Daija Hooker is a passionate, courageous iLEAD Exploration 10th grader who always has a positive outlook on life. She sets her goals and works hard to follow through even when things become challenging. She shows true grit in her academics and extracurricular activities.
Daija started her homeschool journey about seven years ago. Homeschooling has allowed her to customize a learning path that best suits her needs and goals. She continues to flourish and excel in her studies and talents. She attends learning center classes and creative classes to help develop her academic strengths and her talents. Demonstrating great resolve, Daija commits to long hours of practice for dance and acting classes each week and still finds time for her studies.
Years ago, she started taking acting, dancing, vocal, and theatre classes just for fun. Now she works in the entertainment industry and appears in television commercials, music videos, and has worked with Disney and Nickelodeon. In her free time she gives back to others by helping serve meals at food shelters, and by reading books and playing with young children at orphanages, Sunday schools, and kids camps.
Daija feels strongly that the consistency in having the same teacher every year benefits her. She loves being a part of iLEAD and appreciates her resourceful, kind, patient and accessible facilitator, who Daija believes plays a big part in her education. In just a few short years, Daija has plans to attend college and study to be a neonatal nurse.
Her motto is “I was born ready!” and she truly is ready for anything!
Mark your calendars! We are excited to announce that our next field trip releases (through the iLEAD Exploration website) will be over several days during the week of February 3rd. Please see the flier below for details on how these will be released.field_trips_feb_2020c (1)
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.
Last week, we introduced a vital element of iLEAD’s approach to education — The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Learning and practicing the 7 Habits has been instrumental to our learners’ success living out iLEAD’s motto of “free to think, inspired to lead” — not to mention how it helps our staff thrive.
This week, we’re continuing to unpack the habits with Habit #1: Be Proactive. In short, being proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control.
In general, most of us fall into one of two categories: Either we are reactive to situations in life, affected by factors outside of ourselves and believing we have no control over situations — or we are proactive, realizing that we are “response-able” and that we have freedom to choose our responses. A proactive individual peppers their language with “I can” and “I will,” while a reactive person falls back on “I can’t” or “if only.”
In short, proactive people focus their efforts on what Dr. Stephen Covey calls their “Circle of Influence.” They work on the things they can do something about, like health or problems at work. On the flip side, reactive people focus their efforts in the “Circle of Concern” — things over which they have little or no control.
It has been amazing to see how understanding these concepts empowers iLEAD Exploration learners to take charge and command over both their education and their lives. We have seen time and again how it trickles down to every aspect of their lives, and that is at the heart of the iLEAD Exploration model: developing the whole child so that they are equipped to live with purpose and intent.
As Dr. Covey said, “The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct, and learn from it.” When children learn to apply this in an academic setting, it can only spread to every other area of life.
Next week, we will continue exploring the 7 Habits with Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind.
For more information on the 7 Habits and other leadership resources, click here to visit the Franklin Covey website.
This week, we are reminding learners to tackle those math testing challenges with “good old-fashioned” paper and pencil!
If learners are attempting a math problem that requires calculation, they should always try to work it out on paper before choosing their answer. Many young testers get so focused on the computer screen that they forget to pick up a pencil and use it to work out the problem! (Please note that there is also a feature on the CAASPP for writing and notes. However, using pencil and paper is best for solving math problems.) On test day, every child will be provided with paper and pencil. If their pencil tip breaks, learners should raise their hand and ask for a new one!
Here’s your chance to try it out! Click on this link to simple math problems to have your learner practice working out problems on paper first and then selecting their answer on the computer. If you stay with the quiz, it will show results at the end.
Grit is described as “courage, resolve, and strength of character,” and we can’t think of a family that exhibits these qualities better than the Cabrales-Goldstein kids. Meet third grader Golan, first grader Dada, and kindergartner Michaela!
All three children are excellent iLEAD Exploration learners and hardworking chess champions. Dada is currently ranked number one in the U.S. in “blitz” (fast chess) for girls age seven, and because she recently defeated the “Iron Man” of chess in highest number of games for the year, she was mentioned in Chess Life, making her the “Iron Girl” of chess. Talk about grit!
Michaela is ranked number three in long-game chess nationwide in her category: girls age five. Both Golan and Dada have a big following on YouTube via L.A. Chess Club and Golan’s competition videos have surpassed 2.5 million views. He is also ranked in the top-100 chess players for his age group.
