In January, high school learners had an opportunity to get together for a game day. It was a great time to get to know one another and a great time was had by all. One learner, Kniyah, said, “It was a fun experience because I got to socialize with other homeschoolers and I got to play games and just be around other kids. The food was great and so were the games. I can’t wait for the next game day!” We hope you can join us at our next event, our high school hike and hangout! See below for details.hangout
At iLEAD Exploration, we are happy to provide learners with high school
curriculum and online vendor suggestions, both of which can be purchased using instructional funds. We also have a variety of free resource suggestions for our high school families. While this list is non-exhaustive, we hope you find it helpful. These resources are available through the Hub on our website when you log into your account. The results can be narrowed down by subject and grade level. A few of our favorites are MITOpenCourseware, KhanAcademy
February is Gap Year Exploration Month! A gap year is a purposeful break between high school and college. There is often an emphasis on experiential learning and pushing beyond one’s comfort zones. Learners return from gaps years with a better understanding of future college goals and a clearer sense of purpose. Gap years can be structured or unstructured. The Gap Year Association offers advice on how to plan a gap year.
Learners can approach gap years in two ways: They can wait to apply to college or they can ask the college to defer their start date. Not all colleges will allow a student to take a gap year, so find out the college’s policy before you apply. Some colleges will require a student to apply again the following year while others will allow the break.
If you are interested in looking at the gap year option, the Gap Year Association has information on accredited gap year programs as well as scholarships. Students can search by interest and timing, or they can look at a full list of opportunities including alumni reviews.
This month, iLEAD is focusing on the monthly SLO: Self-Control. Are you able to control your emotions and impulses in order to achieve a greater goal? Don’t be too hard on yourself if the answer is no, because studies have shown that self-control is not a stagnant trait and it can be improved with practice over time.
As you watch this video, you may want to reflect on the following questions:
- Do you come prepared to events and activities that you are attending?
- Do you get to work and avoid distractions?
- Do you remain calm in stressful situations?
- Do you have the willpower to resist the “marshmallow”?
Using technology can be very beneficial for English language learners. In particular, the use of apps can help learners become more proficient in English in a variety of ways. First, using apps can build proficiency through repetition and review. Many apps out there have games, videos, activities, and quizzes that repeat words and phrases over and over to help the student learn English. When learning any language, the more exposure to vocabulary and grammar, the more proficient the student will become. Second, apps can provide opportunities for the learner to practice listening and speaking skills in English. Some ELL apps have recording options so that the learner can repeat words or phrases while recording themselves. They can then replay the recording and listen to themselves speak. The recording functions can serve to be great tools to track the progress of a learner’s English speaking skills and build fluency. Third, apps give EL learners more experience and exposure to the English language. Of course, the best exposure is interaction with English speakers, but apps can be fun, interactive, and engaging for the EL learner.
There are many apps geared toward EL learners, but here are a few popular ELL apps that we would like to highlight! Check them out!
This app is for all ages. It is simple and easy to use. Each lesson is comprised of a short animated video/movie to coincide with interactive features, games, and quizzes. The learner will be able to learn and practice vocabulary, listening, speaking, and grammar with this app!
This app is geared more for the younger learners although older kids who are just learning English could benefit from it, too! Their approach is to use games to teach English. The games are colorful, highly interactive, and engaging and are especially helpful when learning vocabulary.
These are four different apps but they are all very similar in that they provide user-friendly and personalized learning of any language you want, including English! They encourage the learner to complete 10-15 minute lessons daily to help with memory and review of vocabulary and grammar. These apps also focus on teaching language for daily conversations and regular life situations.
FluentU utilizes a different and unique approach to teach English. They use real-world videos such as news, music videos, commercials, and inspiring talks to teach the language. This is a natural approach to help the learner ease into the culture and language over time. The learner will learn how English is spoken in everyday life. This app would benefit older and more advanced learners.
Beelinguapp teaches English through the use of audiobooks. They present the text in both the native language and the language you want to learn. The learner can listen, read along, and practice pronunciations with this app!
Friday, February 28 from 10:30 am-1:30 pm
This event is for high school learners only.
Hike on one of the nearby trails
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Hang out in the picnic table area at the cafe to play cards, board games and chill! Learners can bring a sack lunch or can purchase lunch at the cafe. Water, snacks, and cookies will be provided.
