We Are World-Changers

Today started as usual: our heroes entered the studio, made paper airplanes (a typical beloved activity), and chatted about their birthdays….and then our morning discussion began. This morning, the discussion topic was “Is anything truly impossible”? Right away, we took a vote. 2 heroes said “Yes” (that there are some things that are absolutely impossible) while 5 heroes said “No”(that nothing is truly impossible). When I asked why our heroes thought what they did, this is how they responded:
Hero 1: There are some things that you just can’t humanly do. For example, you cannot turn yourself into God…
Hero 2: Well, the bible says that with God, nothing is impossible.
Hero 1: Well, actually, I changed my mind. I agree (with Hero 1).
As our discussion continued, each of our heroes chimed in and agreed that without God, there is nothing that can’t be done. When I asked our heroes why some people don’t reach for the “impossible”, our heroes identified to possibilities: (1)They don’t believe they can, or (2)They aren’t willing to work with God (and to work hard).
This week, our heroes have been encouraged to think about what it means to “Do everything as if doing it unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23), and to become true world-changers who set high goals, knowing that with God, anything is possible.
A few other Highlights this week included:
  • Creating an example of a “World-class” poster as a model for possible exhibition presentations.
  • Practicing speeches for the exhibition.
  • Putting the finishing touches on our “Journey Academy Report” (our student-created newspaper).
  • Reviewing session goals and which ones have already been met.
  • Reviewing yearly goals, and which badges are in progress yet.
  • Golfing (during P.E. on Thursday).

Additional discussion topics this week included:

  • How much time is in a year? A week? A day? A minute? A second? What is something that you want to accomplish today with your time?
  • Which of the following habits is the MOST important to growing your curiosity? (Taking the time to be curious, asking lots of questions, seeking surprise, being willing to be wrong, being fully present, or not allowing past experiences to hurt them)?
  • Who is more curious: You or your parents? Why do you think this?
  • Colossians 3:23 says to do everything as if you are doing it unto the Lord. How does that change the way that we, as believers, complete challenges?


“It’s time for collaborative core skills, everyone!!”

…The sound of our heroes holding each other to the daily schedule. As I listened in the other day, I couldn’t help but reflect on how capable our kids really are. They really know how to resolve conflict, hold each other to a schedule, and help each other when it’s needed. As collaborative core skills began, I looked around the room. In the corner, 2 heroes were sitting on bean bags while working on Khan Academy. I listened in to the first hero as he coached the second hero through a multiplication problem. It made me ponder (for a moment) what the world might be like if everyone developed the ability to lead and take ownership of their learning.

Each day, our kids become more and more comfortable themselves and each other. They are able to make their own decisions, pitch their ideas to each other, and they are learning what it means to develop an attitude of “excellence”.

This week, our heroes practiced evaluating the excellence of their work by asking, “Is this my personal best?”, “Is this better than my previous work”?, and “Have I compared it to a world-class example”? They then worked in pairs to give each other constructive feedback (based on those questions) and improved their work.

In addition to creating excellent work, our heroes also worked on creating excellence by being intentional with one another. They came up with a list of ways they could encourage each other and also participated in a few Team-building Activities such as creating a secret handshake (and sharing it with studio mates who were missing) and going on a picture scavenger hunt together. Though everyone had different ideas, they did a great job listening to each other and working to create a great handshake and selection of photos!

Discussion topics this week included:
  • Which “races” are you running (based on 1 Corinthians 9). The apostle Paul went around preaching the gospel, but we are all running some kind of race. These races say something about our lives. God cares about every part of it (whether school work, the way we spend our free time, our the way we treat others). Which areas do you feel like you are “running ahead”? Which areas do you feel are really challenging right now?
  • The following areas are each vital to building a culture of excellence. Everyone is continually growing in each of them. Which area do you want to focus on this week?

-Humility (Realizing that you will not be “right” all the time and asking for                              help when you need it)

            -Perseverance (Not giving up when you face trials)
            -Going to God’s word for answers
            -Attitude (Thinking well of others and staying positive)
  • How do you make a “To Do” list? How do you decide what to accomplish first?
  • Prior to the Olympic games, a relay takes place in which a torch is passed from runner to runner. Everyone works together until it reaches its destiny. In what ways have you worked together at Journey Academy? Who has encouraged you since you started school? In what ways have you encouraged your studio mates?

