The Gifts of Struggle

Is it better to protect your child from struggle or expose them to it? To answer this question, let me tell you a story.

There was a second-grader who excelled at school and was getting straight A’s. However, his mother wanted something different that would stretch him more. She found Acton Academy  and immediately enrolled him as an Eagle and his mother was able to become one of the guides.

When he was given the freedom to choose his own path and focus on the things he wanted to do, he decided that he didn’t want to do Math for the entire year. His mother took a step back and let it play out, trusting the system and knowing that all things will work out in the end. As a result, he became a social butterfly; going around helping everyone. He was on the Eagle Buck Committee and Town Hall and Town Council.  But at the end of third grade, her mother asked him, “How are you going to catch up in Math?” Realizing that his friends were moving on ahead in Math without him, he decided to conquer Math, but really struggled.

Near the end of fourth grade, he found himself stuck in the middle of fourth-grade Math and couldn’t go past it. His mother, the guide, said he has two options: keep struggling or start over by going back to third-grade Math. After wrestling with his choices for a while, he decided to go back and start over.

With 16 weeks left of the school year, he set a goal to finish all fourth-grade Math. He was so focused that it became his number one goal, and the results were amazing. Not only did he conquer third-grade and fourth-grade Math, but he also finished fifth-grade Math all in 16 weeks!

This is just one of the many stories that show how the Acton system always works itself out even in the shortest amount of time. Because of the struggle and failure, this student became one of the most hardworking Eagles in the studio. He excels in everything he touches and his ability to set goals and achieve them has quadrupled — which wouldn’t have happened without the struggle.

Removing the struggle takes away the opportunity for students to build enough strength to set and reach goals. When we give them the freedom to find their way through the struggle, we help them build the strength they need to face and conquer more challenges in the future.

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