In thinking of a way to recognize and honor the genius or gifts in each child individually (and have them recognize these gifts in themselves) our Middle School team thought Family would be an appropriate model.
Not only would it set a standard for them as they develop into young adults and eventual leaders within their own family, it is a powerful model within the classroom to demonstrate how their gifts where created to help the larger good — in this case help their class as a whole.
By celebrating and following the “bright spots” within each child, we move from a place of condemnation and low esteem, to one of confidence and boldness in Christ to work on weaknesses and contribution.
In class, students are responsible in creating their own culture, structure, and expectations modeled after a the biblical precedence of a healthy family.
The broader picture here which we pray transcends beyond the academic is that God would mold our emerging adults and develop in them a character to build strong personal lives, lead with a vision on advancing the common good, and change generational pattern to reflect those of redemption, and restoration.
Our middle schoolers are investing in their second family (i.e. their classmates) away from their real families, in hopes of transforming the latter.
In our first ever all middle school expedition, our students are discovering what a healthy family looks like practically (and how to overcome the challenges we all face).
- Healthy communication,
- Biblical conflict management,
- Biblical roles and responsibilities,
- Challenges of the modern family and time management.
And the expedition doesn’t stop there. Our parents are intimately connected to our class environment. We’ve even brought in experts on family — N. American family counselors, local pastors, and teachers — to be run through the gauntlet of our eager students’ exploration and interviewing questions. And our trip to the local orphanage is sure to be both eye opening and impactful for everyone involved.
In several months, when this expedition wraps up we fully expect our middle schoolers to have…
- Intentionally created their very own class expectations — based on healthy values with both rewards and consequences.
- Crafted their own middle school mission statement based on our middle school family values.
- Built their own family trees within art, which represent who they are as a part of their own families.
- Given back to their families and community by facilitating a free community workshop on what a Healthy Family looks like (including: how to resolve conflict, how to have a happier family, how to communicate, etc.)
Our middle schoolers’ learning in this expedition is a humbling and encouraging reminder that we are loved beyond measure and each have a unique place within God’s family.
Expedition Night is Thursday, December 10th this year.
Be sure to swing by the Middle School’s presentation during this expedition night to see how their expedition and projects have culminated and what meaningful projects they’ve created to serve families within our community!