iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

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

Jul 27, 2020 @ 01:00

Monday Message

Our News & Events

Together Tuesdays


That’s right, it’s Together Tuesday! We love seeing the positive images submitted throughout iLEAD nation 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 by midnight every Monday.

Join Us for Virtual Scattergories


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Give It Stars!


Calling all iLEAD readers! What books have you been enjoying lately? A great way to reflect on a book is to create a book review. Simply download one of the free templates below (or create your own!) and tell others how many stars you would give to a book. Share your opinion during one of your virtual calls with friends, family or even your EF at your learning period meeting. Your review just might encourage someone to pick up that book to read!

Mini Book Review Primary Book Review Book Commercial Upper Grade Book Review


Learner Spotlight: Everett Family

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The Everett family didn’t set out to homeschool but have totally embraced the lifestyle. Since both Ben, first grade, and Caroline (Caddie), kindergarten, have an immunodeficiency diagnosis, it is much safer for them to do school at home. These two iLEAD Exploration learners are thriving in their family’s learner-led homeschool. Ben and Caddie definitely embody this month’s school-wide learner outcome: curiosity.

The questions and interests of the children drive instruction in the Everett household. One time Ben wondered how many cars on his street were white. He made an estimate and charted tally marks as he walked through the neighborhood, testing his hypothesis. Caddie collected shells at the beach and made a bar graph showing the different kinds of shells she found. These are a few examples of the way the Everett family facilitates self-initiated math in everyday life!

The quest for knowledge abounds with Caddie and Ben. Before going on a cruise to Alaska with his family, Ben wondered what color the ocean would be at night. He knew that the water appears blue during the day because it reflected on the color of the sky. He predicted the color of the ocean would be clear at night since the sky would not be visible. He was so interested in this experiment that his parents let him stay up until 11:00 p.m. (since it was summer in Alaska) to test his prediction! Ben also loves math and was accepted to the Summer Institute for the Gifted. His project was “How to Make the Fastest Hot Wheels Car.” Ben measured and charted variables that affected the speed of the cars in order to determine the winner.

Caddie loves to learn about famous people in history. She has studied Marie Curie, women’s rights activist Emily Pankhurst, Marie Antoinette, painter Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, King Tut, and Queen Elizabeth I. Caddie loves art and enjoys taking online classes at Outschool. She even created original art about penicillin for the cover of the August issue of Pediatric Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Any visit to Caddie and Ben’s house reveals how much they are learning. One memorable time his EF came by, Ben shared his Found Art Museum. He had written descriptions about each piece of artwork displayed around the house. Another time Caddie asked how she could save astronauts from sunburn. She experimented with many creative ways to answer this question.

Caddie and Ben attended some unique day trips with their parents this year. They were excited about a numismatist they met at a coin show. They also wrote about their trips to an airplane museum, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Ben and Caddie asked questions to learn more about the things they were curious about. These kids are excited to learn wherever they go.

TED Talk: Curiosity


This TED Talk playfully addresses this month’s SLO: curiosity. It speaks to why intellectual curiosity is so important to children and adults alike. Tara draws from her own experience and tells stories about being dyslexic and her fascination with learning new things. These experiences are the reason she values intellectual curiosity and encourages others to engage in this way of thinking.

Curious? Watch this:

Books are also a wonderful way to foster curiosity and introduce new ideas to children. Here are some book lists that address curiosity in a meaningful way for children:

Growing Book by Book

In addition, we hope you enjoy these fun activities to inspire curiosity at home:

24 Ways To Develop Curiosity


Summer Classes With iLEAD Online

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Registration is open now for all families to enroll in iLEAD Online’s July 1 Track C Program. A few highlights about this year’s program:

