iLEAD Exploration 8th grade learner Shayna Hewitt has the perfect motto to bring gratitude front and center in her life: “Not every day is a good day, but there’s good in every day!” Bravo, Shayna, for finding a way to be thankful even on the crummiest of days.
Shayna is truly thankful for the flexibility and freedom homeschooling allows her to pursue her interests and passions on a deeper level. Her hobbies include drawing and painting, studying nature, enjoying nature walks, cooking and baking with her chef mom, and acting in Shakespeare plays.
Shayna adores all things Japanese. She loves anime and manga, sushi, Japanese culture, artwork, fashion, and language. She is currently learning to speak and write in Japanese, and her chef mom is teaching her to make Japanese recipes. They recently made sushi together. One day Shayna hopes to visit Japan.
Shayna enjoys hanging out with friends and family and is a voracious reader with a huge library of favorites that include the Harry Potter series, Pride and Prejudice, Shakespearean drama, Greek mythology, and the Warriors series.
Other interests of Shayna’s include gymnastics, piano, guitar, ukulele, learning French and Spanish, helping with younger kids at church, babysitting when she can, and earning money with jobs around the house and for others.
Mark your calendars! We are excited to announce that our next field trip release (through the iLEAD Exploration website) will be on Tuesday, December 3 at 10:00 a.m.
Looking for a new workout routine? This week’s challenge will help you keep your brain in shape! Research has shown that using brain teasers strengthens your mental muscles and builds problem-solving skills in all learners, especially children! We challenge you to work through some brain teasers with your family and notice the positive potential of playing with puzzles to bolster critical-thinking skills.
The month of November is the perfect time to focus on our monthly Schoolwide Learner Outcome (SLO) of Gratitude. Below are a couple of videos that we hope will inspire learners and families to continue the active pursuit of this important character trait.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Our final upcoming Fall webinars are quickly approaching. We are proudly offering an in-person workshop on Learning Styles November 18 in San Bernardino and November 20th in Los Angeles. In addition, if you are interested in learning more about CTE, you won’t want to miss the webinar taking place on December 5.CTE_2019
iLEAD Schools needs your input! Please view the attached letter to provide us with important feedback regarding the curriculum selection to comply with the California Healthy Youth Act.
The Montalvo learners count their blessings on both hands. First and foremost, 12th grader Andrea is thankful for her family. She describes her family as “always being there for each other.” She goes on to say, “They are my number-one fans; they encourage and support me in everything I do.” One of sixth grader Danny’s favorite things to do is hang out with his family. He is so thankful for the close bond they have. Danny says the greatest thing about his family is that “We are loving and caring, and we do everything together. I especially like our dinnertime.”
Andrea is grateful for all the opportunities presented to her in life. She enjoys and appreciates being homeschooled because it gives her time for her extracurricular activities. Andrea is a gifted musician and plays bass in her church’s band. In Andrea’s free time, she likes to paint and listen to music. Something Andrea does well is baking, and she especially enjoys people’s reactions when they try her food. This school year she is learning two new skills: photography and guitar. Andrea’s favorite food is a Mexican delight called mole. This sweet and spicy sauce is usually poured over chicken, but Andrea prefers to eat it wrapped inside a tortilla like an enchilada. Andrea is enjoying learning how to play ukulele and memorizing some of her favorite songs. One day Andrea hopes to be a business owner.
Sixth grader Danny is thankful for being homeschooled. He loves that he can make his own schedule and review work that he didn’t understand the first time. This is Danny’s second year with iLEAD Exploration. Since he began homeschooling, he has been able to dramatically improve his math skills. He also enjoys all the science experiments he gets to do with cool subscription boxes. Like his sister, Andrea, Danny is a great musician. He loves playing the drums and hopes to be an amazing drummer when he grows up. He also wants to be a computer engineer and a professional artist. When Danny has free time, he likes to play video games with his friends and build with Legos. Danny is a really good dancer and artist. Danny enjoys his Jr. Robotics with Legos class he is taking and will soon be a master at coding!
November is here, and what better way to celebrate than with our SLO of the month, gratitude!
Here are some great questions for family discussion after you watch the video:
- How do you recognize what other people do for you?
- How do you show appreciation for opportunities and express appreciation?
- What are you most grateful for in your life?
