with Laura Sandefer
A Hero’s Journey for Our Changing World with Guest Laura Sandefer:
A lack of curiosity kills our kid’s ability to learn and threatening the future of our society. As an entrepreneur you don’t follow the traditional path, you cut your own. Knowing that the standard 9-5 career just doesn’t suit everyone, does it make sense to educate our children with a one-size-fits-all mentality?
For Laura Sandefer and her husband, it didn’t. So they built their own education system, pulling from Socratic methodology, one-room schoolhouse style, and Montessori keystones while injecting the latest state-of-the-art online learning systems and their children thrived. They found a solution that not only met their needs but also made other families want to get in on the action.
They discovered that the sense of adventure, ownership, and curiosity fueled by their hero’s journey learning model translated beautifully into family life as well. Here are a few things you can do today to spark curiosity and encourage adventurous learning in your home.
Follow the Curiosity.
“I’m so in love with entrepreneurs because these are the people who will save the world because they keep the lights of curiosity alive. And if we become an uncurious society, we’re done.”
Your kids are natural learners. They have thousands of questions—indulge them! Take an interest in what is interesting to your child. Acton tracks effort and gives points for every hour a child is in flow. When they hit deep concentration and time is passing by but they’re unaware, that’s the sweet spot. You’re familiar with flow in your entrepreneurial journey. Actively encourage and reward flow in your children’s curiosity.
Build a Contract and Begin the Hero’s Journey
Acton schools start each year by building a communal contract for the school. The students are the decision-makers as to what that contract entails.
Explain the hero’s journey to your children. In this context, heroes are brave. Heroes don’t quit. Heroes are not the victim—a victim finds excuses, blame others, and quit when things get hard. A hero solves problems and takes responsibility when things go wrong.
Once they know what a hero is and recognize themselves as one, sit down and set out a contract for what kind of hero they want to be, and how they will accomplish that in their day-to-day learning.
Get Comfortable With Ambiguity
As an entrepreneur, you need to be resilient and recognize that you might not always know the next step, or how you’re going to reach your goal. It’s important that your child is comfortable with the same ambiguity. You know where you’re trying to go, you have a destination in mind, but how you get there is different for every person.
When there isn’t a prescribed path, your child has the freedom to get creative, build resilience, and problem-solve to get where they want to go.
Give Honest Feedback
People are afraid that peer-to-peer feedback will crush their kids and dampen their desire to learn, but giving and receiving feedback is a skill that must be developed. If you start at an early age, feedback isn’t associated with criticism, but instead, it is a constructive tool that helps you get where you’re trying to go faster.
Think of feedback as an act of love meant to improve the individual in a constructive and positive way.
Many people start companies after discovering a unique opportunity or injustice that ignites their passion and sends them into fix-it mode. Your children will often experience a similar moment in their hero’s journey. When they do, try and foster a relationship with someone in the community that they admire who works in a similar space. With a mentor or apprenticeship, they can learn directly from someone in that industry, gaining hands-on experience so they have the mental and emotional skills to face challenges in a real work environment.
“We truly believe that every single human, every child is a genius with creative potential and deserves to find a calling and change the world. The hero’s journey is also the entrepreneur’s journey. It’s the idea that I’m an ordinary human, an ordinary person living their ordinary life being faced with a challenge and either has to accept the call or refuse the call.”
Your work as an entrepreneur gives you the unique opportunity to spark similar curiosity in your children’s learning habits. Bring them into your world, by removing traditional learning boundaries and showing them that they too are a hero embarking on an adventure.
To hear more from Laura Sandefer and Acton Academy, head to www.actonacademy.org.