Thank you, Trailblazing Parents

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“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

— Steve Jobs, 1997

This is one of my favorite quotes by Steve Jobs. I know that it’s a spin-off from Jack Kerouac’s reference to the “mad ones” in his book On The Road, and I know that both Jack and Steve where known to be a little bit crazy themselves. But, I would challenge you to consider that both the beatnik and the CEO did change the world. And, so are every single one of my founding families at Acton Imprimis Salado. The impact that you are going to have on Central Texas is so much greater than you will likely ever know, and I am so inspired by you and humbled that you are willing to embark on this Hero Journey with me.

A Cliff Note of What Acton Imprimis Salado Is: For those of you who don’t know what Acton Imprimis Salado (An Acton Academy) is all about: Let me explain what these amazing families are helping me do. Each family is entrusting Acton’s world-renown and fully accredited pedagogy in creating heroes for this broken and fallen world. Each student embarks upon a Hero’s Journey where he/she not only undergoes strategic mastery in academic learning (anything below a 95% is considered failing), but he/she is also required to earn character building badges proving their comprehension and ability to display such traits as intrinsic  motivation, leadership, responsibility, resilience, knowing how to give and take constructive criticism, being a good friend, facing your greatest fear, etc…

Furthermore, the students develop a great appreciation for  personal responsibily, accountability, time-management, goal setting, and how to embrace failure without defining oneself as a failure…even as young as our PreK studio. This education is no joke and it takes a lot of grit and determination to endure it. Furthermore, this journey is no joke for the parents either. Not all parents are able to watch their child fail, get back up, fail again, and try again.

We are interrupting the educational system in Central Texas by educating the person, not the class.  The mainstream method of learning is to give a group of students an X amount of time to learn XYZ.  When the alotted amount of time is up (hours to weeks) the students are tested over what they were able to learn during that timeframe, and then the class moves onto the next topic of material.  Hopefully, most students will pass their tests within the alloted timeframe of instruction. This is not how Acton Imprimis Salado educates.

Simply put, we wait to promote a student until he/she is at 95% comprehension, thus reaching our definition of mastery learning, and then he/she is promoted to the next level of academics. We take the “alloted time” factor out of the equation completely. We focus solely on Mastery learning at the individual student’s pace. To understand this deeper, please watch this 10 minute video by Sal Kahn

Our students are actually heroes in training. Therefore, we acknowledge them as heroes and call them such. They have to go through the process of academic mastery, earn their character badges, display self-regulatory skills, earn their freedom levels by displaying responsibilty, and master all their hands-on quests before they are allowed to move into a higher leveled academic studio.  They are also equipped to discover their God-given gifts, find their individual callings, and launch out into the world as game changers and world changers. I am serious about this fact. Our heroes change the world.

The Hero’s Journey in a Nutshell: The hero’s journey is all over children’s books, Marvel movies, and even the Bible. The unlikely ordinary person rises to the occasion to stand against opposition, face his/her greatest fears, and comes out stronger after facing such fears. Mastery academics and character badges helped them dig deep into themselves to outsmart those who come against them, endure the pressures of resistance, and maintain the appropriate level of grit to accomplish their goals and dreams with successfully.

We all know that this is a harsh world that we live in. It takes a lot more than just knowing how to pass a test to succeed and social pretenses can only get you so far.  Our children deserve more than what most schools provide them. Each child needs to know that they are unique and were not made to be like everyone else. It is ok to be your authentic self and not have to dress or behave like everyone else. Each child has a unique fingerprint, personality, and dream. It is ok to dream to be an engineer, a teacher, a professor, a medical doctor, attorney, a CEO, and such.  Yet, it’s also just as great to dream to become an actress, actor, entrepreneaur, dancer, artist, etc… It’s ok for children to discover who God created them to be instead of how to survive wtihin the educational box.

Children need to learn how to think critically without being cynical. They need to know the fine line between bravery and stupidity. They should be able to be able to make a judgement call without being judgemental. They need to seek to understand their opponent before blasting that they’re a victim due to being offended.  They should be able to recognize the differences between bosses and leaders. And, most importantly, they should be given those twelve or so (give or take) years of schooling to discover who they are instead of being told who to be and what to think. Children have the courage to grow and we provide a safe environment for them to do so.

Does the Acton method of unschooling work?  Yes! All over the world our graduates are being accepted into the colleges of their choice, some are graduating with already established LLCs, and one just got accepted into nine different law schools. It works. And, we are so excited to be the trailblazers that get to bring this incredible academy to Bell County.

The parents of the Acton Imprimis Salado heroes are a great trailblazing tribe within their own right. I’ve been asked if the parents who sign-up their children are weird. The founding families we have are amazing. We have multiple entrepreneurs, medical doctors, retired military brass, FBI agents, psychotherapists, professors, and other like-minded parents. These are really amazing people from all over Bell and Williamson Counties. People who look at their children and realize that the mainstream method of teaching (i.e. sitting behind a desk and being lectured) just isn’t what is right for their kids. We’re not actively anti-tradition. We are just passionate about an unschooling education. Especially, since it’s being taken place at an already pre-established world-renown and fully accredited place.

It takes a lot of courage to watch your child grow.  It’s easy to talk about how you want your child to develop resilience. It’s hard to actually watch your child struggle through the process of developing that character trait. It’s easy to say that you’re ok with your child failing at something he/she loves, but it’s hard to endure the process of watching their tears fall down their face. It takes a lot of grit, a lot of heart, and a lot of strength to embrace a parental hero journey that accompanies your child’s launch of one. Most parents want to protect their children moreso than we want to prepare our children. It’s hard to not be liked by your child, but you know it’s what is best for them. Being an Acton Imprimis Salado parent is no joke, it’s a challenge, it has its ups and downs, but those who embrace, fight through, and finish this journey will only come out stronger. Acton Imprimis Salado unites families.

Parents, thank you, for having the Courage to embrace this Hero’s Journey of launching Acton Imprimis Salado with me. Your children are our founding heroes. They are setting the foundation for hundreds to thousands of children to flourish in this academy long after they are out changing the world. You will be recognized as one of the trailblazing families that helped the vision turn into a  reality for Central Texas children for years to come. Each of you are amazing and I”m so grateful for every one of you. Together, we are disrupting education and bringing hope to children in this area. Together, we are creating the premier academy for gifted, talented, and creative children. Together, we are unstoppable.

Here’s to all of us! Or shall I say, Here’s to us crazy ones! You are inspiring and amazing!


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