Year 2 Session 1 (8/23/21) I suppose this is technically a 'Daily Round-up', but with how much learning we packed into a short six hours, I think 'Weekly Round-up' may be the more accurate descriptor! So if your children came home mentally and emotionally exhausted, they were in good company with every other student in the entire school.

As guides at the school, we were learning a lot in a short period of time as well. We quickly went from approaching the quest together as a whole school, to dividing into houses and trying it that way, to settling on separating by ages into three mini-studios - Spark, ES, and MS/Launchpadders. The ability to rapid-prototype at our school is a huge benefit. Not being tied down by layers of bureaucracy allows us to be extremely agile until we get things right. The process of change this morning illustrates this quite well.

After this change, each group began to get into flow. The spark students began to explore several different Montessori Islands upstairs, while the older two studios began to work on creating a Lip Dub downstairs. Here is an example of one if you are unfamiliar with what a Lip Dub is. Alternatively you can just google 'Acton Lip Dub' and several examples come up :)

This is when things began to get difficult for a lot of students, and subsequently where the deep learning really began. The Lip Dub task is designed to expose all of the Eagles to Aim's hands-on learning model--in this case a heavy dose of Learning to Do and Learning to Be. For many of our newer Eagles, I'm sure this felt a bit like being thrown into the deep end of a sea of ambiguity, but sometimes that is the best way to learn--as painful as it might be. The lack of structure felt foreign to many. The general ambiguity was frustrating for others. Working with a team of mixed-ages was new. And not being told how to get from A to B and produce a finished product in general is very difficult. Especially given this is the first time many of our Eagles have ever really had to exercise the parts of their brain they had to use today :) Add to that the fact that our model really demands active participation and learning--aka a continuous high level of engagement and focus (as opposed to some models which are fully compatible with being a passive learner in an environment that may only require a few moments of periodic concentration) and you get a recipe for growth. 

I am reminded of the aptly titled book by Laura Sandefer "Courage to Grow". Growth can be painful, but it is what we are after. In talking with many of you, it is what drew you to this model more than just about anything else. But it does take Courage. From every single one of us in this community. 

Today was a heavy dose of the Acton method. It unsurprisingly led to some chaos and some discomfort.  But, all of that being said, your children are already stepping up. And that is inspiring to me. 

So as we move on to Day 2, and throughout the future days of transitioning into becoming independent learners, your Eagles may need some support at home. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with this much freedom. But like you, I know the sacrifices are worth it. 

Honored to be on this journey with each of you,

Till tomorrow!--and Friday when I will send the first 'real' Weekly Roundup :)
Lance Stewart

Hi, I'm Lance Stewart.

I'm the founder and Head of School at Aim Academy.

We'd love to hear from you. Schedule a call below:

Schedule a call