ES Welcoming Week 0.5

Week 0.5: Aug 26-28

Welcome Back!

Smiles, laughter, anticipation, joy, excitement, nerves, curiosity, friendship. Being together with the heroes in person again has been so needed. Being back at school fills me with gratitude. The transition of the first week back in this season goes in the books for being the most unique one yet. I am excited to share some of the many highlights with you from first week in the ES studio.

First and foremost, thank you very much for sharing your heroes with us here at Journey Academy. Thank you also for your amazing support, smiles, and prayers.

**We are currently working on a solution to an error with the “Add Media” button on this blog. Sadly, we are unable to attach photos into the blog at the moment.**


Kingdom Time led by Dr. T is a new addition to our schedule this year. First thing in the morning, the Heroes and Dr. T sat in a large circle outside, pondering on and resting in what it means to “be still and know that I [the Lord] am God” (Psalm 46:10). A new tradition of “Honoring Fridays” also started. Each Friday during Kingdom Time, Dr. T, the heroes, and the guides will share qualities and traits that they see in one another.


Some of the first few challenges for the heroes this week were Running Buddy/Squad Group presentations for explaining processes including the strike system and the hero buck system. They could create a game, video(s), speech, slide presentation, poster, or skit(s) to share with the rest of the ES studio. We laughed so hard!


Playing a game called “21,” the heroes had fun learning about the routines and guardrails in the ES studio. We also played a game called “5, 3, 1” where the heroes started in partners to find 5 things in common between them. Gradually, we worked our way to the entire studio having to find one thing in common between all of us. The heroes chose: “We all love being at Journey Academy,” and I could not agree more!


Studio Maintenance jobs were chosen by the heroes this week, and the crew sought to work together as they cleaned their studio. Listening to music makes it even more fun. I see the heroes taking ownership in their studio and practicing responsibility with their job tasks.


Another challenge the heroes worked on this week was creating the tallest free-standing structure using only craft sticks, binder clips, and clothespins. With the element of competition intertwined as part of the challenge, the heroes experienced frustrated emotions at their materials and at other groups. Our debrief after this activity was long but valuable. We talked about questions including:

  • What might have frustrated you or others during this structure-building challenge with the binder clips, clothespins, and craft sticks?
  • What might be some of the reasons we worked on this challenge?
  • What are some ways this challenge might apply to real life?
  • What were some of the things you might have done when you did not agree with the ideas of another person?


A major element and highlight from this week was Maker Play. Our routine for Maker Play is: Plan, Play, Clean-up, and Reflect. The planning for the first day of Maker Play started with how to survive the heat, but once the heroes moved onto the “Play” portion, their concerns about the heat dwindled.

Some things I heard or saw from the heroes during Maker Play:

  • “We can’t do this.” “Yes, we can.” “Let’s keep trying.”
  • “We can do it, right.” “Yes, we can do it.”
  • “I failed at that creation.”
  • “This is cool that we actually made a structure with a roof over it.”
  • Heroes pitching in to help each other clean up and make the clean-up process more fun.
  • Heroes trying to get a pulley system working.
  • “It works!” “Wait, we can’t celebrate yet.” (fixing obstacle in their creation)
  • “We can just crumble it (tarp) up.” “No, it’s nice to fold it.”


Other nuggets of gold from this week:

  • Individual interests shined through as the heroes created art collages for the profile wall of things they enjoy. The heroes like seeing their fellow heroes’ collages.
  • Dropping everything and reading (DEAR) is now built into the daily schedule! This time is so precious as the heroes, Dr. T, and the guides all participate.
  • Miss Cheryl could not stop saying “Point when pointed to” instead of “Talk when pointed to” (our first Rule of Engagement for discussions). We laughed so much!
  • The heroes held their very first Town Hall Meeting and discussed questions include: What chair formation should we have during discussions? What Fun Friday/special days should we have this year? (List and dates coming soon.)


Have you asked your hero:

  • What were you feeling before school started this week? What are you feeling after the first week of school has ended? What might be some of the things that caused a change in what you are feeling now?
  • What designs for the structure building worked well and which ones did not? Might  there be any patterns here?
  • Is it more important to have a clean studio, an organized studio, or quiet/productive studio? Why? How are these three related?
  • What might be some things that you wish Miss Cheryl knew? (Feel free to email me as needed.)

See you next week!

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