On November 19, we are celebrating Kindness Day by painting rocks and writing encouraging sayings on them. We would love for learners to take the rocks and place them around the city for other people to find. The event will take place at Heritage Park in Santa Clarita (24155 Newhall Ranch Rd., Santa Clarita, CA) from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. RSVP here if you would like to attend.
Attention, All Parents of 5th, 7th, and 9th Graders!
For more information about physical fitness testing, please visit the following links from the CA Department of Education: PFT Parent Guide and PFT Fact Sheet. The Healthy Fitness Zones chart also provides performance goal info based on gender and grade level.
Gratitude is a crucial aspect of every learner’s educational environment. When the Duran family made the switch from their neighborhood school to homeschooling, they found out just how much an attitude of gratitude affected not only everyone’s learning experience, but also their days together.
This dynamic family is always on the move with their creative third grader, Jalseen, who is always dreaming up stories or making crafts, acting as the leading lady in musical theater, and reading. First grader Julian, the engineer and builder, always has a new idea for an invention or LEGO creation. Jade, the littlest Duran, is not quite old enough to join iLEAD Exploration, but she is always participating in the adventures and learning.
Some of the ways that the Durans have kept gratitude as a focus have been through the creation of a kindness chart. This chart allows them to reward each other by showing gratitude to one another for choosing kindness.
This lovely family also enhances their handwriting and writing practice by sending thank-you notes to family and friends. They love to encourage and show gratitude for the people in their lives by creating art and giving away toys to friends and neighbors who will enjoy them.
The Durans have learned that giving presents isn’t the only way to say thank you to friends and family. They know it is also important to be cheerful and to give others a feeling of happiness. Making others feel special has expanded their thinking to even more creative ways to show gratitude! The Durans have shared that this focus on gratitude has really impacted every aspect of their homeschool day.
November is the perfect time to reflect on the things that we are thankful for. This month, the schoolwide learner outcome focus is on gratitude. Expressing gratitude encourages a positive mind-set, reduces depression, and increases connectivity. Below are a few articles that you may want to take a look at to better understand why gratitude is an important part of our character education.Gratitude Poster
November 11 is a commemorative day to salute all the men and women who have protected our country! Please take a moment to recognize and thank someone in your life who has spent time in military service. In honor of these heroes, many organizations are offering special discounts and free meals to military families. Additionally, here are some local events to honor veterans!
iLEAD Exploration learners have enjoyed learning while participating in some exciting field trips. Here are a few highlights:
California Science Center-Dog Exhibit: Families from across three counties bravely fought through traffic to come together to learn about dogs and their superpowers. We watched an IMAX movie profiling how dogs rescue people from avalanches, drowning, and natural disasters while using their incredible senses and unique body types. iLEAD Exploration learners explored an exhibit about everything dog-related and concluded their time through interaction with a working therapy dog.
In-N-Out: iLEAD Exploration learners and their parents enjoyed their time touring the restaurant, hearing about the history, cutting their own fries and asking questions at the end of the tour. They especially loved the free meal!
PBS SoCal: This was a fun and educational opportunity for our awesome learners and their families to learn about one of our local public TV stations and how they are able to get our favorite shows on our screens! iLEAD learners also visited one of the sets where the station filmed their news and they had an opportunity to touch the cameras!
Performing Arts Program: iLEAD Exploration learners had a magical and musical time participating in a music class hosted by Disney’s Performing Arts program. They learned how the use of melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, and the tempo creates a magical atmosphere that visitors experience. Learners were left with an appreciation that, “There is a terrific power to music. You can run any of [Disney’s] pictures and they’d be dragging and boring, but the minute you put music behind them, they have a life and vitality they don’t get any other way.” -Walt Disney.
