Laura Sandefer

For more than a decade, Acton Academy has offered books as gifts and as suggestions to our parents. Part of the application process includes reading one of our suggested books and critiquing it. At our main campus, we have a Parents Bookshelf where you can borrow a book and share a book. This month’s featured title comes from our reading list.

Written by Clark Aldrich with a foreword by Acton Co-Founder Jeff Sandefer, our featured title for November 2021 is:

Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education


While most schools continue to resist change, homeschooling families are abandoning the K-12 system and rediscovering what childhood education means. They are identifying new methods and goals that are powerful, born of common sense, and incompatible with today's schools. The author, education expert Clark Aldrich, has explored the cultures and practices of homeschoolers and unschoolers. He has distilled a list of rules that shake the foundations of national education to its core.

About the Author

Why can't schools teach leadership?

Or innovation?

The answer is sobering. Lectures, term papers, workbooks, and tests were never designed to help us grow beyond the classroom.

Clark Aldrich is the world's authority on content that improves thinking and actions in the real world.

Aldrich is the leading designer of educational simulations and Short Sims for professionals, and an award-winning industry analyst. A philosopher/practitioner, Aldrich has created and continues to evolve the first rigorous pedagogy around "learning to do" in educational media. He and his work have appeared widely including in The New York Times, CNN, and CBS.

Aldrich works with corporations, universities, the US military (where he held Top Secret clearance), non-profits, government organizations, and VCs to create new models of scalable lifelong education that deliver growth, while being less wasteful and more fair.

Aldrich, who received his degree in Cognitive Science from Brown University, balances hands-on, practical work with strategic engagements.

Order Your Copy of Unschooling Rules by Clark Aldrich by clicking here

Co-founder and Chief Encourager for Acton Academy


Laura Sandefer is an author and the co-founder of Acton Academy, a school whose learner-driven model is spreading across the globe with over 130 locations in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, Malaysia and more, and in 2019 is celebrating 10 years of letting children take learning into their owns hands.

Acton Academy bases their model of learning on the Hero’s Journey: a story pattern common in ancient myths and modern day adventures in which a hero goes on an adventure, wins a victory and comes home transformed. Children at Acton Academy know why they are being challenged to learn — they are on their own Hero’s Journey to find their passion in life.

Acton Academy and Sandefer have been featured in the Austin American Statesman, Inc., Forbes, National Review, Huffington Post and more. Sandefer has a bachelor of arts and masters of education degrees from Vanderbilt University. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children and three dogs.