iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

iLEAD Exploration continues to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format. Click here for current information.

May 13, 2020 @ 07:00

Educational Resources

Our News & Events

Introducing Parent University

Parent University

Hello, Dear Families!

We wanted to let you know about an exciting new opportunity coming your way called Parent University. Parent University is a time for moms and dads to come together to gain fresh ideas with regards to parenting, instructional ideas, and more! Because it is a special time for you as parents, iLEAD Exploration would like your input to help plan monthly Parent University meetings that are relevant to your family’s needs. Please complete this survey and add any additional comments that would help us better serve you!

Our innovative staff is always thinking of the families we serve by continuously improving and building into the program. We are excited to regularly roll out many opportunities over the coming months to support the amazing things you do every day in your homes!

Thank you for being the inspiration for what we do,

Your iLEAD Exploration Team

College Chatter: AdmitSee

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Have you ever wondered what other learners (who were admitted to universities that you hope to attend) put in their college applications? AdmitSee offers a comprehensive view of the application. You may pick a university and then choose from various learners who attend that school and have posted their applications onto this website (including real essays, resumes and applicant advice). This website is a highly valuable tool for applying into colleges!

Monday: Learn More About iLEAD Exploration

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Never Forget

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Sept. 11 is a time for reflection on a sorrowful day in our nation’s history. It is also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the many heroes of our nation. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum has some great teaching resources for reflecting on this day.

CalArts Community Arts Partnership

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The award-winning CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP), a co-curricular program of CalArts, has begun registration. Study the arts from October to June in a studio environment where you can devote attention to your creative talents — for free. Develop your skills and build professional portfolios with the helpful guidance of CalArts faculty, alumni and learners. Classes culminate in the documentation of your work, as well as an arts festival for an audience of family and friends.

Classes are located in various parts of Los Angeles and on the campus in Valencia. For a complete listing of classes, please view their catalog.

CTE Online – STEM Integrated Project Ideas

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As we find amazing resources for our families, our team of educators will pass this information along to you! CTE Online is the California resource devoted to promoting rigorous academics in a learner’s pursuit of industry- and career-related coursework.

They do this by providing community access to the following:

Happy exploring!

Family Support

As a public school, it our desire to make you aware of resources available to your learner. There is a new Netflix television miniseries called “Thirteen Reasons Why,” in which the show follows a high school teen and the many sensitive reasons for which she chooses to take her life. You may find that some teenagers or families are talking about the show. For this reason, we want to make sure that you are aware of it.

Due to the sensitive topics addressed, we do not recommend that young people watch the series. If you choose to allow your child to watch it, please consider watching with them and engage in thoughtful conversations with them about the show. It provides you with the opportunity to help them process the issues addressed, including the consequences of certain choices.

We also wanted to make you and your family aware of the many community resources available for struggling young people. Some of them include:

Your school psychologists and counselors are always available to speak to you or your child about these important issues. We are here to help, so please feel free to reach out at any time if needed.

Summer Rush at College of the Canyons

Students and community members who want to enroll in summer classes at College of the Canyons are encouraged to attend “Summer Rush,” a one-stop registration and orientation event scheduled 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 19, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20, in Canyons Hall at COC’s Valencia campus.
College staff from key student services departments will be available to provide personalized, on-site services designed to help students apply, register and enroll in a “one-stop shop” format. Available services include:

  • Applying for admission (new student, returning student) and/or completing a special admissions form (high school students)
  • Creating a My Canyons student account
  • Completing the online orientation
  • Taking the math and English assessment (if required)
  • Attending a new student advisement workshop
  • Applying for financial aid
  • Obtaining a student ID card
  • Purchasing textbooks

For the best access, visitors may park free in lot 6 off Rockwell Canyon Road. Parking in all student lots will be free during the event.

To view available classes or a campus map, follow the appropriate links below. For more information about the event, follow the link below or call Outreach & School Relations at (661) 362-5891 or Admissions & Records at (661) 362-3280.

Click Here for College Now! Summer Form
(Must be signed by Kris Nilsen and Kimberly Matthes before the 19th)

Graduating Class of 2018!
If any learners for the College Now! program or any seniors want to meet on Saturday and go together, please let Kris Nelson know!

iLEAD Writing Workshop in Castaic

Writing is one the most basic forms of human communication, and writing well is essential for success in college and beyond. Most businesses take writing into consideration when hiring employees, and yet six out of 10 high school learners lack the basic reading and writing skills needed for college level work. Additionally, 26 percent of college graduates are not only poor writers but also lack proper communication skills across the board.

