iLEAD Exploration learner Ivan Baney is an ideal candidate to demonstrate self-control, this month’s SLO. He keeps a daily calendar to stay on track with goals and responsibilities. He chooses to finish his work, whether that be obligations at home or at school, before doing extra curricular activities. Ninth grade Ivan cheerfully takes recommendations and constructive criticism and uses it to make better choices in future situations. And although he wants to relax and have fun like all teens, he has set high goals for himself and is willing to work hard in order to enjoy time off.
One of those high goals is to become an Eagle Scout. Ivan has been a scout since he was six years old and has moved from being a cub scout to a boy scout. He attends scout meetings weekly, participates in summer and winter camp, and also is striving to earn merit badges along the way to the prestigious distinction of Eagle Scout. Scouting is a big part of Ivan’s life and also involves him in many service projects in the community as well as fun, team-building activities like a Dungeons and Dragons gaming group that many of his fellow scouts participate in as well.
Ivan wants to be an engineer when he grows up, so he is always learning new technology skills. This year he is learning how to build a computer from scratch and also dove into learning coding and basic programming. He has taken an intense interest in growing his math skills, as he knows that this will be invaluable to him in his career. In middle school Ivan struggled with math, but once he learned that he needs strong math skills in order to fulfill his dream job as an adult, he had a strong change of mind and he activated his self control. With daily work, tutoring when needed, and a dramatic shift in his attitude toward mathematics, Ivan is now seeing the fruits of his hard work in a high score in Algebra!
Ivan is a work-hard-play-hard kind of guy. He has many hobbies, including playing complex board games with friends and family. His favorites are war games based on historical events. He also plays the piano daily for school and for pleasure; he greatly enjoys the process of creating music. In the warm months he enjoys tennis, rebounding, and biking in the mountains.
Orange County- Friendship Circle Home Visitor
Be a visiting friend to a child in need. Friendship Circle is looking for fun-loving teens that would like to donate their time once a week for one hour at home visits with a child with special needs in their area.
Friendship Circle extends a helping hand to families who have children and young adults with special needs. Friendship Circle provides a non-judgmental environment that is designed to enhance family dynamics and build friendships through a wide variety of fun-filled recreational programs, sports leagues, support groups, and social opportunities. In addition to helping those in need, the Friendship Circle enriches its vast network of teen volunteers by enabling them to reap the rewards of selfless giving
San Bernardino- Help build a playground with KaBOOM!
On Friday, April 10, 2020, dedicated volunteers from the Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy, San Manuel Casino have sponsored the build of an accessible playground at Hudson Park, in partnership with KaBOOM!. The new playground will be an inclusive structure that will allow children of all abilities to engage in play. The new design will enable individuals with developmental disabilities to access the play equipment and engage in inclusive play with their peers. For information on how you can help click on the link.
Los Angeles County- Saffyre Sanctuary
Saffyre Sanctuary can use your help! It is a rescue and rehabilitation program that cares for horses that have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. Whether you are a novice or an experienced horse person that wants to share your time and expertise, they can use your help! You will learn firsthand about the best holistic care, feeding, and handling of horses, some with very special needs.
iLEAD Exploration learner Ivy Roth is a stellar example of self-control. It takes a good bit of self-mastery to manage all her hobbies, interests, and activities, all the while excelling in school. A second-generation homeschooler, Ivy learns at home with her mother, Jyoti, a practicing lawyer and former homeschooler who has chosen to work from home so she can pass on the homeschool legacy to her daughter.
This kindergartener credits her ability to manage her actions, emotions, and impulses to her daily practice of yoga and meditation, which help her to ground herself and breathe. These mindfulness practices help set the stage for good decision-making and help her weather difficult situations and stress.
Ivy has many passions that she is able to pursue along with her independent study. She likes to garden and is currently growing soybeans. An animal lover, Ivy has three bunnies that she calls “bun buns.” She takes excellent care of Chai, Pudding, and Peanut and enjoys spending time with them but also is committed to doing the less glamorous chores, such as cleaning their cages and feeding and watering them. Ivy has caught the travel bug and enjoys taking trips with her family. She’s been to Virginia and Indiana and recently spent four weeks in Alaska.
Camping, art, violin, choir, and ballet round out Ivy’s extensive list of interests. She is also a bit of a fashionista and is currently learning to sew so she can make her own clothes. Ivy enjoys meeting with her co-op friends for weekly activities and monthly field trips.
Ivy tries to live by her motto: “If you choose to change the world, leave it better than when you found it,” and clearly this bright, active learner does just that.
The Young Filmmakers Challenge invites young people to produce and submit a short film based on the theme “What if school as we know it didn’t exist?”
Winning submissions will be screened and an awards ceremony will be held in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2020. The screening will be the culminating event of a three-day, city-wide celebration of unleashing the power of young people. The producer of the best overall film will receive $250 and, along with one guest, an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC.
