I’m offering a gentle welcome to this new school year.  It was a whirlwind summer, including some definite curveballs.  Sometimes life is that way.  Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve spoken with many students, parents, and teachers, each of them is returning with a bushel of life experiences.  It is never all one thing or another, it is a mixture.  It requires some gentleness in the transition.

Some summers are filled with adventure and connection and some are quieter.  Some summers have both the bitter and the sweet and some are even traumatic.  Whatever happened we are walking into the new school year holding these experiences.

What are you holding?

Now, as I gently turn towards the fall, I wonder how we will grow.  This year I’m starting with a simple question, “What are we reaching for this year?”

As a sapling reaches its tender branches towards the late summer sun, we are reaching.

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

So, as The Builder (my husband) and I complete some back-to-school rituals, cleaning out a drawer or closet, washing the bedding, freshening up the yard, buying a new lunch bag, winding down a study project, and shopping for school shoes, my mind wanders back to this question.

What are we reaching for this year?

Learn Forward is always considering, “What matters most for children?  For families?” in our growth journey together.  We are always hoping to create the conditions for thriving!

I want us to consider what we’re reaching for and possibly, more importantly, consider what our children are reaching for this year?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Let’s ask them!  Remembering…

It is a reflective process

One beautiful reflection this season is on how far our inaugural Learn Forward school, Willowstone Academy, has come.  Our out-going Board Chairperson sent me an email this week outlining that in fall 2011 we were projecting 67 students and had $500 in the bank.  In seven years, we tripled the student enrolment and our financial position was ready for a major capital expansion which is coming to completion.  We added our Middle Years program and expanded our Early Childhood program.  Throughout this journey, we were always “learning” and moving “forward.”  We didn’t do it perfectly, but we definitely created a growth mindset and culture of “reaching” towards the next goal.

So, it seems apt, to continue forward with a “Reaching” theme this year.

Reflecting encourages us on our journey

Reflecting encourages me to reach for the next dream.  The growth I’ve seen helps my heart feel inspired.  Then, I begin to clarify what we’re reaching for now…

Parents and teachers, we’re in this together!  We are all coming to the Table this fall and my prayer is that the transition is gentle.  We may even take a few long, deep breaths to reflect and consider, “What are we reaching for…together?”

For the sake of the children,