|ArtWorx Student Presentation – Fowler Museum at UCLA|
|LACMA Family Art Workshop at AC Bilbrew Library|
|Festival at Pilgrim Place|
|Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square|
|Turkey Trot Los Angeles|
|Free Family Festival at Bowers Museum|
|BOGO Play Day at Pretend City|
|OC Rescue Mission Turkey Trot|
|Thanksgiving Celebration at Pretend City|
|Lantern Festival and Parade in Huntington Beach|
|7th Annual Ventura County Farm Day|
|Paws for Reading in Ojai|
|Conejo Valley Turkey Day Dash in Thousand Oaks|
|Veterans Day Parade in Bakersfield|
|Trips for Kids Bike Ride at Lake Kaweah|
|Thank A Vet Art Project at the Delano Branch Library|
|100th Annual Bakersfield Post 26 Veterans Day Parade|
|Big Bear Turkey Trot|
|Candy Making Demos at Logan’s Candies|
|Mary Vagle Nature Center|
|Planes of Fame Air Museum at Kilroy Coffee Klatch|
The accomplished and active Ruotolo family keep themselves busy in all areas of their lives. Twins Tye and Kade are eleventh graders at iLEAD Exploration, while younger sister, Nya, is in the fourth grade. The family has appreciated the flexibility of iLEAD Exploration’s model for two years because it allows them to school on the go with their busy schedules.
Tye and Kade know hard work and effort are sure to pay off, and they work toward growth in their sports, academics, and pretty much anything they become involved in. These dedicated young men drive from Huntington Beach to San Diego several times a week to train for jiujitsu and travel worldwide to compete. They are among the top jiujitsu competitors in the world, and their necks loaded with medals show that they have won many competitions. They remain committed to training because they know with hard work, they can always improve.
Kade and Tye love to surf, fish, and travel when they’re not doing schoolwork or training in their sport. A desire to teach and support other kids has led them to spend time teaching anti-bullying seminars for kids at their jiujitsu tournaments. They’ve also taken an interest in learning Portuguese this year to help them when they travel around the world for their many tournaments in Portuguese-speaking South American countries.
Like her brothers, Nya is always eager to learn new things. She is a very hard worker and ambitious with her passions. She has followed her brothers into jiujitsu but also loves gymnastics, skateboarding, and horseback riding. She has really enjoyed learning how to ride and care for a horse this semester. She’s interested in being a veterinarian or physical therapist in the future. Nya also models and performs in commercials in her free time.
If you have been thinking about joining the spring 2020 Backpacks Full of Hope relief trip to Puerto Rico, now is the time to sign up. Only 10 spots remain open on our team, and registration must be completed by Friday, Nov. 15th. Click here to register today!
- 10 team spots remain
- Total trip cost: $1,550
- New registration: $1,150 due by Nov. 15
- The trip is non-refundable after Nov. 30
- Remaining payments are due on Jan. 31
This is the third Backpacks Full of Hope trip, and we believe it is an important one. During the first and second trips, some of the most impactful feedback we had from those we were helping was hearing how much it meant to have people travel there to provide assistance. The work we are doing to aid our fellow Americans matters, and we’d love to have you be a part of it!
If you haven’t had a chance yet, please watch our latest video about the Backpacks Full of Hope project, and please consider sharing it with your circle (ex., post to Facebook, etc.). Additionally, if you are interested in donating to the trip or providing a sponsorship, contact family.engagement@
iLEAD Exploration learner Judah Barr has a favorite quote: “Fight the fine fight” and to him it exemplifies how we should approach struggle in our lives. When faced with difficulties, you may want to give up but if you stick it out, you come out stronger and better equipped for challenges that may be ahead.
Embodying both the spirit of his motto and the growth mindset, Judah is hardworking and dedicated to his school work. He is always looking for ways to prepare himself for his future. He has developed his own car washing business and has done a great job building his clientele. Judah is also gifted musically and has chosen to develop his talents further by taking acoustic and electric guitar lessons as well as voice classes. This really has really helped him become a better all-around musician. For fun, he plays music with a group of friends, and they call their band, “Kicc.” Judah enjoys playing rock, blues, classical music, and he has written a few songs titled, “People’s Dream” and “I’ve Never Known.”
Judah desires to be a business owner and has joined iLEAD’s CTE Entrepreneur Pathway Program. He hopes to gain skills in this class to help him create a business that creates websites for small businesses. He plans to learn coding and take digital design courses to prepare himself. As you can see, Judah carefully makes decisions and always keeps his future in mind. He is always looking for ways to better equip himself for his very bright future.
In his second year at iLEAD Exploration, Judah has impressed his EF by his maturity and by coming well-prepared for their meetings. Judah achieved all A’s in his freshman year. He is driven to perform well academically and also has a heart to serve the community. Judah is very involved in his church and has done volunteer work there.