Begin With the End in Mind

At the start of the school year we shared, taught, encouraged, and expected our children to learn and live the first five habits of citizenship by being trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, and caring. These citizenship traits involve key principles that grow strong citizens. We began with these because we were beginning with the end in mind. This week’s habit from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is – Begin with the End in Mind. Starting with direction toward where we want to end up is just plain smart. When our lives are grounded on sound principles, the direction we move and live guides us toward a happier and more successful life. There is an old saying that “a man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder”. A ship worries about the water without direction and can easily lose its way when the rudder isn’t in the water. The captain with a hand on the rudder guides it to its destination. It is way too easy in our modern society to get caught up in an abundance of things to do, thoughts to think, and places to go. Without a rudder directed by our principles, we can easily stray from our course.  Guided by the end in mind and strengthened with the power of positive principles, each and every child can achieve the success they seek and deserve.

  • Heart – Talk about your favorite hero and the principles he/she lives by.
  • Mind – Develop a personal or family mission statement that describes your values, roles, and goals.
  • Body – Set a specific goal for a favorite skill, sport, or hobby.
  • Soul – Consider what kind of person you want to be and list 3-5 activities that will help you to be that person.


“Control your own destiny or someone else will”. – Jack Welch

“Curiosity is the Spark, behind the spark of every great idea. The future belongs to the curious”. -Unknown
 


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Almond Acres Charter Academy earns charter renewal, accreditation

Almond Acres Charter Academy (AACA) in San Miguel has recently been granted their charter renewal and has been accredited by the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) for an additional six years. Accreditation is granted based on compelling evidence that a school is accomplishing its stated purposes and functions and meeting acceptable philosophy, goals, and objectives for operations that include student personnel services, curricular programs,  co-curricular programs, staff, school facilities and finance.

Katrina Abston, the WASC Visiting Committee Chair said, “The WASC visiting committee was thoroughly impressed with the educational offering that Almond Acres Charter Academy provides to the community. AACA exemplifies the three tenets of WASC’s philosophy which are to ensure that the school’s goal is successful student learning; the school has a clear purpose and schoolwide student goals; and the school engages in external and internal evaluations as part of continued school improvement to support student learning. The students, faculty and families of AACA truly live the school’s mission which is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body, and soul.”

Almond Acres Charter Academy Executive Director, Bob Bourgault, is thrilled with this prestigious recognition. “It is satisfying to know that innovative research-based practices are truly working. We are also excited to know that our vision has become a reality.”

Almond Acres Charter Academy is currently accepting requests for enrollment for kindergarten through the eighth grade. To learn more about AACA, join them for a campus tour and enrollment presentation this fall. Each tour will provide the opportunity to meet with Executive Director Bourgault, and learn about AACA’s philosophy and framework. The academy is located at 1601 L Street in San Miguel. The schedule for campus tours and enrollment presentations is:

  • Sept. 28 at 8 a.m.
  • Nov. 9 at 8 a.m.
  • Nov. 30 at 8 a.m.

For more information, please visit the AACA website, or call the office at (805) 467.2095.

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K–8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern San Luis Obispo County an additional choice in public education. The school is located in San Miguel and is open to all students in all communities. The academy’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul.

via: Paso Robles Daily News

Be Proactive

Over the past 5 weeks we re-minded our kids about the five character traits that make us TeRiFFC citizens (being trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, and caring). This week we begin the development of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. These habits help us to be and become leaders. The first habit is Be Proactive. Ask your child what the hand signal is. The premise of the habit is that we have the power to tell our brains what to do! It is such a simple concept and frankly, simple to do. Feeding our thoughts with positive and productive ideas nourishes our lives with happiness and success. Thinking about doing something is the first step. Taking the next step and telling our brains to do it is the action. Actions lead to habits, habits to character, and character to destiny.

Trying v. Doing

There are so many occasions in life when the word “try” is incomplete and reactive. I think that it’s a half-baked idea. Most of the time trying is short sighted. Doing get’s it done! The next time you congratulate your child for an accomplishment and he/she tells you, “Thank you, I tried my best” remind him/her that they didn’t just try – THEY DID IT! If they say, “I’ll try” encourage “I will”. Trying insinuates that we may have given our best effort. In fact, when we accomplish things, we did give our best effort. Proactively telling ourselves to do it is power and causes great actions.  

Reactive language v. Proactive language

  • I’ll try    vs     I’ll do it!
  • That’s just the way I am.   vs    I can do Better than that!
  • There’s nothing I can do.    vs   There is something I can do!
  • I have to.    vs    I choose to!
  • I can’t.     vs    There’s got to be a way!
  • You ruined my day.    vs    I’m not going to let your bad mood rub off on me.

Being proactive also helps us to take responsibility for our actions and to accept responsibility for our choices. Proactive citizens don’t blame others, they challenge them and step up and as change agents in families, schools, and community. Encourage this habit this week with the following efforts:

  • Heart – reach out to a family member or friend who may need some encouragement.
  • Mind – search for an answer to an unanswered question.
  • Body – shop for foods that will support a healthy brain.
  • Soul – take 5 minutes to enter the classroom of silence.

“I am in charge of how I feel, and today I will choose to be happy and successful.”

“Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it”. – Cathy Hopkins

BE PROACTIVE – step up to life instead of letting it step on you.

“Have a can-do-titude” – Mr. B

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Caring

Caring is the constant time and energy we put into our relationships, self, and stuff. Ultimately, our care expresses our love and develops the deep relationships we share. As we remind ourselves and our children this week about what caring is, make it simple. Help them to see that the littlest gestures, the frequent efforts, the constant affirmations – these are the caring episodes of life that make a difference and provide the life and love that nurtures gratitude in our hearts and willingness in our days to reach out to make our home, school, and community a more pleasant place to live. 

  • Heart – reach out to a friend with a smile and a helping hand.
  • Mind – spend extra time practicing academic skills.
  • Body – give/get 8 hugs a day!
  • Soul – think about the talents you share with others.

“A caring person in your life is like a heartbeat. A heartbeat isn’t visible, but silently supports your life.”  – unknown author

“Some people care too much; I think it’s called love.” – Winnie the Pooh

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Fairness

Fair ball, fair catch, in the fairway. It’s a pretty easy concept when it comes to sports and we have instant replays to adhere to it. Playing fair is pretty clear and expected on the field. Ironically, the game of life is all too often, not so fair. How do we help our children understand that we should fight for fairness, but learn to productively cope with the inequities and injustices that pepper our days? Rutgers professor, Elizabeth Tricomi, PhD. studied the concept of fairness and discovered that it is something hardwired in our brains and an expectation by the youngest of children. Moreover, we tend to have an inherent desire to see the underdog win and the playing field equalized.

When our kids are faced with unfairness here are a few phrases we can expect them to practice:

“Tell, not yell.”

“Be mad, but not mean.”

“Be helpful, not hateful.”

Use intelligent remarks instead of hurtful ones.

Blame and shame words VS Playing fair words

Liar! VS I heard you say something different before.

You cheated! VS I don’t think that’s how this game is played. The rule is . . .

You’re a tattle tale! VS I wish you would tell me first when you don’t like something I did.

Move over! VS I don’t have enough room. Could you move?

You’re not the boss of me! VS I don’t like it when you give me orders.

You’re not my friend anymore! VS I don’t like what you said about me to Alicia. I’m mad at you.

You’re so mean! VS Stop teasing me. I don’t like it.

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.” – Dennis Wholey

“Fair doesn’t mean giving every child the same thing, it means giving every child what the need to succeed”. – Rick Lavoie

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