This nationwide challenge is open to anyone 18, and under and submissions will be accepted February 15-April 1. Winners will be announced on April 15.
To help your child feel more at ease with testing, try a practice test this week! Some may find it challenging (most do)! Use that feeling of being challenged to help them try tactics like “best guessing” and “deep breaths.”
The practice tests available online will greatly assist in preparation for these tests. They will allow learners to clearly understand the types of questions they will see on the test and will help them better navigate the online test. We appreciate your efforts to help your child prepare for these statewide assessments by using the practice tests available. Below are the steps to access them.
Click the practice test link. Take the Practice or Training Test.
Make sure the guest user and guest session boxes are set to “ON” and click the green “Sign In” box.
Select your child’s grade.
The pink and purple boxes are for the language arts and math practice tests. If available, the orange is for the science practice test.
If your child has an IEP with testing accommodations, you now have a chance to select any accommodations that you would like to have included in the practice tests. Scroll to the bottom and click the green “Select” box to move to the next page.
Make sure you can hear sound with the sound check.
Click “Continue” and then click “Begin Test.”
Language arts and math practice test answers may be manually checked at this link: Go to the Guides!
A scoring guide for the CAST training test can be found at this link: Scoring Guides. The guide provides information on alignment with the California Next Generation Science Standards, correct answers, and sample responses for constructed response items.
We’re excited to share an incredible learning opportunity for summer break!
Learners who will be entering 7th-12th grade in the fall of 2020 are invited to travel to the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kaua’i this summer for Camp Kahili! There are four weeks available to campers (June 21-July 18), and you can opt to stay for one, two, three…or all four weeks!
Community. Culture. Adventure.
Campers will be immersed in multicultural learning, adventure, and service through a multitude of activities, such as the following:
- Hike Kaua’i Mountain
- Learn to Hula
- Beach Cleanup
- Attend a Traditional Hawaiian Luau
- And Many More!
This week’s spolighted learner is Rasha Willes Samaha, an iLEAD Exploration high school freshman and a professional dancer. Calm, poised, and polite, she maintains a positive attitude and always wears a smile. Rasha is a great example of this month’s Schoolwide Learning Outcome (SLO): self control. Since beginning her homeschooling journey, she has worked to develop self-control by focusing on hard work and effort in her academic and professional pursuits.
Rasha spends over 30 hours a week training and student teaching various styles of dances. These styles include ballet, tap, jazz, and musical theater. The flexibility provided by iLEAD’s independent study setting enables her to spend a lot of time at her dance studio in San Fernando Valley. Her professional dance career includes performing at some major and well-known platforms: World of Dance Live, The Oscars Gala, Professional Dancers Society Tribute to Carol Channing and Tremaine Performance Company. All of these achievements require her to be disciplined and focused in all her endeavors. Her family is a big support in keeping her motivated to achieve her dreams.
Juggling high school classes and a dance career can be daunting, but Rasha has been handling both very gracefully since she joined iLEAD Exploration. She is currently taking classes from a local community college and iLEAD Online to stay on the a-g high school graduation path and build an impressive GPA.
Rasha believes that giving back to the community through her passion for art is equally important. She sets aside some time to teach dance for the Ishan Foundation, a non-profit organization. This organization offers special needs dance classes for all kids and young adults with neurological disorders. Rasha thoroughly enjoys spending time with the younger kids every week.
Rasha’s dream is to be a Radio City Rockette and get a medical degree as a doctor. She says, her family has taught her that anything in life can be accomplished through discipline, balance and creativity. She is well on her way!
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”?
iLEAD Exploration learners had the opportunity to participate in a variety of field trips. Here are a few that were enjoyed by our learners and their families.
Queen Mary Ellis Island Experience
This field trip was a re-enactment of the immigrant experience entering the United States through Ellis Island. The trip started with a thoughtfully done video about the journey from Europe to New York and then learners were directed to an “inspection room” where they gently experienced having to submit their passport for approval. Learners had to wait to be “inspected” by a doctor and to answer questions to confirm their mental and physical health. Some learners were quarantined if their responses were questionable. Others were approved and sent to another waiting area to get final approval and had to communicate with an “immigration officer” to verify where they would be living and who would be picking them up from Ellis Island. Following this experiential learning, there was an opportunity to debrief collectively and share reflections. The people leading the experience stayed in character in order to help learners get a sense of what it would have felt like to immigrate through Ellis Island 100 years ago.
The kids learned circus arts and climbed the rock wall. They all had such a blast!
Boredom is never a word you would associate with iLEAD Exploration learner, Zachary Kennison, as he is constantly busy using his creativity. It takes a lot of this month’s student learning outcome (self control) to finish so many projects and to stick with the many activities that Zack participates in.