If you’re looking for a productive way to spend your summer and are interested in greater college preparedness, consider attending a pre-college summer program. These programs can be a great opportunity to experience life on a college campus, earn advanced college credit, build relationships, and increase your admission chances. Summer programs are available locally, with commuter or on-campus options, and across the country. They can cover general college readiness and subjects or focus on specific areas of study. Is there a specific college you are interested in attending? Apply to their summer program! Don’t delay! Most programs have application deadlines in March and April and many offer financial aid for those who qualify. Here are a few suggestions, but you can do your own research as well:
Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Summer Program
This list is in no way exhaustive but should get you started in the right direction. If summer programs like these are out of your reach, acquiring a summer job or taking a course at the community college can also add depth to your admissions profile.
The College Board website offers free, full-length SAT practice tests.
The ACT Test website provides practice test questions.
Khan Academy Test Preparation is an excellent resource for SAT test preparation.
Free test prep is available online at:
Mobile Apps for Test Prep:
Daily Practice SAT by The College Board
ACT Online Prep by ACT, Inc
Khan Academy App
ACT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards by Varsity Tutors is a great app for ACT practice. It can be found in the Apple iTunes store.
The best form of need-based and merit-based financial aid comes directly from a college or university. Need-based aid depends on a family’s financial situation while merit-based aid, also known as scholarships, comes from student achievement or talent. This can be in the areas of academics (grades and test scores), visual and performing arts, community service, leadership, athletics, and more. It takes effort to research scholarships provided by each college, but it is worth it.
Some things to know when exploring scholarships:
Locate the financial aid section of each college to see what types of scholarships they offer.
Check carefully for scholarships that require an extra application or additional requirements.
Be aware of stacking and displacement. When a student receives a scholarship and need-based aid, the college may stack the aid, allowing the student to receive both, or displace one form of financial aid with the other.
Students may also be able to find scholarships through local businesses, service organizations, or even their parents’ employers. It is wise to conduct a Google search to see what is out there. Organizations such as the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Port of Los Angeles, and other organizations may provide financial opportunities.
High Achieving Underrepresented Students
There are several large scholarships that are available to high achieving students from underrepresented groups such as low-income students or minorities. These include Questbridge, The Posse Foundation, the Gates Scholarship, and others.
The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)
California is in a group of states that offer a tuition exchange called the Western Undergraduate Exchange or WUE. Participating colleges require a minimum GPA and/or test score to qualify. Some colleges award the WUE rate automatically and some award the rate to only a few students. WUE nonresident tuition discounts average up to $9,400 per year making these schools more affordable than some California schools.
RaiseMe is a website that allows students to earn micro-scholarships based on grades, activities, work experience, and more. Participating colleges guarantee that students will be awarded a minimum amount of scholarship money based on the accurate information provided. RaiseMe is a great way for a student to gauge how much a college might award in merit aid as well as earn scholarship money that would otherwise not be available. Students can start adding their grades and activities as early as 9th grade and watch their scholarships build up throughout their high school years. Check out iLEAD’s RaiseMe page.
To explore and learn more about financial aid, make an appointment with our College Advisor, Laura Kazan.
Keep an eye out for our webinar on financial aid and the college search in April.
When high schoolers say they want to go to a large university, they are usually interested in school spirit, choices of majors, and an active and vibrant campus. What many learners don’t realize is that they are also usually schools that have a high level of research. At a research university, the focus is on faculty research and scholarship.
Research universities have active campuses with sports and activities that add to the college experience. The large student body allows a significant choice of majors and specialties. In fact, UCLA offers 130 majors and the University of Southern California (USC) offers 177. Most universities also offer programs such as teaching, business, nursing, and engineering which may not be available at all smaller colleges. These universities may provide cutting-edge research and opportunities for hands-on experience as an undergraduate.
Research universities and liberal arts colleges are very different and it is important to take the opportunity to explore both. Some learners thrive when surrounded by people and enjoy the wide assortment of classes, while others feel more comfortable in small seminar classes with more personalized attention. You won’t know until you visit a few campuses, so take a look around and see what universities are near you. Take a tour and attend an information session. There are hundreds of universities in the United States, and if a research university sounds like an exciting and fulfilling place, we can find one that fits your interests and budget.
A strong vocabulary is an indispensable tool. When we help our learners study vocabulary across all content areas, we help set them up for increased confidence and success. We strengthen their ability to effectively comprehend complex material as well as communicate their thoughts and ideas.
