We have about eight more weeks of work left this school year, which is truly hard to get my head around. It’s even harder for the Eagles to get their head around the work left to do and the time with which to do it. We say at Acton a lot that it is really hard to get into a hole that you can’t get out of. We have some learners just about done with all their badges and are wrapping things up. Some have a little steeper hill to climb but are becoming confident in their ability to finish. And still others are starting to finally understand why we emphasize time management.

If your Eagle seems to be struggling, you can offer encouragement as well as asking the following questions and seeking verification:

  1. Are you doing at least 45 minutes of math each and every day?  Are you watching the videos?

  2. Do you have a Badge Book and are you reading at least 30 minutes each day?

  3. Are you doing every challenge for your Writers’ Workshop?

  4. Are you doing every Civilization challenge?

  5. Are you doing every Quest challenge?

  6. Are you guarding against distractions and avoiding being asked for Eagle Bucks?

In the age of YouTube, smart phones, tablets, and instant stimulation, we have to fight harder than ever for our learners’ attention spans. To focus on the same task to the point of completion is becoming a rare quality, and while guides don’t provide redirection when Eagles go off task, parents can set up additional consequences at home for failure to get the job done. This is not punishment, but as a lesson in accountability. It is much like what we studied in coding - ‘When A happens, then so does B. When A doesn’t happen, then C happens.’ Check-ins and questions are just some of the tools we have at our disposal, as well as making clear from the get-go that they will be held accountable.

I have handed more and more of the Studio culture over to the Eagles. If they want an environment where they can work, they have to uphold it now. If they want a clean studio, which many do and work hard to maintain, they have to hold each other accountable for their messes. I have given them every tool at my disposal. But their Hero’s Journey is their own, and I trust that they will get through their Road of Trials. Tough-minded but warm-hearted. This is how Acton Eagles become Heroes.