Standing Together (year 3 week 12)

The heroes kicked off week 2 of session 3 discussing the ways being grateful has affected their lives. One of their challenges was to write a letter to a family member expressing gratitude.

Words of Gratitude

The heroes chatted about the different ways they could be grateful to people in their home, the studio and strangers. They all agreed that they could be more helpful around the house and be more accommodating to their siblings.

They loved sharing stories about their different family members and what they saw them doing that filled them with gratitude. One of the heroes acknowledged how kind his mom is, even when she had a lot going on. Another hero talked about how they hoped to be more grateful, when their dog runs up to them at the end of the day. Lastly, a hero discussed how they wanted to be more grateful for their siblings.

The heroes expressed that the art of gratitude journaling was starting to shape how they saw themselves. It opened up deep conversations about self-worth, social connections and actively counting their blessings.

Gingerbread Creativity

Writer’s Workshop has been a time of intrinsic joy in the studio. Last week, the guides gave the challenge to write a creative story. The heroes latched onto this challenge with great vigor.

The heroes quickly developed small books, most containing an upward of 4+ chapters. Their stories were filled with the trials and tribulations of well-thought out fantasy worlds. There are peppermint monsters and jolly old Santa’s. There are frosted talking gum drops and testy old trolls. Most importantly thought, there were belly laughs and wrinkled foreheads that were in deep thought.

There is a quote by Jean Vant Hul that says,

“Children are naturally creative. It is our job to give them the freedom, materials and space to let their creativity blossom to it’s full potential.”

There is something very magical about watching the heroes take on challenges that allow them full control and creative independence. As people age they sometimes lose that creative spark. Between adult responsibilities and the chaos of life, it is easy to forget callings crafted by creativity.

Here at Heroes Academy, the guides, heroes and parents are dedicated to keeping that spark alive. A place where a simple, creative story, can turn into a book.

Not only were the heroes excited about writing, they were excited about presenting. The guides hosted reflections at 2:15 to go over their highs and lows of Writer’s Workshop. This week, the roles had changed. It had turned completely into a hero ran discussion. They tossed out the highs and lows and instead were all bidding to read their stories to their fellow travelers.

Writer’s Workshop Story Share

Being comfortable speaking in front of an audience is a huge goal for many of the heroes. When heroes are passionate about something, fear takes a seat on the back burner. Through this session we have watched some of the heroes who have struggled with speaking out, shift their mindset to take charge and share their five plus pages of creativity out-loud.

The Studio Stands Together

At Heroes Academy we offer trial periods for visiting heroes who are looking to join. This week, there was a visiting hero who had difficulty upholding the studio contract and treating the fellow travelers with respect. The hero’s journey is one of great difficulty and it can take awhile to learn how to navigate the path.

The heroes who have been in the studio the past few months showed amazing strength and teamwork. They kept choosing to uphold their freedom levels, kept each other accountable and worked with the new hero to show the traveler the beauty of the hero’s journey.

The next day in launch, the heroes reflected on the experience after they watched a video.

The video shared why it is important to stand up for what’s right, even when it is hard. The morning discussion led to conversations about personal challenges they have faced and how they have overcome said challenges. By the end of the discussion heroes were applauding one another for the strength and poise they saw in each other. The studio isn’t just about individual journeys, but the journey of a driven community of travelers.

Messy Fun

The heroes worked intensely the last two weeks on their Writer’s Workshop holiday stories. Thursday they were given a challenge to finish their stories. If the heroes were able to complete their stories, they were able to participate in some messy fun.

Gingerbread Building
Messy Fun
Magical Moments

They started work on their gingerbread houses. There was frosting flying and graham cracker crunching. The heroes had a great time working through the last challenge so they could create a little something extra for exhibition. Creating is one of the most important parts of the hero’s journey. They were excited to make small representations of their stories. Some of the heroes had the idea to try and make “towns”. However, lack of a strong foundation left a few in crumbles on the floor. Luckily next week they can try again. They researched gingerbread house blueprints and saved some instructional videos, so next time, there will be no crumbling.

Practice Makes Perfect

When Friday rolled around the heroes were ready to present. Part of their quest is to practice their speeches. They are learning to work through their anxieties and fears surrounding public speaking. They spent this last session working their way through the logos, pathos and ethos of persuasive writing.

Logos, Pathos, Ethos

Their favorite challenge being, Tone of Voice. They loved watching videos, practicing and learning how to manipulate their voices to trigger emotion and give dramatic affect.

Before the pitches started, the heroes shared about how they were slowly overcoming their fears. They came to the conclusion that they were feeling less anxious than normal because they were passionate about their pitches. It was easier to not focus on the anxieties they felt. Being able to take ownership over something gives The heroes lined up in anticipation to give their pitches to their fellow heroes. The heroes listened respectfully to one another and offer fantastic feedback.

Their favorite part about doing the trial run was pretending they were the parents. It got them thinking about what types of questions the parents are going to ask for exhibitions. The heroes quickly realized that if they wanted to nail their pitches, the must appeal to the audience. When practice ended, they got back to work adding in more information. They expressed excitement to come back Monday, fresh and ready to nail their run through once more.

Wrap-Up

As the heroes worked through writer’s workshop and quest, they developed in their creative and persuasive writing. They also took huge strides this week in their badge plans. The guides were approving and submitting around 15+ badges in a span of five days. The love of learning never ceases to amaze. However, the greatest journey the heroes faced wasn’t measurable. The journey of them coming together and standing strong as a united front, feels more powerful than any numbers that could be tracked.

Elementary blog for Heroes Academy, an innovative school in Boise, Idaho. We inspire children to find a calling and change the world → http://heroesacademy.org