Why are so many people so bad at writing? Where does this problem start, and can it be fixed? And finally, how can writing well benefit homeschoolers of all ages, the future employees and leaders of America?

Award-winning author and college professor Laurisa Reyes will answer these questions in an engaging workshop for parents and kids. She will also have copies of her books, “Teaching Kids to Write Well: Six Secrets Every Grown-up Should Know” and “The Kids’ Guide to Writing Fiction” on hand to purchase.

Find out more about Ms. Reyes here .

This amazing workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. at The Old Road Exploration Learning Center located at 29435 The Old Road, Castaic, CA 91354. Interested in attending? Sign up here !

College Now!

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College Now! is a program at College of the Canyons (community college) for learners in 11th and 12th grade (10th graders may start in the summer before their junior year).

It’s a special admission program for high school juniors and seniors, and provides the opportunity to enroll in college-level course work that can:

  • Satisfy high school and/or A-G requirements
  • Be applied toward a degree and/or certificate program
  • Be applied toward lower-division and/or major prep courses for transfer to colleges and universities
  • Be used to explore potential careers/majors

Enrollment fees are waived.

Classes can be taken at:

  • Valencia campus
  • Canyon Country campus
  • Online

Please CLICK HERE for more information about the program!

College Now! Student checklist

College Now! Summer enrollment form

History Resources

Looking for some great resources to teach history? iLEAD parent Amy Stevens has been developing a list of excellent tools for teaching social studies.


This free, online resource provides amazing content that is very accessible and brief. It will make a good spine for looking at history through a lens of sweeping themes.


This is a great reference book that will help fill in some of the details surrounding the content on Student’s Friend, providing background information for the literature.


This is a comprehensive, free online curriculum that focuses on viewing history as a series of “thresholds” of increasing complexity. There is a lot of background on how history is studied, how to test claims and how to make connections between various cultures and civilizations to find patterns in human behavior over time. Lots of critical thinking is involved with this curriculum! There is a public site anyone can join for free, but the best content and lesson plans/activities are found by registering as an educator and setting up a “classroom.”


4. Maps
This is an important video to watch that explains how the simple act of putting information from a round object (our Earth’s geography) onto a flat surface (a map, screen, etc.) creates huge distortions in our thinking.



This online atlas of world history shows changes in people groups, civilizations and empires and over time. It helps give a visual sense of where seemingly disparate “historical events” took place both in location and time. There’s also a nice timeline below which shows the overlapping civilizations/empires over time.


This website shows migrations and how populations changed over time. There’s no commentary, just data visualization with links to relevant Wikipedia pages. Info about the project can be found here .


5. Literature
Utilizing literature written by members of the culture being studied (“Gilgamesh,” “Beowulf,” “The Travels of Marco Polo,” Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc.) is also an excellent way to enrich historical studies. Additionally, well-vetted anthologies of indigenous mythology (“1001 Arabian Nights,” “Robin Hood,” etc.), as well as historical fiction (“The Bronze Bow,” “The Trumpeter of Krakow,” etc.) are also excellent ways to learn more about historical events.


6. Primary Sources
Utilizing primary sources such as “Hammurabi’s Code” when studying the early Babylonians (versus a summary provided by a historian) is also a terrific idea. There are lots of free, online resources for this. Books such as “Eyewitness to History,”
The World’s Great Speeches,” and “World History in Documents” are wonderful resources.

Online Resources

Looking for a great site for your younger children to enjoy listening to books while you provide instruction to your older children? Storyline Online has a list of engaging books read aloud with animated videos for your child’s listening and viewing pleasure. A couple of other online sites with this functionality include Story Place and Mighty Book .

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) offers a fun, engaging approach to creative writing.
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel. For more information, visit here .

Parent Toolkit

Looking for ways to track and support your child’s academic and personal growth and development? Parent Toolkit provides information relevant to your family and will help you navigate your child’s journey from pre-kindergarten through high school.

MIT Open Courseware

“The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online
and make them widely available to everyone.”
Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. Here is a list of their most visited courses. Happy exploring!

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program

Attention all fifth to 12th-grade iLEAD learners!

You are invited to be part of the SSEP Mission 11 to the International Space Station (ISS) by:
Learning about microgravity to answer why astronauts float
Exploring the mission of ISS
Immersing yourself in scientific experimentation
Designing an experiment & writing a proposal for an experiment to be run on ISS
You can form a team or work on your own to design and write a proposal.

To learn more about SSEP, visit here !

For more information email, Jennifer Kimbell by Wednesday, September 28.

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All learners in grades K-12 are also invited to design a mission patch that represents iLEAD’s involvement in SSEP. Here is the winning patch designed for iLEAD’s SSEP Mission 10 to ISS:

If you are interested in designing a patch, please contact Jennifer Kimbell by Friday, September 30.