  • There is no cost, and any child in grades 2-12 living in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Kern counties may enroll. Special note: Because your child is enrolled in a different school (iLEAD Exploration is part of iLEAD Hybrid’s charter school), you would need to enroll your learner with iLEAD Online’s charter school for the summer.
  • iLEAD Online courses begin on July 1. Learners complete courses at an accelerated rate. They have two cycles of accelerated learning from July 1 through August 14, at which point most Track C learners will withdraw from this program to return to the school they attend during the school year.
  • Courses are all online and facilitated by a credentialed master of distance learning. Live office hours, extra tutoring and support, and customizable content make their program user-friendly.
  • High school learners receive UC a-g, NCAA approved, and WASC accredited transfer grades.
  • Grades 2-8 have some great project-based learning courses that you can find here. These courses touch on all four core disciplines in an engaging and fun way that builds skills through active, hands-on learning.
  • Registration is open until June 1 this year. Families must submit an intent to enroll. Once this is submitted, the iLEAD Online office team will guide you through the rest.
iLEAD Online Track C Postcard

Write at Home: Developing Teen Writers Webinar

Wrie at home

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 three 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.


Online Educational Resources

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Online science videos, lessons, reading material and quizzes for grades K-5
Online social-emotional learning programs loved by kids ages 5-15
Helps kids exercise their brains and bodies
Free guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons
Free lessons and resources for all subject areas
A proven K-12 practice assessment tool. CODE: EdmentumSupport2020
Excellent curation and art collection
High-quality educational videos for high school and college courses
100+ indoor activities
Ways to use Lego bricks with math concepts

You’re Invited to Join iLEAD’s Virtual DreamUp to Space Mission!

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Registration is open for iLEAD learners in grades 5-12 for the DreamUp to Space Mission!

Learn more about iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects here!

Learner Spotlight: Lily Ochoa


iLEAD Exploration eighth grader Lily Ochoa has been homeschooling since fall of 2018. She finds that home study fosters her creativity and inspires her to dig deeply into what interests her. Her academic environment allows her to enjoy learning but also remain motivated and persistent as she moves toward mastery. Lily keeps her mind and body stimulated with creative academic choices to engage in the learning process. She stretches her creative aspirations both inside and outside of the “classroom.”

You can find Lily exploring the world on frequent field studies. You might find her absorbed in the anatomy section of the CA Science Center or taking notes at local history and art museums or drawing animals at the zoo or cataloging state facts on cross country road trips.

Lily’s creativity doesn’t stop there, as she thrives on flexing her artistic muscles. She loves to draw, paint, illustrate digitally, and play her ukulele in her spare time. She is enthusiastically becoming the “Jill of all trades!” Just this year, Lily began her equestrian journey learning how to ride horses Western style. She quickly learned how to steer, walk from a stop, and how to halt. Her next goal is to learn how to jump!

Lily’s compassion and gentleness have led her to a great passion for animals. Since she was in kindergarten, her lifelong dream has been to have a career that is dedicated to animal health, safety, and preservation. This may mean becoming a veterinarian, a zookeeper, or even opening up her own dog shelter! Certainly, giftedness is a developmental journey, and Lily is well on her way.

Lunch Bunch

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Virtual Science Fair

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Virtual Science Fair

Together Tuesdays


The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives, and while the constant flow of serious news can feel overwhelming, we are setting aside time every Tuesday to focus on positive images from throughout iLEAD Schools. A reminder that we are all in this together. Thank you to everyone who submitted this week! Additionally, you can share YOUR Together Tuesday images and stories with us by sending them to by midnight every Monday. Our theme for next week is school spirit. How creative can you get? Just in case you missed last week’s video, you can view it here.

Additionally, the iLEAD family resource helpline is available to you toll free, M-F, 8am-8pm at 833-610-0700. Please do not hesitate to call if you are in need of support. You may also want to watch our webinar on anxiety and stress here.

Developing Teen Writers Webinar with Write at Home

Wrie at home

We are proud to partner with Write At Home to bring you a webinar that focuses on principles and strategies for teaching writing to learners in grades 5-12. To learn more about Write at Home, please visit them here. Please see below for registration and webinar details.