Most weeks, you will find this busy fifth grader reading, playing catch with his brother in the backyard, completing projects incorporating recent field trips or experiences, and enjoying multi-subject art classes with friends. Zack appreciates managing his own schedule to comfortably fit in plenty of fun science experiments, math, fiction writing, art, coding, and organized team sports like water polo in the fall and little league baseball in the spring. Between all his activities, Zack enjoys playing with friends, interacting with the family pet chameleon, learning chess strategies, creating his own board games, following SpaceX current events, dreaming up new inventions, and baking big cakes (the bigger the better).
Some of his friends say homeschoolers are lucky because they never have to do homework. Zack says “I actually do much more, because I am able to work all day long if I want to.” And he likes it that way.
It doesn’t take long to realize Zack is a critical thinker, always making interesting connections between the patterns of nature, animals, machines, art, words, and human needs. He is always thinking of new inventions to help solve both minor and major problems in the world. His critical thinking is evident from his original board game creations to his multi-faceted project presentations.
Zack possesses an intellectual curiosity that cannot be contained. He likes to explore new concepts and cultures through activities, travel, and food. For the last five years, he has participated in an annual Japanese culture program to appreciate part of his heritage. For those two weeks each year, he is known only by his Japanese name, Hikaru. The experience opened his eyes to the many cultures of the world as well. He enjoys thinking up cool hands-on projects and messy experiments. Frequently, his ideas begin with, “what if…”.
Zack also enjoys entrepreneurial ventures like selling products at craft fairs and helping to run the book fair at his brother’s school. He is learning first-hand all about product management, business financials, marketing strategies, and supply and demand.
Some of Zack’s personal achievements include writing a chapter book based on his favorite novel series, building up his math endurance, and contributing, both mentally and physically, to his sports teams. He was granted a scholarship to attend a waterman’s program in Hawaii where he continued to hone his skills paddling surf ski kayaks and 2-person and 8-person outrigger canoes.
But Zack’s main accomplishment over the last few years of learning with iLEAD Exploration is his ability to manage his own time, set his own pace for academics, and prioritize his time so he can do what’s important to him. He is an independent, forward-thinking learner who likes to learn from new experiences or by solving problems. He exhibits confidence to try new things, meet new people, and learn new concepts. iLEAD is the perfect match to walk beside Zack on his life-long path of learning.
This month’s schoolwide learner outcome (SLO) is self-control, the thinking skill that helps children learn to control their feelings and behaviors in order to make good decisions while helping to reduce impulsive actions, and dealing effectively with frustration. As an example, a person may exhibit self-control when encountering a difficult problem on a test. Rather than impulsively writing down an answer, they are able to control their anxiety and figure out the answer. We will continue to explore the concept of self-control in upcoming Monday Messages!Self-control Poster
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” — Author Unknown
One of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. Below are some opportunities to serve as individuals and/or as a family.
Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry (Santa Clarita)
The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry prides themselves on serving those in need with dignity, compassion and respect. They are looking for volunteers ages 12 and up to sort, organize and serve food for the needy.
The CAASPP assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) and math are comprised of the computer adaptive test (CAT) and the performance task (PT).
The performance task requires students to answer a set of questions that are centered on a common theme or problem. To prepare, here are some helpful videos on narrative, opinion, explanatory, and informative writing. Graphic organizers are another great tool for prewriting activities.
This month’s focus on “Grit” is a perfect way to highlight iLEAD Exploration learner Leo Krupp, because no matter how challenging, frustrating, or difficult something might be for him, he does his best to rise above it and keep on moving forward.
Leo has even grown to appreciate mistakes, because when they happen, he knows he will learn from them and have the opportunity to reevaluate and improve. He is learning to look at life and all its challenges as a seed that needs water, sunlight, and love. At first you do not see growth because it’s hidden under the soil, but eventually you will have a beautiful flower if you stick with it and never give up.
Although schooling has never come easy to Leo, he refuses to let his diagnoses of autism, ADHD, and other learning differences stop him from achieving anything he chooses to do. What a perfect embodiment of grit Leo is!
Leo is a natural musician and understands any musical instrument he decides to pick up. His favorite instrument is definitely the drums. This came as no surprise to Leo’s parents, who lovingly referred to him as Bam-Bam when he was a toddler. Leo plays music by ear, and he is currently learning to read music as well. When he is not taking a music lesson, you will find him playing along with one of his favorite music idols, such as his brother and sister, Lathan and Hannah. In addition to the drums, Leo has also taught himself to play the piano, and he is starting to take an interest in the guitar as well. It is just a matter of time before Leo becomes a one-man superstar band.
Leo loves to research famous people who inspire him, such as Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. He dreams of traveling to Apple’s headquarters to learn about all that goes into creating Apple products.
Please join us at the park on January 28 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. and bring some gently used blankets, towels, sweaters, or jackets to donate to the local Bridge to Home shelter. Learners will also make snow at this event! Please sign up here if you would like to be a part of this fun event.
When: January 28 from 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Where: Heritage Park located at 24155 Newhall Ranch Road in Santa Clarita