We are so proud of our 2020 graduates. During a time of uncertainty, these learners persevered and were able to complete their high school journey. They embody all that is iLEAD, and we would like to recognize each and every one of them. As C.S. Lewis said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” From all of us here at iLEAD, we wish them luck in their future endeavors. Congratulations!2020GraduationProgram
iLEAD Exploration 8th grader Layla Solano is new to homeschooling this year, but you would not know it with how creative and connected she has been with so much of what she has studied this year. Her enthusiasm for what she has learned is palpable when you hear her speak about the historical figures, literature, and cultures she has studied. Layla has been taking classes with a co-op and has been homeschooling with her mom, and she often has beautiful poems, stories, or artwork to accompany her assignments. She has the ability to build a connection and feel a relationship not only with her studies but with people too.
Layla is part of a close church community, a small group of people who are like family and have helped to shape so much of who she is. She has been fortunate to have many people of all ages, races, and cultures invest in her and love her, and these relationships have helped her understand how to interact with so many people. It has become natural for her to be able to socialize and have conversations many people, young and old. Her family has tried to instill in her an outward focus on life. Who can she encourage? Whose day can she brighten by being kind and giving? She has a way of thinking of others while being aware and grateful for all she is lucky to have. Through the years, Layla’s parents have been open with her and willing to engage in whatever discussions she’s interested in. It is this that has made her confident in who she is and secure in knowing that she will always be supported and loved.
Layla has many interests: music, singing, acting, animals, and some pretty cool hobbies, like skateboarding! She comes from a huge music-loving family, so she has been exposed to music since she was little. Her singing talent and passion have blossomed and helped her learn how to persevere through those challenging times when things don’t come easy. In recent years, she has begun acting in movies and commercials, which has helped her develop the confidence to try new and scary things. Her involvement in auditions has taught her that she can focus only on doing her best and not on the outcome or opinions of others. She has learned that if something is meant for her, then it will happen. When things don’t work out as planned, she acknowledges the validity of her feelings and works to surrender the disappointment, so she can move forward with a peaceful, grateful heart. These are the experiences that also define Layla on her homeschooling path. She is grateful that being a learner with iLEAD has allowed her to do all the things she loves, while still being able to dig deep and get creative with all her subjects. She is excited to see where her journey with iLEAD takes her next year when she begins high school.
We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our Together Tuesdays. We are so proud of all our learners and the work they have completed this year!
Summer is almost here! Looking for some innovative ways to keep your learners engaged during the months ahead? One fabulous way to launch into summer is to create a summer activity chain. Kids love to make countdown chains as much as they love tearing off the next loop. Here are some ideas for summer learning activities that would keep your primary crew excited about learning throughout the warm days ahead!
Upper grade learners might enjoy creating a summer scrapbook or a video/slideshow with pictures, quotes, and journal entries about their favorite moments during summer break. Some families also enjoy listing family activities on slips of paper and placing them in a jar, pulling out a couple each day for activities to complete. Whatever your style, enjoy the journey!
Look out, world! The Dadsi sisters are on the move! In their second year with iLEAD Exploration, Nyla and Ayah Dadsi are enjoying the opportunity that independent study provides to delve deep into subjects they are passionate about and to incorporate their love for art, music, politics, and languages into their daily studies. Because of their diverse interests, the girls have had ample opportunities to develop their social intelligence skills. Both are empathetic and good listeners. They respect others’ views and are open to having conversations with everyone regardless of whether they agree with them or not.
Ayah is a 3rd grader who loves playing soccer, roller skating, skateboarding, and riding her scooter. The quarantine hasn’t stopped her, as she can still be found pushing her little sisters (and big sister) up and down hallways on anything that has wheels! She loves math and science and has strong interests in politics and world events. She can be found helping her classmates, making sure everyone feels included and accepted, often going out of her way to speak up against any injustice she sees. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the front page of a newspaper one day, fighting for human rights or breaking some world record in athletics!
Nyla is a 6th grader and talented musician and artist. She can always be found singing or editing videos about her newest favorite musician and memorizing every song she sings. She played violin for three years, recently switched to ukulele and voice lessons, and is looking forward to performing in a virtual recital this month. Nyla loves science and social studies and has an affinity for languages, creative writing, and digital art. She enjoys rollerblading and helping take care of her two baby sisters, as well as cooking and baking new recipes while listening to her favorite music. She, too, is passionate about helping others and fighting for human rights and wants to change this world for the better!
Both Ayah and Nyla speak Arabic, Darija (the Moroccan dialect), and study French at home. They love to play with their baby sisters, play online games, go to the beach with their family, and travel. During the quarantine, they have been busy inventing a new board game, playing online with friends, and writing inspiring chalk messages on the sidewalk for others. They are anxious to see their grandparents, travel again with family, and see their friends at the OC Learning Studio. In the meantime, they are busy spreading positivity and empathy from home as much as possible.
As we get closer to the end of the school year, you may be looking for some fun enrichment activities to engage your learners. We would like to introduce this website that offers you free virtual field trips by grade level. You can find everything from an M&M factory tour to live cams at the San Diego Zoo. Have fun exploring!
What a unique time we are all living through! These past few months have changed the narrative in all of our stories. This is a historic time to record the moments of our lives and save these memories for later reflection in a time capsule! We challenge all our iLEAD families to make a collection that will be a treasure to discover in your future! Here is a 2020 Time Capsule template that you can use to get you started.
We love seeing the positive images submitted throughout LEAD Schools every week, joyful reminders that we are all in this together. Thank you to everyone who submitted this week! Click the image or link to view the video.