Virtual Workshop with Tree People


Please join Tree People for a virtual interactive session that will focus on recycling and how to replace wasteful everyday products with more sustainable options. Learn about different types of waste including paper, plastic, organics, glass, metal, and electronics, and how these different materials impact our environment. Come prepared to discuss which items you use in your home that are confusing to throw away or things that you use as an alternative to wasteful products! If you’d like to talk trash, this is your chance! To learn more about Tree People, please visit them here.

This virtual workshop will take place on Tuesday, April 28th at 1:00 PM and is geared for grades 6-12. If you would like to join, please email

Learner Spotlight: Garrett Family

Garrett Family (1)

The Garrett family joined iLEAD in 2019 and thus began their first ever homeschool journey, primarily animated by a thirst for knowledge. At first they were nervous about the change but remained optimistic that homeschooling would be the right fit for them because it would allow them to discover what interested them. These ever curious iLEAD Exploration learners Zion (15) , Zaida (11), and Zoë (9) anticipated that homeschooling would both allow them to catch up in academic areas of need while allowing them to focus on areas of interest and follow where their educational desires took them.

And they were right! Their inaugural year has proven to be a successful adventure for the Garrett family. Ninth grader Zion loves to draw, dance, and sing. She also enjoys video games and animating. Most days you will find Zion creating stories, painting, and drawing. She also enjoys exploring nature and the outdoors. A warm and caring girl, Zion has a soft spot for animals and for her baby sister, Zurielle, whom she enjoys helping her mother with. She also loves science, crafting, and making slime and is currently working on her comic series and has recently completed her first animated short entitled Hodgepodge.

Fifth grader Zaida loves to play with toys and video games. You will likely find her on adventures to the park, the beach, and amusement parks. Zaida loves drawing and helping cook at home. Zaida won first place on her track team and enjoys roller skating and dancing.

Zoë, a third grader, likes roller skating and swimming. A budding sportswoman, she received an award for her accomplishments in volleyball and earned second place on her track team. Epitomizing her family’s can-do philosophy, Zoë likes to say, “When someone says you can’t do it, do it twice and take pictures!”

School Wide Learner Outcome: Curiosity


This month we embrace curiosity. Curiosity is defined as a strong desire to know or learn something. It is frequently the engine that drives learning and achievement. Children are curious by nature and everything is a wonder to them. Karen Stephens says, “When conditions allow children to satisfy curiosity through safe, self-initiated, and playful exploration, learning occurs naturally. As children investigate, the experiences simultaneously fuel emotional, social, intellectual, physical, and ethical development.”

For curious learners, it is less important to have the “right” answers and more important to create an environment where questioning and learning can occur. You can help nurture your child’s curiosity by following their lead, modeling an interest in the world around you, and asking open ended questions. Children’s natural inclination to be curious should be fostered and developed through their unique learning experiences.

Here is a really fun packet of ideas for children to explore their curiosity at home. Play is one of the main ways that children learn about the world around them and explore many of the big ideas we learn about in our schooling.

Webinar: Teaching Across the Curriculum


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Write About It!

How to

One great way to encourage your learner to write more is to have them focus on those topics they love to talk about; pets, sports, games or favorite foods! It is always easier to write about the natural interests in our lives. Challenge your learner to write an informational piece that explains how to do something like ride a bike, or make their favorite sandwich, or maybe how to take care of a family pet. Share your ideas with your EF, as they would love to celebrate what you know how to do!

“How To” Template

“How To Take Care of…”

Online Educational Resources


Enjoy these at-home resources for kids.
Explore, discover and connect with the many animal resources and activities.
Newsomatic allows students to have a safe, age-appropriate resource for global news.
If you love Disney music, and occasionally a Disney dance party, then this is the playlist for you! While you’re dancing your Main Street U.S.A. heart out, you might as well break a sweat and tone up!
Turn your kitchen into a chemistry lab with these simple science experiments! Get creative using minimal materials from your pantry.
Learners can find a number of videos related to a topic that they find interesting. Each video is accompanied by a lesson.
The new at-home version of GoNoodle is designed to get kids moving so they can be their strongest, bravest, silliest, smartest, and best selves.
Learners can take a virtual field trip to amazing places and remarkable experiences.
Enjoy a new daily craft on Joann’s YouTube channel.

