Laura Sandefer

I never thought I’d quote Alice Cooper in this blog but the ‘70’s song is stuck in my head:

“School’s out for summer!”

My nostalgia runs high on this particular day.  It is the day when it feels like the entire world is celebrating that release from indenture – a reprieve from mandatory desk time and being told what to do. I remember as a young girl that feeling of pure glee on this day.

My children aren’t feeling that particular glee today.  As a family, we chose for them not to live the traditional school life nor run our life by its calendar. There are times this is easy and times it is more challenging.

I think my nostalgia about this, though, has been over-edited. As usual.

What I really long for is the feeling of celebrating the seasons of life.

I want to taste, smell and linger slowly in a genuine summer season.

For me, this means slower-paced days with a bit of laziness built in, watermelon seed spitting contests, grilling out with neighbors, swimming in lakes and creeks, and getting my toes in the sand somewhere. Then there is catching fireflies in jars, lying in the grass at night and watching stars and seeing the bats take flight. There is an overall sense of “lightening up.”  Juicy novels replace “good for me” books.

As an Acton mom, I don’t need to depend on the school calendar to give my children “Summer.” I can build in all of these experiences and little daily celebrations to our family life even while the learning journey at 2201 Alexander Avenue continues.

And in 6 weeks, I will sit quietly while my friends with today’s “out of school revelers” wonder what-in-the-world to do with their children – summer is too long!

Our little summer celebrations will continue for in a way, “School’s out forever!”

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.