A Founding Family Story - The Shaws
"I have never felt more like I have a say in her education than I have the past month and a half at Acton. If your gut is guiding you to make this change, trust it. You will not regret giving your child(ren) the best gift you can give them."
Our education journey started with the public school system. Kindergarten year we had a good year and a great teacher. As we entered first grade I could slowly see the rigid structure weighing heavily on Peyton. It was a struggle to get her to want to go to school. I began researching other options in the area and did not have anything 100% resonate with my desires for Peyton’s education. I explored the homeschooling option; however, since I work full time I would not be able to give Peyton the guidance she would need or be able to connect with other homeschooling families in the community due to my work schedule.
We continued into her second-grade year and her not wanting to go to school only intensified. She was miserable and I was miserable sending her every day. I honestly understood why she was not happy. A lot of what I saw in her is what I felt growing up going through a system that was very rigid and put me in a one size fits all approach that did not align with how I learned at all. We went to our second scheduled parent-teacher conferences in February 2020 and I left knowing I had to figure out a change. Tests and metrics that we had been told in previous years to not put much weight into all of the sudden in the second grade were a big deal and the ability to explain those to the parents and help guide the student on the best path to enhance their learning was non-existent. One month later COVID hit and school was remote the remainder of the year. I was dealing with a very different child via remote learning. She wanted to learn, and she could explore her interests as well as develop in core skill areas. Ironically several of the programs we used at home were the same ones she was using at school, so she was getting some of the same content but with the ability to work at her level and solidify her understanding instead of having to keep at a pace to get through the year worth of content to meet standards and most likely only solidify a fraction of the understanding. This showed me kids are missing the valuable building blocks they need in education.
Gut feelings are like guardian angels and I knew I was being guided in the right direction.
We continued to home school in the Fall of 2020 due to mandates from COVID. I knew this was not an option I could continue while working full-time but kept the mindset that it was temporary not permanent. I saw something on Facebook for Acton and watched a video and my gut told me this was something I needed to explore.
Gut feelings are like guardian angels and I knew I was being guided in the right direction. My best friend from college messaged me after she saw I had “liked” Acton on Facebook. She said, “I know the owners that are opening this school and they are great people.” That was it. Peyton and I attended a park event where she met several of her fellow travelers. I met with Zach after that event to get more information in regards to Acton and on November 16, 2020, Peyton started her Journey.
We are through our first session, and I am just in constant astonishment at the change in her vocabulary, her mindset towards school, and the real life skills she has gained in such a short timeframe. She wakes up now most of the time before her alarm and gets dressed and ready for school without me having to prompt and ask several times. She goes on hikes, eats lunch, and reads outside (whenever possible). Outside time is so important, and I am grateful it is a normal part of their day. Through this growth, she has had areas where she has needed guidance. Navigating those with the guides has been a positive and trusted experience. I have never felt more like I have a say in her education than I have the past month and a half at Acton. If your gut is guiding you to make this change, trust it. You will not regret giving your child(ren) the best gift you can give them.
Very interesting story. You really have gone a difficult path, the choice of school turned out to be much more difficult than it usually happens. I am very glad for you that you managed to find what you liked. It is always important not to give up, but to keep moving towards your goal!
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