“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//

you will find


Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:11-12)

The angel offers guidance.

And the shepherds were the ones who were sent on the journey.  “You will find.”  Each one of us is sent to find.  Some of us get there right away. Some of us wander following another star.

A foundational part of Journey’s approach is to support each hero find the calling to the journey. This personalized distinction uses the latest technology in a self-paced learning environment to fosters responsibility, goal-setting, and teamwork. Guides are then freed up to come alongside heroes and their challenges as well as to exhort them to even greater discoveries.

As each hero in the Early Learning studio works on math at their own pace, Elias discovers patterns. Here he shares some of his discoveries enabled by a technology supported individualized learning environment.  (note: volume is loud)

As an emerging reader during distance learning last year, Lola worked hard with her parents. As Lola developed literacy skills on her journey into the fall, she would ask once she met her goals if she could read a book to me.  And just last week, Lola led read-aloud for the Early Learning Studio.

She was confident and excited by this new step of leading.  With the mix of  a “gamified” platform focused on phonemic awareness, decoding and comprehension, a rich and diverse classroom library of books, regular, deep and engaging read-alouds as well as on-time coaching from Ms. Sarah, Lola leveraged the tools and companions she needed for this next step of her literacy Journey.

Jonathan is our oldest hero and during his portfolio review he reflected that writing has been his  greatest developed skill. During our Writer’s Workshop focused on narrative he developed You Are Under A Rest.

As each hero learned common guiding points about the genre of narrative writing, they would implement these into their own narratives that they were developing on their writer’s journey.  Additionally, they would study mentor texts of experienced writers adapting moves from reading as a writer.  Jonathan paid attention to leads and worked them into his fictional narrative.

Each hero during independent reading (also known as D.E.A.R) chooses the books, they want to read.  As they complete their books, Miss Cheryl invites them to create a Deep Books Project.  Clara created a mobile to represent her reading of the biography George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans. 

While others were selecting reading fiction or non-fiction close to their experience, Clara chose to dive into the life of this 19th century missionary and prayer mobilizer.  Mueller wanted to follow God’s will and he started an orphanage because his reading of the Bible told him to take care of orphans.  His faith then led him to ask God to provide for his following of God’s will.  He proceeded to only ask in prayer for provision and throughout his life the orphanage was provided for, right on time.  One hero reading about another hero about taking the journey.

Reading, Writing and Math.  At Journey, we call these Core Skills. In turn, we develop interdisciplinary skills, social-emotional skills as well as Kingdom skills.  But those are other stories for another time. Today, we are grateful for how God is developing the skills these heroes need.

We believe it when we tell the heroes, “you will find. . . ” They are building capacities. They are going to find treasure.  They are going to change the world.  Let’s join them.

//Dr. T//


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slow down

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Sometimes the task of living at peace with everyone seems impossible.  But then there are other times when the revelation all around me fills me with a humble and sincere desire to live at peace.  I just need to be able to see it.  

8 a.m. is one of the more hopeful times of my daily journey.  Each morning, our team finishes our stand-up meeting where we check in about the day and I then filter my way out to the sidewalk to await the arrival of the heroes.  Will and Stella are often contending to be the first ones to school (We GOTTA go!). That kind of enthusiasm is contagious; to be sure.  

I’m blessed by the privilege of welcoming these heroes to their day.  And at the beginning of the week, I realized that I have the above pictured view each day.  I recalled the movie Smoke written by Paul Auster and starring William Hurt and Harvey Kietel.  In the photo below the tobacco shop owner Auggie explains how takes a picture of his same street corner every day, collecting the photos. 

Sitting there on Monday, I remembered the scene where Auggie shared his collection with William Hurt’s character.  And he gave him this advice, “slow down.” He didn’t want William Hurt to miss anything.  

There’s so much division and fear in our world that most days I could worry and hold grudges and miss the whole day.  Standing out on the sidewalk this week, I try to slow down. I don’t want to miss anything.

I remember.  And I take another picture on Tuesday.

I remember Claire who has come to see herself as a writer.  In her first year in the ES, she has taken hold of her journey as a writer-hero already drafted three narratives in three weeks and is consistently pleading for more time to write during the day.  

I remember again.  And I take another picture.

I see Emmry at my office door with a letter.  The ES heroes are finishing books during their independent reading.  They are reading books they’ve selected.  Now they are reflecting and responding to their texts.  And Emmry has chosen to write a letter to the author of her book.  Positioning herself as one who is able to “talk back” with all the respect and honor that Emmry can muster, she is taking the next step of her hero’s journey as a reader.  

Today I see the moment.  Ms. Sarah has developed a new method for marking growth through the badge system.  They have created buttons for each benchmark (such as writing a narrative or completing a quest or marking a faith milestone or finishing level 2 math) that heroes achieve during their year, this year.  She’s created stoles for each hero on which to button newly earned badges. And I’ve forgotten that today is the first pinning ceremony of the year.

Instead I’m walking to the printer, hurrying to get a bill payment so I can get it in the mail.

The applause stops me.  

And I step in to view the pinning ceremony.  Will is up on the “podium” with his badge being pinned.  

Not my first instinct, I still pull out my camera and I actually document the moment.  Auggie Style.  

I’ve slowed down.  And I get to see the shy smile of a hero that realizes he has taken another significant step on his young journey.

When I see God moving, I gain hope.  When I see God moving, my faith grows.  When I see God moving, I find peace that I can share.  

May we all slow down.  

//Dr. T//

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