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.

Aug 23, 2020 @ 01:00

Monday Message

Our News & Events

Upcoming Educational Events

Fall 2020 Virtual Events

We are very excited about the upcoming virtual events listed below:

  • TK-3 Show and Tell, October 13 at 11:00 a.m. Register here.
  • Let’s Cook, October 16 at 1:00 p.m. Register here.
  • Skribbl Pictionary, October 23 at 2:00 p.m. Register here.

World Food Day

World Food Day

Food is seen as a basic human need, and yet one in nine people globally experience chronic hunger. As far back as 1945, the United Nations recognized food not as a privilege but as a right. This is why they created World Food Day. It is observed annually on October 16. It’s a day of observance to draw attention to the plight of the hungry. So this week, join us in eradicating hunger.

Here are some ways you can help:

  1. Give to a local food bank.
  2. Support small, local farms.
  3. Raise money to end hunger.

For more information, you can also visit the World Food Day page on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ website.

Learner Spotlight: Gianelle and Madilyn Do

Gianelle and Madilyn Do

iLEAD Exploration learners Gianelle and Madilyn Do believe in the power of “yet,” and are always looking for new interests to explore and finding creative ways to help others.

The Do family began homeschooling when they realized their younger daughter was struggling to keep up in a traditional school due to dyslexia. The family also loved the idea of interest-led learning, and they wanted these 5th and 3rd grade girls to love what they were studying and explore other areas they would otherwise never have explored. As an entrepreneurial family, they also wanted the girls to learn to be independent and consider all the possible options out there. Lastly, they wanted to be able to spend more quality time together as a family.

The Do family has put into practice tackling the hard things first since they started their homeschool journey. The family tackles all their “busy” projects at the beginning of the week, leaving the fun or less busy projects until the end. Ultimately, Fridays have always been their “Fri-yays!” and are filled with a fun learning activity. This comes naturally to the girls and has been their go-to schedule from the beginning.

A growth mindset is central to this family. They love using the word “yet” and have learned this is a powerful word. Examples: “I don’t know how to draw this yet” or “I can’t read a full chapter book yet, but I am working on it and will get there.” They also love to try new things. Often, when they’re trying new things, mistakes happen and difficulties arise, but they love to “try again.” Gianelle and Madilyn learn from their mistakes because they know mistakes are only teaching opportunities, and if they don’t try, they’ll never know the outcome. They also believe they can do hard things. As you can see, a positive mindset is a big part of their schooling and life in general. They enjoy writing in the Big Life Journal and listening to the related podcast.

Madilyn, age eight, has been interested in dance for years. She is now in her second year of ballet and her first year of contemporary. She started as a beginner in ballet and has successfully moved up to intermediate. Her goal is to be accepted into a pointe class and move up from there. She also enjoys video games, practicing piano, spending time with her friends, and playing with slime.

Gianelle, age ten, loves to sing. She fought through her fears of performing in public, which was a big step for her. She is passionate about helping others. Last year she was able to meet with the mayor of her city for an interview and to make a public video to ask her community to help her gather supplies to make care bags for people without housing. She was able to make 100 bags! She also loves to make crafts and sell them at kids’ business fairs and saves a portion of her earnings to give back. Gianelle also enjoys fashion, makeup lessons, and her ukulele.

Virtual Halloween Parade

Virtual Halloween Parade


Virtual Wax Museum

Virtual Wax Museum

Virtual History Wax Museum flyer

Student Support Symposium


This year’s Student Support Symposium will be held virtually on October 13, 2020. Please register here.

Jonathan Mooney, an award-winning writer, entrepreneur, and activist who first learned to read at 12 years old, will be the keynote speaker. In addition, over 20 exceptional education sessions will be offered. Topics include the following:

  • Understanding the Assessment Process and the Role You Play
  • How Present Levels Drive the Whole IEP
  • Occupational Therapy Activities to Support Optimal Participation in School
  • Understanding Anxiety in Children
  • 8 Skills to Facilitate Learners’ Optimal Communication Skills
  • And many more!

Due to the symposium, the curriculum library will be closed for any pickups on Tuesday, October 13, as iLEAD Exploration staff will be attending the Student Support Symposium. We hope you will find topics of interest to attend as well!

Upcoming Educational Events

Fall 2020 Virtual Events

We are very excited about the upcoming virtual events listed below:

  • Virtual Book Club: October 8 at 11 a.m. Register here by October 5.
  • Scattergories for learners in grades 3-5: October 5 at 2 p.m. Register here.
  • TK-3 Show and Tell: October 13 at 11 a.m. Register here.
  • Let’s Cook: October 16 at 1 p.m. Register here.
  • Skribbl Pictionary: October 23 at 2 p.m. Register here.

