“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  (Luke 15:4-6)
Finding continues to be a theme in our session as well as our Forensics Quest. Heroes are discovering core skills like writing and entrepreneurial planning that they have developed.

During collaborative core skills, Carter and Elias developed a brochure for Carter’s business called Carter’s Craft Store. They are looking to custom design wood products like shelving, picture frames, plant holders, coat hangers and desks.  I’ve decided to purchase a picture frame for my Hero’s Journey print.  If any other readers are interested, I can serve as a communication conduit to Carter’s Craft Store. 

“I don’t want to eat lunch.  I just want to read.” Liviet has been working hard, meeting her goals in Core Skills and declared this as I was walking by.  Apparently, she’s found the draw to the word more enticing than her lunch (at least on that day).

The finding seems to extend to our Kingdom Time sessions.  On Monday as we reflected on the passage from Luke, the heroes talked about what might lead a shepherd to leave ninety nine sheep to find the one.  As they talked about the value that that sheep must have, we linked it back to the value that God must have for us discussing what the hug must feel like from the Father who finds you. As we transitioned to Core Skills, Ella pulled me aside and said, “While we were talking about hugs from God, I could actually feeling Him hugging me. And He’s Still Hugging Me!” In the swirl (and yes occasional chaos) of heroes driving their learning, these moments of discovery are the moments of rejoicing like the shepherd describes.

And these discoveries, thanks to our model, often have a firm grounding in real world learning.  This Thursday Deputy Omar returned as a consultant for our Forensics Quest to hear about the evidence that heroes are analyzing and to hear their tentative theories about what happened.  In a real world way, he asked clarifying questions based in his professional expertise. Looking back over the week, the skills they are developing equip them to step into a host of learning settings.

  • Phone interviews/etiquette
  • Scientific method
  • Careful observation
  • Problem solving through deductive reasoning
  • Reading body language
  • Creating reports based on their key conclusions

Included in this learning is an exposure to Forensics Vocabulary from Deputy Omar and his Crime Scene Unit including: Implicate, Search warrant, Privacy rights, GPS , Proof, Evidence, Latent prints, Fibers, Burglar, Point of entry, Point of exit, Disturbance, Alibi, Eliminate, Red herring, Whorls, Swirls and Deltas.

We Rejoice at all of this Finding and we invite you to join us.

May He Lift us up on His Shoulders.

//Dr. T//

great value

 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matt 13:45-46)


Our scripture for the week was about one’s response to finding something of great value.  This impulse to sell everything is striking. It might seem rash; some might say an overreaction.  In a world of so much mistrust and disappointment, being clear about what I value and finding it is a moment of revelation.

Each month we try to find what’s of value by asking simple questions of the heroes, the parents and the staff to gather feedback.  For Journey, it is our path to getting better. Monthly.


This month 86% of our ES heroes strongly agreed with “I liked my school and I am happy here.”

86% of the ELS heroes strongly agreed. We are paying attention to the heroes’ feedback and we are grateful that they find value here.

And this month, the heroes are taking a writing journey into composing informational texts.  With mentor texts like David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work, the heroes are being pushed to develop world-class non-fiction writing.

Noah working on his information essay all about Minecraft has developed a beginning glossary.

And as they find out about the way things work as well as what is of value, the heroes continue to pray in the Restorative Room.

They’ve thanked God for their dogs on gratitude ribbons.

And they have made earnest requests to grow closer to the Father. Discovering value in the gifts given to them as well as the value of the Giver.

May we all find the value; and may we all sell everything to obtain it.

//Dr. T//


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all your heart

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

The heroes are learning about seeking with all their hearts this session.  They are stretching themselves in Core Skills getting ready for the next level or the next studio. They are learning how to own their own spiritual journey, using tools with which they’ve been equipped.  And they are seeking an elusive suspect with all of their heart in this Forensics Quest.

They are spending quite a bit of time in our storage room where a crime has been committed.  The thief seems to have entered through the window pictured above, leaving a glove behind on the chair. The criminal absconded with ECHO, Journey’s robot. Being present and noticing requires a whole-hearted effort.

The wonderful thing about Quests and Project-based learning in general is the chance to link different content areas and contextualize the content and skills within a purposeful project.  This session the heroes have been learning about the scientific method and the value of evidence, hypothesizing as well as testing.   Hanging in through the whole process asks you to bring your whole heart.

The heroes are learning to step back and see the big picture as they pursue the thief.  And their process is teaching them to see the connections between seemingly disparate pieces of evidence. Stepping back and connecting requires your whole heart.

Along the way they are learning discipline-specific vocabulary which makes sense in the context of an investigation.  They are able to reach higher because they have the background knowledge necessary for the word acquisition.  Truly, becoming fluent requires your whole heart.

Whether it’s an elusive criminal or a God who tells you ahead of time that He will be found, this stage of our heroes’ journey is about pursuit.  Join us in our seeking after.

//Dr. T//


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alka-seltzer and band-aids

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find. Matthew 7:7

As we start the new year, the heroes have completed their study, design and drafting of the new prayer space called the Restorative Room.  Through learning from our friends in the UK about Prayer Spaces in Schools, the heroes took what used to be a storage room and transformed it into a room for restoring as they have an individual, scheduled time each week for prayer, silence and contemplation.  With multiple stations, heroes have a range of choices for their time in the Restorative Room.  Our hope is that they will seek and find some Kingdom practices like journaling and meditating on Scripture (pictured above) useful for their individual spiritual journeys.

One of the things we believe that heroes need is for their learning  to connect. This is why our project-based learning called Quests are so important. We are trying to connect the different content subjects like science, math and history with content skills like writing, reading and Kingdom practices. In our current quest, the heroes are apprenticing as detectives as they are learning about forensics and the scientific method. Recently, Deputy Omar Dieppa from the Kent County Sheriff’s Department came in to give a Hero Talk about his journey in law enforcement.  And as they learn about observation and investigation, the heroes are seeing how Scripture highlights the same Quest skills of seeking, asking and discovering highlighted in the Scripture above.

Alka Seltzer and Band-Aids have been places for great learning in the Restorative Room. Heroes sit down at the Fizzy Forgiveness table where they consider someone they need to forgive or some way they need forgiveness. When they’re ready, they can drop the Alka-Seltzer into the bowl of water, offering or asking for forgiveness. As the Alka-Selzer disappears, they are encouraged to let go of the transgression.  With the world map, heroes are encouraged to simply find a place in the world, place a band-aid over it and ask for healing.  On this day, I join with the heroes and ask each of us to redouble our commitments and efforts towards practicing and preaching forgiveness as well as seeking healing.  

One of my favorite features of the Restorative Room is the Big Questions corner where heroes can post their big questions about life to God.  And Journey’s embrace of big questions moves beyond the Restorative Room into Writer’s Workshop where the heroes are just starting their work with informational writing.  Today, they brainstormed what they wanted to learn more about. Their curiosity blew me away as we spent the entire writer’s workshop getting excited about all the things about which they were curious.

All in 15 minutes.  Leveraging this type of curiosity and supporting it as it drives learning forward is what Journey is about. Needless to say, the excitement grows here at Journey.

May we carry our excitement, our fizzy forgiveness and our healing into this new year.

//Dr. T//


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