent, I don’t have a school telling me how many days per year my child has to be “present.” I don’t have a school creeping into my home in the afternoons and weekends because of required homework. Part of the Acton promise is that we won’t come between you and your children. We trust you. You are free to be the family you have always wanted to be.