In addition to being chess champions, all three kids are currently learning to play the drums and skateboard as well as pursuing their own interests. Dada loves to design and sew and has endless original one-of-a-kind creative ideas. Michaela loves to draw and do math as well as write. Golan is advanced in several of his subjects and is a scientist in the making. All three kids are devouring their curricula at record speed. They simply love to learn and are determined to give their best to every task, whether it be athletic, creative, academic or anything else they put their minds to.
In addition to all the hard work and determination, this family exhibits compassion, support, and gratitude in their interactions with each other and all who meet them. They are especially grateful to the iLEAD team that supports them and allows them the extra freedom and time to follow their dreams. This combination of character, gratitude, and courage definitely makes this family stand out in a crowd. What a great iLEAD family, exhibiting grit in all they do!
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
As you and your family talk about 2020 New Year’s resolutions, one idea might be to add “Strengthening the ability to make logical guesses” to your child’s list of resolutions! Here are some tips to discuss with them and help them when tackling multiple-choice-type questions.
Remind your child that for multiple-choice questions, they should slowly and carefully read through the question, then think through the answer.
Look to see if the answer they came up with on their own is listed as an option, and then choose it! If it’s not listed, then reread the question with even more focus.
Keep your eye out for the silly answers that can be mixed in to test if you’re paying attention.
Lastly, look through the answer options and simply choose the one that makes the most sense!
Try playing some guessing games at home to build good guessing stamina!
Not surprisingly, Everett’s favorite subject is PE, a perfect fit for this zesty boy. He loves parkour and is looking forward to his sixth birthday, when he can start taking classes at a local gym. His current favorite place to log active hours is at the local trampoline park, where he can practice the Ninja course and leap into the foam pit. Everett also has a more calm and mindful side; he is learning to meditate and enjoys yoga with Cosmic Kids Yoga on video. When he grows up, Everett wants to become a firefighter and use his boundless energy to fight fires.
Mt. Wilson Field Study
Learners had a wonderful time learning about animal rescue and care at The Gentle Barn. This field trip teaches young people how to lovingly care for animals of all types and sizes.
From hugging cows to feeding horses to holding chickens, our learners experienced firsthand why it is important to treat animals with dignity.
International Printing Museum Field Study
Big challenges are best tackled in small doses!
Here’s another tip to help your learner climb the testing mountain with small steps to success! Instead of trying to complete pages of practice or large chunks of time on test prep, try weaving in a few questions for exposure each week. Use a small reading passage with a few comprehension questions to check for understanding. One suggestion is to utilize a free resource like Super Teacher Worksheets. Simply scroll down (within each grade level) to locate the highlighted “Free” tag above the selected passage and discover the corresponding questions with an answer key.
Curious to know more? Here’s an awesome article with additional creative support!
Homeschooling was not the plan for iLEAD Exploration 9th grader Josh Bird, but by the end of 7th grade it was clear to his mom, Mary, that he was not thriving in his brick-and-mortar school, and something needed to change. “He was so unhappy, with behavior challenges, and just sad,” Mary remembers. Josh enrolled with iLEAD Exploration in the 2018-2019 school year and celebrated 8th grade promotion with a huge smile on his face! Now in high school, he has the best grades he has had in a long time and is engaged, joyful, and confident again. December’s theme of “zest” fits Josh perfectly, as he faces new challenges with curiosity and energy and is always eager to share his enthusiasm.
Josh has a diagnosis of ADHD, and it can be a challenge for him to stay focused on the task at hand, especially in difficult areas of study like writing and literature. He has greatly benefitted from the focused environment of homeschooling. At times, he still has moments of frustration, but with a difference. “He can have the feelings and then process them and understand, one-on-one with me,” says Mary. “In conventional school, he would just miss the entire lesson.” Along with academics, Josh is learning a lot of social-emotional skills that he needs to thrive in life. This invaluable learning is furthered in sessions with iLEAD’s student support team.
The flexible model of homeschool has also allowed Josh to engage more with his passions. Josh eats, sleeps, and breathes fish and any kind of marine life. His goal is to pursue the field of marine biology. At every opportunity (after finishing schoolwork), he helps his dad work on their boat and enjoys fishing. Before visiting a particular fishing destination, Josh will research the exact bait, lures, and rods they will need, and he independently sets up all the gear and bait for himself and his two younger siblings. Josh also loves riding dirt bikes and going shooting with his family, and he recently got a new quad. He has a contagious zest for outdoor life.
