Autonomy in Learning

Our heroes have become increasingly autonomous in their learning because they are in charge of their own education. They are planning, monitoring, and evaluating their learning during core skills with their badge books and computer programs. They are making decisions on content and objectives writer’s workshop, project time, and even gym class and play-based learning. The early learners have developed insights into their personal learning styles through the various strategies they choose to employ for their tasks at hand. They have become actively involved in their approaches to the learning tasks they have chosen. The early learners have also developed their own system of guiding principles wherein they problem solve and think creatively to find solutions to challenges they face. Our heroes decided that they would like to take turns being the leader for the day, as the prayer leader, line leader, storyteller, and launchpad police.

Because they feel in control, the heroes think more about what, how, and why they are doing what they do. Our heroes are able to focus on their learning and feel safe in their learning environment because their needs for structure, clear expectations, and guidance are met. The heroes are also willing to take risks without the fear of failure, and instead, they recognize the value of lessons learned from failure. Their learning is more meaningful because knowledge is discovered and constructed rather than taught. Our heroes are growing into strategic learners and effective thinkers.


This week, another hero stepped up to the plate and invited a military hero for our Hero Talk. Maddy asked her Dad’s friend, Mr. Tim, to visit our studio and tell her friends about serving in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Tim did not only share about his experiences as a Marine, he also brought with him various memorabilia such as his dog tags, medals, uniforms, an American flag he flew in Iraq, and even his Dad’s sword used in the Vietnam War!

Mr. Tim was very gracious in answering our heroes’ questions and was also impressed with the questions our heroes thought of on their own. One hero asked about his greatest fear while serving as a Marine and deployment in Iraq. Mr. Tim said his greatest fear was letting his troop down if he makes mistakes. Another hero commented that she thought his greatest fear would be getting shot. But he said he was not afraid of that because he knew his troop “had his back just as he had their backs.”

As Mr. Tim talked about his role as the Ammunition Technician while in Iraq, he described how he kept an inventory of bullets by counting them very carefully. One hero was a little too honest when she said that she would get so bored doing that job. Mr. Tim agreed but added that he still did his work because it was his job to keep his troop safe and it was important to keep track of the ammunition when fighting in a battle. The heroes discussed amongst themselves later on about how admirable it was for Mr. Tim to do his job and help his troop even when he did not feel like it. One hero reflected on what Mr. Tim said later on during a discussion and pointed out that Mr. Tim thinks of others first, which is an answer to her prayer every morning.

Mr. Tim also told our heroes about getting care packages and how he felt each time he would get one. He gave the heroes other suggestions on what they could put inside their Hero Boxes. Getting to know Mr. Tim, even more, inspired our heroes to learn more about the men and women who served in the military and to support our military troops through their Hero Boxes.

All week long, our heroes have been reading Philippians 2, focusing on following Jesus’ example. Out of all Jesus’ character traits that we have discussed, our heroes have chosen to focus on humility. Each of them seemed to be in awe of the humility Jesus’ model for us. They shared many ways that they have chosen humility is various situations. Some heroes gave their friends ideas on how to remain humble even in their most difficult circumstances, which usually has younger siblings involved. It was amazing to hear all the different ways our heroes thought of showing humility:


Using kind words


Helping others in need


Helping the poor


Taking the time to listen


Forgiving and using kind words when others are unkind


Giving compliments


Letting others know when they make her sad


Letting others take turns first


Letting others make their choices

In addition, our heroes also tackled making decisions in other challenging scenarios, some of which they have already experienced, again with their younger siblings, such as doing “everything without grumbling or arguing” and “rejoicing at all times.”


Our Week At a Glance



Bible verse song

Proverbs 3:5-6

Philippians 2:3-4

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

What ways could you show humility?

Philippians 2:5-11

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

What attitude of Jesus helps you be like Jesus?




Philippians 2:13

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

What power did God give you that pleases Him?

Philippians 2:14-15

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.

What happens when we complain? Or argue? Do you get the results you are hoping for? What could you do instead?

Philippians 3:1

Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.

Do you rejoice only when you get what you want? What if you don’t?


Play-based learning TWTh


Soft polo

Cardboard boxes

Dramatic play






Military Quest


Navy introduction

How is the Navy similar/different from the Army and the Marines?

America’s Navy: “Game”

In the Navy, it’s not about where the sea takes you. But who it makes you.

How could the Navy make you a different person?

Life as a sailor

What part of the military life helps a sailor do his job?

Life on a ship

What ways are the sailors making safe choices on the ship?

Stories of Service

Which story inspires you most to accept challenges in your hero’s journey?

Sea Story

What character trait did the Navy men and women possess that enabled them to achieve their goals?

Project time



Navy flags

Navy poster board

Navy equipment

Cardboard boxes

Navy Careers and jobs

Uniforms and insignias

Navy sailor

Joining the navy

We support our troops banner



Kids food basket

Brown bag watercolor painting


US Military deployments around the world:

Navy stamps on a world map

Navy locations



Navy song




Tying knots




Who showed humility today?

What attitude of Jesus did you see in friends today?

What did you do today that pleased God?

How did you find another solution to a problem instead of complaining or arguing?

What did you rejoice about today?

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