Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

(2 Corinthians 9:6)


Since first coming to lead Journey Academy some 15 months ago, one of the key distinctions I found was the passion that heroes, parents and staff all had for this endeavor.  We truly are on a journey of heroes together; and we are running with vim and vigor.  We have so many courageous entrepreneurs, artists and adventurers, young and old.  During Kingdom Time this week, we studied Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian church.  Often connected with generosity, the text also reminds me of the passion I’ve found at Journey. This community sows passionately into each undertaking that presents itself.

Maker Play has been a place where our Early Learners have sown deeply.  With our collection of loose parts, our Maker Play space has morphed from construction projects, to imaginative play, to athletic testing, to animal study.  Ms. Sarah, our Early Learning Guide steps back and observes, gathering data for which to facilitate the reflective conversation at the end of the day.  The play becomes their text to study, assess and grow from into the future.  A new passion emerged Wednesday afternoon as the heroes built a stage and began their inaugural episode of Journey’s Got Talent.  Our newest hero Lucas performed his self-styled song about the T Rex (pictured above).  


Families sow deeply into Journey.  Winters found families setting up a Ski Club to zip down the Cannonsburg hills.  Building on this success, this spring parents passionate about biking decided to gather for an after-school bike ride into downtown Ada, ending with ice cream at the Ada General Store.  Heroes look forward to the ride, even to the point of Serene bringing her bike helmet to school so she wouldn’t be missing any necessary gear.  


Journey’s values of being learner-driven, curiosity-based, courage-filled and Christ-centered have gathered families who are passionate about innovation as well as entrepreneurial projects.  This session’s business fair finds heroes who are sowing into businesses that look to meet needs.  Simon’s draft of the elevator pitch for his business demonstrates his passion for helping others deal with stress. Heroes are learning to sow their seeds deeply and the blessings will soon be evident for all around.  

May we all plant deeply.

//Dr. T//


To subscribe to Dr. T’s blog, please signup here.

not right, make right

Nate Vandenbroek joined us for Kingdom Time on Wednesday to testify about how empathy has been a part of his hero’s journey.  In the picture above, he asked heroes to get into two facing lines. Then he asked the line on the right to turn 360 degrees and look all around them.  Next he asked them to tell their facing partners what they were seeing.  Some found this easy, others were stumped.  Nate used this to frame how empathy has played a part on his hero’s journey.  He has learned to see what others might be seeing and to let this impact his journey.  Emmry, an ES hero said, “empathy helps us to see when something’s not right and make it right.”

It was a great complement to our new quest focused on Racial Reconciliation as we look at the lessons we might learn from heroes in the Civil Rights Movement who looked at things that weren’t right and worked to make them right. With Miss Cheryl taking a day to rest her sore throat and cough (no fever but we’re still trying to take care of each other), I got to guide the ES studio. In true Columbo fashion, the heroes actually guided me.  “So what do you usually do now in Core Skills?”

For our afternoon launch, I invited them to notice things from this photograph of the March from Selma to Montgomery.

“There’s a girl, maybe our age.”

“There’s a Coca Cola sign.”

“It looks like maybe a celebration of something, maybe.”

“I see mostly black people and some white people.”

“I see lots of American flags.”

They were very observant.  Eventually, we wondered together about the link to reconciliation as well as the idea of seeing something that wasn’t right and trying to make it right. The launch closed with them wondering about how a march might make an impact.

Sometimes, seeing something not right extended to the ELS heroes as they were recognizing their struggles with moving the frisbee down the Ultimate Field.  Below you see them huddled up with their ultimate guide, Eric Kas.  Even as they talked about the technical aspects of ultimate, Eric

deftly asked them about what they were learning about collaboration and growth mindset.  He is already proving to be a natural guide for us as we learn this wonderful game.

As part of Journey’s innovative and entrepreneurial history, we are often looking for ways that we can get better.  We are piloting one such platform in our Elementary Studio.

i-Ready is an adaptive learning program in reading and math that provides a “gamified” approach to personalized learning developed by Curriculum Associates.  With Journey’s commitment to see where strengths and areas for growth are, i-Ready provides actionable data for heroes to take things that aren’t quite right and to make them right.  In our discernment process for this pilot we saw independent research showing that students using i-Ready Instruction for 45 minutes or more per week grew 44% more than the average student in reading and 65% more in math.  This proved persuasive for our pilot of i-Ready in the ES this year.  and we will continue to share how we are getting better.

Sometimes, the most refreshing lessons of taking something that’s not right and making it right come through Maker Play.  Seventy eight degrees on a late September day is often seen as blessing in Michigan.  But during a Maker Play afternoon, it could also be viewed as something that’s “not right.”  As the heroes considered the problem facing them, they noticed the holes in the drain tile pipes.  With a light bulb of inspiration, Claire and Nora thought that the water in their water bottles might be even more refreshing if delivered in another way.

The bursts of delight from heroes who navigated the tube testified that something had just been made right.

May we follow Him out of the “not right” into the “made right.”

//Dr. T//

To receive Dr. T’s weekly newsletter, signup here.