Fall Webinars

Fall Webinars

Have college application questions and need answers? Join us for our next College Application Q&A webinar on October 9 at 10 am. Register here:

Updated Webinars flyer with links

Learner Spotlight: The Gomez Family

The Gomez Family

Second-generation homeschoolers, Maximus (grade 4) and Tobias (grade 1) are two inquisitive, driven learners with a clear purpose for their education. The Gomez boys have been homeschooling with iLEAD for the past five years because their mom, raised as a homeschooler herself, recognized that her boys from a young age needed to be challenged. Four walls could not contain the knowledge to be gained by this family, so they chose to make the world their classroom. Able to follow their passions, these learners have their sights set on high achievements.

Maximus began reading chapter books at the age of five and has not stopped since. He enjoys studying anatomy, robotics, coding, swimming, and is an experienced pianist. From a young age, Maximus has been fascinated with the medical field. His ultimate goal of becoming a heart surgeon has led to many in-depth, academically-challenging projects. Maximus was fortunate to discover his purpose at a young age and amazingly has not veered from that path.

Tobias, too, has a passion for his education. He has always been interested in the dental field. He spends his time exploring the scientific names and functions of all his teeth. He is able to identify each of the teeth he loses (and many of them are currently wiggly). Tobias is also a gifted creator, builder, and often explores his artistic side. Many days he can be found drawing and creating art. This summer, Tobias took on a new hobby and is now surfing regularly.

As a family, the Gomezes enjoy hiking, traveling to new places, and exploring museums, such as LACMA. Spending time together as a family cultivates the ultimate homeschool environment. Maximus and Tobias continue to pursue a path that will lead them to success. Although they are young, they set goals and model a sense of purpose in the passions they pursue.

Field Studies: Virtual Park Tour

Virtual Park Tour


Hispanic Heritage Month

Hight School Clubs and Organizations

Every year from September 15-October 15, we honor our ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America during Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 15 was chosen as the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month because it marks the anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence during this time period on September 16 and September 18.

To help honor this amazing culture, we are including some resources that you may want to investigate:

PBS Learning Media

Scholastic: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Book Ideas

NEA: Hispanic Heritage Month

Teaching Central America

Teaching Tolerance: Latino Civil Rights Timeline

Virtual Scattergories


If you have a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade learner, please join us for a few rounds of virtual Scattergories. You can register here if you are interested.


Distance Learning Helpful Hints

Online Learning iLEAD Exploration

Now more than ever, learners are using distance learning as the foundation of their education. Learning from home has great benefits but can also pose organizational challenges. Below are some hints that might help you stay more focused and organized in your virtual classes.

Organize Your Digital Workspace

  • Try creating an orderly folder/file system in Google Drive or Evernote that works for what you need.

  • Session Buddy is a great way to save your tabs, windows, and bookmarks.

  • Try using Google Sticky Notes for deadline reminders or to keep a record of your different log-ins and passwords for your classes.

Minimize Distractions and Save Time

  • If you get distracted by the internet, try using a timed internet blocker, such as SelfControl.

  • Taking an intentional break from social media or email on your phone can also prevent distractions.

  • Some learners find that peaceful music helps them focus. There are many different kinds of ambient and classical music tracks specifically designed for studying and staying focused.

  • Google Calendar is a great way to organize your time and set class times as well as due date reminders for yourself.

Keep Your Workspace Functional

  • Look around your workspace to see if it functions well for you. Does it have proper lighting? Are pens and notepads and other supplies in reach where you can quickly grab them? Do you have access to enough plugs and outlets in case you need to quickly charge your computer?

  • Keep your desk clear of dirty dishes, trash, or junk papers. A quick cleanup of your desk area between classes can keep your area tidy and organized. We recommend keeping a small trash bin near your work area.

  • You may find it helpful to print out the schedule of your weekly classes as well as user names and passwords and post them on your wall near your desk where you can easily refer to them.

Learner Spotlight: Akiro Niella

Akiro Niella

Because 4th grade “just wasn’t making sense,” Akiro Niella, 12, began his homeschooling journey with iLEAD Exploration. Now, three years later, he is clearly thriving!

This happy, busy 7th grader takes action to improve things. When Akiro sees areas he needs to grow in, academically or otherwise, he seeks out help and works hard to improve. For instance, Akiro has been working hard to shore up his math skills. As a homeschooler, Akiro can work at his own pace and focus on his individual needs. Through his determination and the freedom of homeschooling, he is proud to be confidently working in his math class at grade level. Akiro also acts proactively in areas beyond himself when he sees areas in our world that need help. An example of this can be seen in his last science project, which was a creative and out-of-the-box idea for eliminating the waste our world produces.