Now Josh and his mother, Mary, who works as a nurse, are almost a year and a half into their homeschooling journey. One goal of Mary’s is to help Josh never see his learning differences as an excuse, and she works hard to support Josh in staying accountable and rising to the challenge of high school. Josh is taking one class at a learning center and several through iLEAD Online, and he is doing well!
Mary sums it up this way: “He has grown by leaps and bounds in everything. It has been a huge effort for the whole family, but we are getting there, and the progress is unbelievable. His confidence level is so different, and he is so happy! Days do not always go as planned, and I get frustrated, but then I look at what he’s learned and how far he’s come, and I am so proud.”
Zest is having zeal or enthusiasm for life! Check out Taylor Wilson’s incredible passion and zest for what he is doing! What gets you and your kids excited to be alive? What projects, passions, people, or purposes have upped the zest in your home?
Attention, volunteers! If you are looking for a way to give back, there are many places and organizations that would appreciate and need what you have to offer! Visit Volunteer Match for endless opportunities to match your interest, age, and abilities. Here are just a few!
Los Angeles County – California Hospital Medical Center: Do you have a musical talent? California Hospital Medical Center is looking for people to share their musical talents. Share your voice, strings, keyboard, or other instrument and bring entertainment and comfort to the hospital environment. Whether a group concert in the lobby or a solo performance at the bedside of a patient, they welcome your talent and generosity! Call 213-742-5707 for more information, or visit California Hospital Medical Center.
Los Angeles County – Foothill Unity Center: Each year, many individuals and groups from local schools, businesses, and service organizations donate items and volunteer time to the Foothill Unity Center’s annual Thanksgiving and Holiday Distribution Programs conducted at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia. At the holiday distribution party, families receive huge holiday food boxes, as well as new toys and clothing for their children. Please join in the fun and sign up online.
Orange County – Kidworks: Kidworks in Santa Ana welcomes volunteers willing to help learners in their after-school program. Spending an hour or two a week with kindergarteners through 12th graders can make a difference in their world. You will support youth by helping them with their homework and other educational needs. You
MobyMax subscriptions are provided for free to iLEAD learners. MobyMax test prep is a comprehensive adaptive review used to improve content knowledge and address gaps in learning for grades K-8.
Your challenge this week is to try the test prep practice questions:
Log in to MobyMax
Enter the username and password provided by your EF (this was sent at the beginning of the school year if you requested the complimentary subscription; if not, please check with your EF)
Click on the books icon
Click on the test prep icon
Select a subject and begin
Since becoming a homeschooler with iLEAD Exploration in 2017, 8th grader Aunchalee Olguin has blossomed into a happy learner who lives a life filled with zest and wonder. She takes great interest in learning and approaches her schoolwork with great excitement. Aunchalee is especially interested in science and history, with math coming in at a close third. Her reading has improved greatly since she joined iLEAD Exploration, enabling her to enjoy the world of science even more than she did before.
Aunchalee loves animals (with humans coming in at a close second). She currently has five cats, two pigs, and two dogs, all of whom she raised from infancy. Aunchalee also loves art and paints with oil paints, watercolors, and pastels. She always has an art project in progress.
The outdoors are a big part of Aunchalee’s life. She enjoys skateboarding, rollerblading, and bike riding on rugged desert trails. She is passionate about horseback riding and is currently preparing for an equitation horse show. Aunchalee is also learning to sail with her father and is beaming with excitement about their first sailing voyage.
Aunchalee always finds time for off-roading with her desert buggy, which she finds thrilling. As part of her busy schedule, she always manages to squeeze in drum practice and relaxes while crocheting and playing the piano. Clearly, Aunchalee (and her family) relish all the flexibility and support iLEAD Exploration provides. She is thriving in this program while also exploring her varied interests.
For the month of December, our Schoolwide Learner Outcome (SLO) is zest. You may be asking yourself, “What is zest, and why is it an important character trait?” Think of zest as more than just a character trait. It is a mind-set, or even a state of mind, a positive approach to life and new situations. Embracing unfamiliar educational challenges can be difficult, but having a zestful attitude can help our learners push through and gain new insights, allowing them to feel successful. When we invest in zestful practices, we experience gratitude, hope, and love from the inside (Seligman, Steen, Park & Peterson, 2006).Zest Poster