Week 6 in Review: Does practice make perfect?


We’re grateful to Fayetteville Mayor, Rev Ed Johnson, for visiting our Studios this week to give our learners feedback on self-governance.


In addition, huge thanks to all of our parent and Pinewood Forest visitors that visited our Studios this week to give our learners feedback on the “Museum Quest” that our learners are planning for their upcoming Public Exhibition next Thursday 9/27 from 4:45-6:15pm.

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Here’s this week’s update:

Update from the Elementary School Studio:

There’s a muscle at The Forest School that heroes are beginning to exercise—how to seek, accept, and apply feedback. Those are big concepts, yes, and learners are in the initial stages of understanding what these things mean to them. As we prepare for the first Public Exhibition (Thurs 9/27 at 4:45pm), heroes have had the opportunity to present their work to external experts and receive feedback to make their ideas even better. Naturally, many want to defend what they’ve created initially and push back against the feedback. A few feel that the criticism, however kindly and helpful it was presented to them, is an attack on their hard work. Yet, they are heroes on a Hero’s Journey. They may stumble and even fall...but heroes get back up and press on. 

During launch on Thursday, Lisa posed the question, “Does practice make perfect?” Heroes were presented with pictures of Crossfit 2018 winners standing on the winner’s podium, wearing medals emblazoned with the words “Greatest Athlete on Earth.” A 3-minute video of the athletes pouring sweat and tears into their workouts gave the heroes an idea of the work it took to get to the top. An insightful conversation followed with many heroes saying things like, “No one is perfect, but you can always get better,” and “I think as you get better at something the level of perfection gets more out of reach, always right above where you are.” In the end, three heroes voted that practice can make perfect. Ten disagreed. Either way, heroes concluded that accepting feedback and altering work were forms of practice that would put them closer to that podium.

From the Middle School Studio:

What happens when a learner is in charge of their own learning?

At times, they excel, doing things like completing over half a school year's worth of math curriculum in six weeks. At times, they struggle, getting lost in the distractions of computer games and chatting with friends.

This week in the Middle School Studio, we looked at "The Three Enemies of Intentionality":

  1. Resistance - "I don't know how to get started."

  2. Distraction - "I can't stay focused."

  3. Victim Mentality - "This isn't fair."

Heroes were tasked with coming up with solutions to combat these enemies. Here's what they came up with:

  • If you have trouble getting started: take the first step; make a schedule; set goals; create incentives for yourself.

  • To combat distractions: find a secluded space to work; listen to music; be intentional with your time; listen to fellow heroes when they try to get you back on track.

  • If you see yourself as a victim: remind yourself that others are in the same boat; find the good in your situation; practice mindfulness and daily affirmations; get inspired.

This is what a "learner driven environment" looks like—acknowledging the struggles, brainstorming solutions, and helping each other along the way.

We hope you enjoy your weekend with loved ones!

banner image via

Tyler Thigpen