Kathleen Fredette, iLEAD director of STEAM Initiatives, will also support learners interested in SSEP.

PIzza Hut BOOK IT!

Pizza Hut BOOK IT is a year-long program that rewards learners for sustained reading. It allows learners to set a goal and obtain rewards by accomplishing the goals. To enroll, visit their website here.

Online Subscriptions

iLEAD is offering some amazing subscription options at deeply discounted rates for our iLEAD learners. We have contracted with many vendors to create a list of popular, well-received subscriptions to provide greater choices for our families.

There are two ways in which you can save:

1) Order one of the optional subscriptions by September 16. The order will be sent directly to your EF for processing. In order to receive the special pricing deals, we are required to submit one bulk order of subscriptions for each vendor which is why there is an ordering deadline. All subscription orders through the form will be processed on September 16. To receive these special deals, we also have to meet a minimum number of subscription purchases. Please note: If we do not meet the minimum number of subscriptions required by the vendor, we will not be able to complete your order, and your funds will not be deducted.

2) You can find additional subscriptions offered for iLEAD learners through iLEAD Homeschool-Buyers Co-op . There is no deadline to order subscriptions through Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Orders through Homeschool-Buyers Co-op are submitted to your EF just like a regular material order using a material order form , or emailing your EF directly.

We encourage you to take the week to check out the websites included in the ordering form as well as your options on Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Please take advantage of free trials and have your child look through the program to see if it might be a good fit before submitting any orders as there will be no refunds given.

Exploring Nature Subscription Trial

Great news! Exploring Nature has provided a 30-day free trial to iLEAD Exploration families! Log in to explore more than 5,000 pages of science resources for K-12.

Username: iLead
Password: iLead

2016-17 Subscription Package Announcement

Hello, Families!

We hope you had an awesome first week of learning! It is our pleasure to announce this year’s complimentary subscription package that includes:

BrainPOP
Enchanted Learning
Discovery Streaming
MobyMax

If you haven’t already submitted your Online Subscription Consent Form to your Educational Facilitator, please do so here so that your child’s personal login information can be generated.

iLEAD Online Courses

Technology has revolutionized flexibility and options in education!
iLEAD Online is a personalized learning program available for all current 6th-12th grade iLEAD learners enrolled at one of our iLEAD schools or programs. iLEAD promotes the philosophy of learners as leaders, servers, problem-solvers, creators, collaborators and deep thinkers.

Under the talented, experienced leadership of Director Erin Jones and her team , iLEAD Online courses encourage all of those qualities and provide the flexibility of online learning. All iLEAD learners have access to our course catalog of innovative, project-based online courses.

iLEAD Online courses are created, written, developed and managed by our own facilitators. The online format emphasizes instructor availability, communication and access to ensure success. Our courses are flexible, project-based, and customizable to best fit the passions, interests and needs of the learner.

For more information about the program, visit here . The pricing is amazing! Fees for Exploration learners are $240 per semester/each course. Middle school learners may choose two courses each semester. Learners should create a learning plan with their EF and then enroll here .

7 Habits

Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw

With the end of the year approaching, it is easy to feel tired and ready for the summer. This month’s habit encourages us to take a break and sharpen the saw to do something that renews our body, heart, mind and soul.

This video portrays a lumberjack who refuses to stop working and be unproductive with a dull saw rather than taking time to just sharpen his saw and work more efficiently and effectively. It is a powerful metaphor to remind us that pushing through is not always the best option. Take time this week to stop and allow your family time to sharpen their saws.

7 Habits – Sharpen the Saw

Habit 7 is the habit of renewal.

Sharpening the Saw is what a lumberjack must do in order to cut wood efficiently and effectively. The same applies to the scissors of the seamstress, the paintbrushes of the painter, and the tools of the craftsman.

To maintain and increase our effectiveness, we must renew ourselves in body, heart, mind, and soul. This improves our capacity, builds stronger relationships, and allows for continuous improvement. Building greater reserves builds the strength we need for those hard moments when we need to show the grit, determination, and patience that are the hallmarks of a strong character.

This week, discuss as a family ways to sharpen your individual saws to renew each family member’s body, heart, mind or soul.

7 Habits – Synergize

Synergy involves effectively working together as a team. To teach the concept of synergy, try reading some of the books from this list that have synergy as one of their themes!

Picture Books
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
Frederick by Leo Lionni
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams
Clifford’s Spring Clean-Up by Norman Bridwell
The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy
The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
The Great Kaypok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Chapter Books
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla
The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis
The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

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