Vocabulary/Spelling City, one of our optional subscriptions, is a resource that can be used to strengthen a learners’ vocabulary. The site provides grade-level, pre-made lists for the core content areas of math, science, and social studies. Vocabulary/Spelling City not only makes it fun to learn new words but incorporates a variety of strategies to help ensure the vocabulary words stick.
If you do not have a membership with Vocabulary/Spelling City, Quizlet.com is a great option for strengthening vocabulary and spelling. You can create your own lists or use pre-made lists that are on the site.
This month’s SLO is grit, a character trait that demonstrates strength of will. People with grit show a passion and perseverance for long-term goals, as many things require tenacity.
To gauge how gritty you are at this point in your life, consider whether you identify with the following statements:
- I enjoy projects that take years to complete.
- I am working toward a very long-term goal.
- What I do each day is connected to my deepest personal values.
- There is at least one subject or activity that I never get bored of thinking about.
- Setbacks don’t discourage me for long.
- I am a hard worker.
- I finish whatever I begin.
- I never stop working to improve.
The Schoolwide Learner Outcome (SLO) for January is grit. Grit is defined as “having courage and resolve; strength of character.” A person with grit works hard and has passion. He or she sets goals and follows through. Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, regardless of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute. To truly accomplish goals and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. To find out how gritty you are, click here.Grit Poster
High school learners are required to take core academic classes along with some electives, depending on their particular graduation path. Elective classes are a way to prepare them for the working world and impress colleges with their transcripts. But above all, these classes can make a huge difference in their lives.
Elective classes provide a lot of room for personalization and creativity. iLEAD’s approved vendors offer our high schoolers a buffet of choices. Our learners can customize their elective classes based on their interests. Here are some examples:
Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an extracurricular activity in which learners typically role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. Click here to learn more. Our vendor Urban Homeschoolers offers MUN at their LA center.
Nautical Studies at Sea Base: Are you interested in sailing, scuba diving, rustic camping on an undeveloped barrier island, fishing, or a combination of these? Learn more about the programs offered here.
iLEAD Online offers classes in film, work experience, entrepreneurship and more!
Learn Beyond the Book‘s learning center in Santa Clarita offers courses in fashion design, sewing, public speaking, and holistic cooking.
Industrial arts, welding, and electrical courses are offered at Urban Workshop in Costa Mesa.
- Online elective classes in sports and entertainment marketing, veterinary science, theater cinema and film production, personal and family finance, and game design are offered by eDynamics Learning.
Applying to college? It’s not too late!
While the deadline for most California public university campuses has passed, there are still hundreds of colleges ready and waiting for your application. Regular and rolling decisions are happening now, with many deadlines in January and others that stretch into the spring. For colleges with regular decision, learners must apply by the deadline and will receive an offer of admission and financial aid on a specific date, most often in March. Rolling decisions may or may not have a priority or hard deadline, and decisions are granted upon application review. Some decisions arrive as early as two weeks after all paperwork has been submitted!
Check out this list of late application schools.
Be sure to check each college website for deadlines and requirements and schedule an appointment with Laura Kazan, your college advisor, if you have any questions.
There are many ways to make a living. Choosing a career that you are excited about and that allows you to earn an adequate wage is possible with certificated careers. Certificated careers are careers that do not require a four year degree but specialized training in the field.
Here are some examples of certificated careers:
- Computer Technology: Web developer; computer security analyst; computer support specialist; systems engineer
- Building and Trade: Construction and building inspector; architectural and civil drafter; industrial engineering technician; pipe-fitter and plumber; heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installer
- Medical: Surgical technologist; dental assistant; diagnostic medical sonographer; emergency medical technician; medical coder; pharmacy technician; radiologic technologist; PT or OT assistant
- Travel and Mechanics: Air traffic controller; flight attendant; airline mechanic; heavy vehicle and mobile equipment mechanic; automotive mechanic
- Other: Court reporter; veterinary assistant; bookkeeping; personal trainer; cosmetologist; hairdresser
So, how can you identify the certificated career that is right for you?
- After reviewing the list above, check out Road Trip Nation on Naviance to learn what it’s like to work in these fields.
- Ask your community for opportunities to get to know people in the field you’re interested in.
- Find an accredited certification program.
- Read through job postings for your field, paying special attention to qualifications. This will help you choose the best certification and background for your dream job.
- Check out the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for information on average income rate and job growth.
These options just scratch the surface of what’s out there! If a certificated career is appealing to you, use the tools available through iLEAD and other free resources to identify your dream career and get started.