Laura Sandefer

“If you really care about someone ask them to do the hardest thing you can think of. And I am not talking about running an ironman. It may be writing an email, asking for help or showing up.” – Marcia Caporn, Acton School of Business Graduate, Stanford graduate, two sport All American in soccer and golf, Gold Medalist, professional athlete, cover of Sports Illustrated.

This is not what I expected to hear as I listened to Marcia give her speech. 

But it is exactly what I needed to hear.  As a mom, a friend, a co-worker, a wife. I like to make things easier for my children and the people around me. 

From helicopter parenting to lawn mower parenting – we know the damage our best intentions can inflict on our children.  We also know we can grow and change. But…

What if my child is excluded from a group?

What if my child fails an important test, doesn’t get into college?

What if my child is pushed around?

What if my child isn’t given the attention he deserves in discussions?

What if my child is treated unfairly by other parents, let alone children?

What if my child isn’t chosen to be a leader?

What if my child lies and covers it up?

With this encouragement from Marcia, I renew my vows with my children that I will not intervene in their social struggles or their academic struggles. I will not call their coaches or teachers or pastors or guides or other parents when I am disgruntled about an unfair situation. (I’ve done all of those things, by the way.)

I will hug them and love them and be with them. I will say, “This is so very hard. I trust you to do what you think is best. I love you so.”  

We are partnering with Marcia to create a learning journey for parents. I can’t wait to share it with you here.

In her words: “I want to throw families into the fire and let them shed away old version of themselves. Through transformational programs I want to make them do hard things that challenge what they believe about themselves and what they are capable of.”  I hope you’ll join us!

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.