Learner Spotlight: Stephenson Family

Stephenson family

The iLEAD Exploration learners in the Stephenson family transitioned to homeschooling only a couple of years ago but have been customizing learning and pursuing their dreams ever since! Tahani (15) Taaliah (11), and Tahlil (5) exude this month’s SLO of optimism. Each of these learners holds great hope about their futures and an unshakeable confidence that they will achieve their goals.

While in middle school, 9th grader Tahani explored an interest in law and criminal justice using the iLEAD online mock trial class and by seeking mentoring from a relative who is a lawyer. Last fall, she signed up for the first course in the administration of justice track and challenged herself (and succeeded!) in getting an A on every single assignment. She is now working hard on the second course as well as other college courses and is optimistic that she can earn her associates degree in justice administration before she finishes high school. She also loves sewing and fashion design and is shown here with a dress she sewed for her mom while modeling a shirt she made. In the picture below, her sister is modeling a matching pant set. All of these beautiful outfits were designed and made at iLEAD vendor Ms. Sylvia’s sewing studio. Tahani also enjoys acting and loves the way iLEAD has allowed her the flexibility to explore and follow multiple dreams at once.

Taaliah, 6th grade, shown here modeling an outfit her sister made and holding an alligator during a family road trip, transitioned to homeschooling this year at the start of her middle school career. Before she left her brick and mortar school, she had already made a list of activities she wished to explore. She is excited to have more freedom to continue working at track and field, pursue acting like her older sister, and sample gymnastics classes. Taaliah also has a long list of books she wants to read.

Kindergartner Tahlil is excited to learn to read this year. He works very hard on his academics and pushes himself to master numbers and letters as quickly as possible. He loves science and Legos and is hoping to take a Lego robotics class soon.

Learner Spotlight: Lila Inman


Optimism is the way you see and think about what is happening around and to you, looking for good in each situation. Optimism describes iLEAD Exploration learner, Lila Inman!

Always smiling, Lila is a 5th grader who approaches life with joy, sweetness, and perseverance. At a young age, Lila discovered that she has dyslexia. Some areas of learning have been hard for her. However, she perseveres by devoting multiple hours a week to receiving additional tutoring and remains hopeful in the face of her dyslexia. With her positive outlook and hope for her future, she has grown in her academics and extracurricular activities.

One of her favorite activities is dance. Lila has been dancing for two years and spends multiple hours, three days a week perfecting her dance. She has a goal this year of perfecting a quad pirouette. Lila is also a very talented crafter. She loves to sew, crochet and create. She is an out-of-the-box thinker and can easily improvise when she is crafting. She has knitted coffee cozies, sewn bags and created many other beautiful pieces.

Lila’s joyful, persistent, and upbeat outlook on life inspires those around her. Lila’s joy and positivity can be seen and felt as soon as you meet her.

Online Educational Resources


We continue to be amazed by the generosity of many educational companies as they provide virtual learning for families. Your educational facilitators are working hard to provide you with a list of these opportunities, and the full list can be viewed here.
Learners everywhere can stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages.
The Berliner Philharmoniker invites you to visit their virtual concert hall free of charge.
Daily learning workbooks for grades K-6
Many favorite authors are offering online read-alouds and activities on social media.
The most popular science lessons are being offered for anyone to use for free, and no account or login is needed.
Check out these five free middle school science resources.
This website provides art lessons for ages 5-12.
Enjoy books being read by astronauts!
ST Math is a web-based visual instructional program that leads to deep conceptual understanding of math.
Are your learners fascinated by extreme weather or crazy about reptiles? Do they want to know more about their state or outer space? Learners can start watching, reading, and exploring today with TrueFlix.

We’ve Got Mail!

letter writing

This week, we would like to encourage learners of all ages to write a friendly letter to someone who needs encouragement. This is the perfect time to get back to basics, catch up, and connect with one another the old fashioned way. Below, you can see some of our iLEAD learners that have already started developing their pen-pal relationships.

Pen-pal 1

Here is a template to help you get started:

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