Animals and writing are two of Akiro’s passions that help give purpose to his life. Akiro loves to write, specifically to create imaginative stories. He has an interest in pursuing this for his future, so he consistently spends time working to get his amazing ideas onto paper. As he puts it, “I love to write because when I start to write, I get to be in my own world.” Akiro also cares deeply about animals. Once he even saved the life of a rescue cat by feeding it with a syringe. He has many pets and takes excellent care of them. His favorite animals, though they aren’t among his pets, are black panthers and sharks. He appreciates the quiet stealth of these master hunters.

Akiro also enjoys studying everything about Japan. He has taken Japanese classes for the past three years and is learning the language and culture. His goal is to visit there one day soon.

LEGOs are another interest of Akiro’s. He enjoys collecting them, playing with them, and repairing broken sets to give them new life. Homeschooling has also allowed Akiro to pursue a variety of classes and interests, from stagecraft to drawing, muay thai, and even stunt work. He enjoys trying new things and seeing which of these hobbies and interests can enhance his learning in his core subjects.

Together Tuesdays


We hope you enjoy our first Together Tuesdays video!

Watch the video here!

Fall Webinars

Fall Webinars

Fall webinars are here! Please click the event title on the flier to register for each webinar. Please join us this week on Wednesday, September 23, at noon, to learn more about how to use MAP results to guide learning. You can register here for this webinar!

Updated Webinars flyer with links

TK-1 Virtual Read Aloud

TK-1 Virtual Read Aloud

If you have a learner in grades TK-1, you won’t want to miss this virtual event! We hope you’ll join us for our first TK-1 read aloud. RSVP here if you would like to participate.


Virtual Book Club

Book Club

LINKED 2FinalBookClubpng (1)

College Testing Update

SAT Updates iLEAD Exploration

Due to COVID-19, PSAT/NMSQT has been canceled for fall 2020. We will keep families updated if alternative testing options become available. It is important to note that UC/CSU schools will not be requiring SAT/ACT test scores to be submitted for fall 2021 applicants. Many more colleges across the country are becoming test-optional as well. Please set up a Calendly appointment with our college advisor, Laura Kazan, if you have questions about your college path!

Apply to Join a DreamUp to Space Launch Team!

Dreamup to Space

Our 5th-12th grade learners are invited to apply to join one of two DreamUp to Space Launch Teams, featuring experiments designed by learners at iLEAD Exploration and SCVi!

Selected team members will run experiments in preparation for the actual experiments that will launch to space to be run by astronauts on the International Space Station with a target date of March 2021.

Team members will collaborate with facilitators and mentors at each stage. They will also be involved in promoting their mission, including creating videos and writing blogs. They will fundraise for experiment-related expenses as well as the chance to travel with their families to Kennedy Space Center, where they could present their experiment and watch it blast to space!

Watch the DreamUp to Space Launch Teams’ videos to understand more about the experiments:

If you would like to apply to join a DreamUp to Space Launch Team, please click below. You can also apply for both!

Deadline to apply: September 25, 2020.

For more information, please contact the Director of STEAM Initiatives, Kathleen Fredette, at

To learn more about iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects, please visit

Fall 2020 Virtual Events

Fall 2020 Virtual Events

This year we are excited to announce a whole new approach to field studies. Each month, we will offer learners unique virtual opportunities and experiences.

We hope that you are able to check out our first event, “Where Am I? Guessing Game”, taking place on Monday, September 14.



Virtual Book Club

Book Club

LINKED 2FinalBookClubpng (1)

Together Tuesdays

Charity, volunteering and donating concept. Raised up human hand

Last spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced our learning community to physically distance, we launched a weekly campaign with the goal to reunite our facilitators and families and lift their spirits. Every week, a new Together Tuesday video featured photos of families, learners, and staff throughout iLEAD Schools — a reminder that we’re all in this together.

Now, as we begin a new school year with distance learning, Together Tuesdays will twice monthly make a comeback. We would love to see your contributions.

The first video of the 2020-21 school year will go live on September 15. To ensure your submissions are included, please click here to submit your photos. Photos received by the Friday before each Together Tuesday are eligible to be included.

If you have any questions, simply reply to

Upcoming High School Events

Virtual High School Meet and Greet

We hope you are all settling into the new school year. If you have a high school learner, please take a look at the exciting opportunities below, as deadlines are quickly approaching.

The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. NHS serves to recognize students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. iLEAD Exploration is excited to invite all iLEAD Exploration learners who are currently in 10th-12th grade and who have been enrolled with iLEAD a minimum of one full semester and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to apply. The application period is open from now until September 30 at midnight. If you have a learner who applied last fall and received an acceptance letter, they do not need to apply again. Meetings will begin in October. Please share with your 10th, 11th, and 12th grade learners who qualify. Please click HERE to apply.

ASB (Associated Student Body) is a leadership team comprised of learners who will represent the entire student body of high schoolers. The main objective of ASB is to help learners feel more connected to school and each other through involvement in ASB-organized activities. This year, we plan to launch virtual clubs as well as several fun virtual events! Click HERE to apply!

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