Eighth grade iLEAD Exploration learner Lindsey Yang showed a great interest and love for music from an early age when watching her older sister play piano. By the time she was 5, Lindsey demonstrated an internal discipline that allowed her to sit and play on her own for hours at a time. Her mom decided to have Lindsey begin piano lessons at age 8. Lindsey has always enjoyed both school and music. However, after entering middle school, she found it more difficult to find the time to practice and prepare for competitions due to the heavy workload of homework outside of her regular school day.
Enrolling in 2018 with iLEAD Exploration has allowed Lindsey to have the freedom and flexibility to make her own schedule in balancing her music and also her academics. She has been able to greatly improve her technical skills and to also grow and mature musically through a variety of activities to widen her perspective. Through iLEAD Exploration, Lindsey has been able to take music theory classes and swimming lessons. Lindsey displays social intelligence in her diligence in pursuing music. She participates in music festivals, competitions, master classes and recitals. Lindsey has had many opportunities to travel to various places, experience different cultures and meet new people.
Lindsey’s musical bio is long and extensive and includes many competitions and accomplishments in both the states and abroad. Last summer, Lindsey participated in a two-week long music festival in Italy where she had the privilege to learn from pianists and professors from various countries around the world. Students came together with different backgrounds and languages to communicate in their common passion, music. They were able to learn from one another and share new ideas and musical interpretations. Lindsey is also a member of a local Chamber Music group that practices and prepares together for performances.
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of Lindsey’s competitions and concerts have been canceled. She continues to take her lessons via Zoom and is using this time to learn and practice new songs that she has always wanted to play. Her chamber music members are planning to record their music individually and put together a “quarantine chamber music video” online.
When Lindsey is not playing piano, she also enjoys reading, baking with her sister, spending time with her friends and dog Lucky, traveling, and playing guitar with her dad. She is also looking forward to her newest pursuit of harvesting her home-grown vegetables to share with her neighbors.
It is time for another Together Tuesday update. This week we are including an extra video made by two of our very own creative learners, Bowie Bundlie, 2nd grade, and Bradley Bundlie, 5th grade. We hope that you enjoy it just as much as we did.
Share YOUR Together Tuesday images and stories with us by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight every Monday.
The iLEAD Maker team has put together a wonderful resource with many activities and websites for parents, educators, and students alike. There are challenges and fun activities for all ages. You can check it out here.
Learning how to play chess is a wonderful way to engage in multiple problem solving strategies. Chess requires patience and logical application while using critical thinking skills. Many iLEAD learners are growing these skills by playing chess at home with family or online with friends. ChessKid is one site that offers a free and safe program for learning and playing chess at any skill level.
Mason Harris is an extraordinary 1st grade iLEAD Exploration learner who shows social intelligence by being very empathetic. In fact, Mason often says “I like to help people because it’s kind. Everyone should help!” It isn’t surprising to learn that Mason loves to volunteer and help others. He assists his elderly neighbors by bringing in their trash cans, reads to younger kids and helps with crafts and snacks at the Moms of Preschool (MOPS) group, helps with his baby brother, passes out bulletins at church, brings food and blankets to the animals at the Humane Society, and donates his Halloween candy to the troops.
Mason’s hobbies include building with Legos, performing magic tricks, learning about science and building things with his dad. He loves being outdoors, hiking, camping and exploring. He loves to travel and see new things. His family recently took a trip to the Central Coast where they visited Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach and Big Sur. Mason made a really cool travel brochure highlighting what he learned. Mason also enjoys helping his mom cook.
We love seeing the positive images submitted throughout iLEAD every week, joyful reminders that we are all in this together. Thank you to everyone who submitted this week! Click the image or link to view the video.
Share YOUR Together Tuesday images and stories with us by sending them to email@example.com by midnight every Monday.
Graphic novels have invited readers of all ages to view and unpack those witty visuals for centuries. What a classic way to engage your learner and invite them to create their own comic strip with personal connections.
Storyboard That offers a free platform for all learners to be creative and tell their own story with backgrounds and captions of your choice. We challenge you to check it out and build a tale of your own!
We hope you enjoyed the webinar last week with Write At Home. In an effort to support our families, Write At Home is excited to host more webinars to help in your writing endeavors. To learn more about Write at Home, please visit them here. Please see the flier for registration and webinar details.WriteAtHomeSeries_2020
Ace Maestas has been homeschooling for two years. The flexibility that is offered through iLEAD Exploration to focus on strengths, work on weaknesses, and cultivate social intelligence has been the ideal classroom for him. A past injury resulted in some uphill battles for Ace, especially in the areas of social and speech development. With the support of our amazing speech team, Ace has been given the opportunity to develop his skills at a pace that is feasible for him. Ace attends the OC Learning Studio where he practices his newly developed speech skills with his peers. Through the interactions, he has learned many key components to developing his social intelligence including recognizing his feelings, understanding body language, self-regulation, and coping skills. During this time of quarantine, Ace has been expanding his social intelligence with activities at home. Ace has been busy keeping a kindness chart, writing cards to neighbors, volunteering to clean within the community, and dropping off supplies to those in need — all examples of how to interact with others in our new normal.
If given the choice, Ace would solve math problems and logic puzzles all day! Not surprisingly, his love of math has also driven him to be curious about things in science, such as the human body, volcanoes and rocks. Ace has an extensive collection of LEGOs at home, which allows him to dive into his creative side. His latest creation was a re-creation of the Eiffel Tower that stood as tall as he was! In his free time, Ace enjoys taking advantage of iLEAD Exploration’s field trips. The opportunities are a great complement to his educational experience at home as well as at the learning studio.
Ace’s family balances school and social development using words from Aristotle as their inspiration, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” iLEAD has provided Ace an opportunity to discover a love of learning as well as support him in his social needs. If you ever have the chance to interact with Ace, you will find that he is eager to share what he has learned!