In prior weeks we talked about how the "mascot" of AAFTL might be the Dragons, but our Heroes themselves are "Dragon-riders" or navigators of all things Dragon (Dragonauts).
Why does that matter?
The lesson of the Hero's Journey was carried home at the end of this week as the Tribe earned a reward and together explored the first of the "How To Train Your Dragon" movies.
If you are not familiar with the series from Dreamworks, a young and weak "Hiccup Haddock the III" is born into a tribe of Vikings who take great pride in their ability to "slay" dragons. In fact... the Vikings and Dragons are at war.
I won't spoil the movie for you (it is a favorite amongst our Heroes), but suffice it to say, you could replace the word 'Dragon" with the "Fears" we all feel, and it starts to make sense in the circle of the Hero's Journey.
We depart on a big adventure (like starting this crazy new school without teachers and homework). We are excited, but soon meet onstacles, and challenges. Things get hard. Real hard.
But we also meet friends and allies along the way.
The Hero's Journey is about transformation. From younglings to Heroes who are Learning To Do, Learning To Be, and Learning How To Learn, rather than being focused on some block of curriculum that may or may not be relevant 10 years from now.
We Don't Slay Dragons... We Ride Them
In Dragon-speak, that means not "slaying" your Dragons/Fears (because honestly, do they ever fully go away?). But rather, we learn to work with them, tame them, make friends with the things that scare us the most.
Sometimes that means having a hard conversation with a friend or sibling because feelings are getting hurt. Sometimes it means taking a few minutes to "reset" ourselves so we can bring out best back into the arena.
This is the beginning of the learners understanding that it is "Their Studio" and they own the agreements and promises we all make with one another.
Adventures This Week
Lot's of exciting adventures this week. In preparation for our first exhibition (coming up on March 18th), the tribe has been digging into building the habit of deep work during Core Skills. That includes Math, DEAR (Drop Everything And Read time), and Writing With A Purpose.
In our Build-A-Tribe Quest time, we began exploring animation. I won't spoil the fun (wait till you see exhibition) but here is a taste of some of the self-portraits our Heroes are learning to animate their drawings.
Can you guess who is who?
Playing Games & Exploring The Local Community
This week also had visits to the Broward County Main Library, play time at Huizenga and Esplanade Parks. Some of the play-time was spent learning to play new games (Chess and Money Bags).
And we started a daily morning session called "Brain Games" where we are learning the meta thinking skills of:
- Pattern Recognition
- Pattern Creation
- Accelerated learning through Analogy (Copy/Change)
- and Real Time Composition (Innovative thinking on the fly).
The Brain Games sessions are part of Opher Brayer's "Games of Genius" program. Opher is an amazing story and if you have the time, it would be well worth watching his TED Talk on redefining what talent really is (and how it can be nurtured).
Resources For Our Parents (Enrolled & Prospective Parents)
Lastly, if you have been following along with our weekly recape, you know we have been sharing two series of helpful resources. The first is a series of short videos from our friend Matt in Californina, who has been sharing the Top 10 Reasons How A Learner-Driven Approach Is Different (and what that means for your child). Here is #4:
We've also been sharing Laura Sandefer's blog series on what she has learned about becoming a better parent, as she now looks back on 12 years of experience raising her boys through Acton.
More great parent resources coming soon! They are tough love lessons to learn.
Forcing kids to do things doesn’t teach them to be self-sufficient. At best, it teaches them to be reliant on external authority. This might produce obedient kids but doesn’t teach them to be effective adults.