Making the Most of Every Opportunity

“Would you rather spend a week on the beach, or climb a mountain, visit the Redwoods, and meet your favorite celebrity in California?” During our opening launch on Tuesday, everyone decided they would want to travel to California. After considering all of the possible beach adventures however, 3 heroes decided they would actually want to spend the week snorkeling, surfing, building sand castles, and playing volleyball. Whereas the California vacation was already planned with fun activities, they could create their own fun at the beach! The vacation would be as adventurous as they wanted it!
 Like planning a vacation, our heroes are learning that there is planning that goes into having a great learning experience. As our heroes are creating their exhibitions and exploring their topics, they have been creating their own “To Do” lists to help them focus on the things that are important to them and plan for their exhibitions.
In addition to maximizing their project time, our heroes are also working on sticking to their Milestone deadlines. Throughout each session, our heroes have certain dates set in advance to keep them on track with their core skills work, writing progress, and quests. This session, our heroes agreed that it would be fun to celebrate their accomplishments at the end of each week by holding a special activity for all of those who have met the majority of their weekly goals and met all of their weekly milestones (This week that involved meeting 8 out of 11 daily goals, writing a rough draft of a news report, starting their “To Do” lists during project time, and completing their T-shirt designs for Art).
While a few of our heroes felt that the special activity at the end of the week added unnecessary pressure to their learning, the majority of them decided that it would be a nice reward for working hard throughout the week. They also agreed that those who haven’t met their weekly goals and milestones can always use the extra time to complete their goals and then  join in the special activities once it’s completed. This was great motivation for everyone!
Discussion Topics this Week Included:
1. Who will you be like today? Will you be courageous like William Travis (who fought for freedom, risking his life with little chance of winning)? Will you be like William Porter (persevering and walking 8-10 miles a day despite having cerebral palsy), or will you be like Mandy Harvey who persisted and made it to the finals of American Idol (even though she was deaf)?
2. How do you decide what to do first on your “To-Do” list? Do you complete the tasks in order from first to last, do you complete the hardest first, the easiest first, or do you determine which ones you have the resources to complete and focus on those first?
3. How many items on your “To-Do” list did you complete today? If you were to do this everyday for the next 15 days, would you feel ready for The Exhibition? If you could go back in time, what is 1 thing you would have done differently?
4. Which business story most stood out to you: Chick-Fil-A (striving for excellence), Hobby Lobby (using Christian integrity), or Toms (giving back to others)? Why?
5. If you were inventing something new, would you create something practical, or something fun? Why?
6. Where would you consider yourself now on your Hero’s Journey?
7. Out of the following: which best helps you decide if your work is “Excellent’?
  • Comparing it to a “World Class” example
  • Asking a friend for feedback
  • Comparing it to previous drafts and deciding if it has improved

What are you curious about? What are your passions?

Hero 1: I think curiosity is the most important part of learning something new because without it, you wouldn’t want to keep going.
Hero 2: Well, if you were too curious, you could get into trouble. Have you ever heard that “Curiosity killed the cat?” I think that brain power is most important because then you will know when you have been curious enough.
This was our first week of The Curiosity Quest, and our heroes have already had some great discussions! It has been amazing to learn a little more about each of their passions/interests and encourage them to pursue them. Our overarching question throughout this quest is: What are you passionate about, and how can you use it to serve the Lord and others?
During this quest, our heroes will choose a topic they are passionate about to become an “expert” on. They will then create an Action Plan for how they plan to become an expert, and how they will showcase their learning at our final Exhibition. From frogs to fashion, and everything in between (architecture, voice recording, you tubing, castles, fishing, and medicine), our heroes have each picked something unique.
As our heroes learn to be passionate, and use the gifts that God has given them, we recognize that not every child has the same opportunity to develop their gifts and passions. Today, we had the opportunity to participate in “The Compassion Experience” where we learned about 2 different children, and how Compassion International sponsorship helped them receive the care and support they needed to discover God’s plans for their lives. Afterwards, we had a great discussion on their learning, and were able to recognize how God leads us on our Hero’s Journeys. God has an incredible plan for each one of us, and I am so excited to see our heroes experiencing him more at Journey Academy!

Questions This Week Included:

  • Imagine that you lived in a world without curiosity. Would you most miss the technology we enjoy today, or the creativity of people?
  • What is the most inspiring part of Cain’s Arcade? His resourcefulness, or his creativity?
  • What is the most important part of learning something new? Having brain power, paying attention to detail, being curious about it, or sticking to it?
  • What did “The Compassion Experience” make you think of? Has it changed the way that you see The Hero’s Journey? If so, how?
  • What is self-control, and would you be friends with someone who didn’t use it?