‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:22-24)


The ELS heroes are celebrating after solving the mystery of the missing robot, Echo.  For the past six weeks at Journey Academy, they conducted an investigation using fingerprint, hair and footprint analysis, as well as video surveillance, witness interviews and suspect interviews. They were seeking to find what was lost.  And they found it.

To complement our project-based work, our Kingdom time focused on Scriptures like Luke 15 and heroes were invited to use their hero’s notebook to document how they might use the verses on finding on their own hero’s journey of faith.  They discovered the Kingdom practice of celebration all on their own.  Richard Foster helped me to better understand the spiritual significance of celebrating.  Clark suggested to Ms. Sarah, “We should dance.” And dance they did, with all of their might.

After celebrating the skills they employed during their investigation, the heroes had one more “testing opportunity” to show what they have learned.  The exhibition yesterday was an on-line mystery where they had to solve a second “crime” that had been committed at Journey Academy.  They taught their families about the skills they learned and then guided them through the scientific method of hypothesis, data collection, analysis and conclusion using the Exhibition Mystery Guide (1) We invite you to try to view and solve the mystery like the heroes did.

And one other celebration happened today.  In the Journey model of personalized learning, heroes progress at their own pace. Stella’s pace has brought her to the day of transition as she moves from the Early Learning Studio into the Elementary Studio.  You’ll note on her stole, the badges of learning skills and content in which she has demonstrated mastery.  Join Stella and us as we dance with all our might.

Dance With Stella


//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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