09.18.2019

Learner Spotlight: The Smalley Family

Smalley Family

The Smalley kids are a quirky crew! They were born in Idaho, spent four years living on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, and now find themselves in sunny California. They are enjoying all that iLEAD has to offer them, especially being able to experience extracurricular activities in their own language, play new sports, and even take tests.

Luke (13) is in 7th grade, and is the oldest (by one minute) of the four Smalleys. He is the peacemaker; the one who keeps this family of siblings tied together and functioning relationally like a well-oiled machine. He is also the one who flows most easily with change and is willing to try new things. He has loved being a part of the wood shop class that Brain Builders in Tustin provides. It has inspired him to begin woodworking projects at home, especially with his grandpa. He is currently brainstorming his next big project.

Anna (13) is in 7th grade. She is the second-born by one minute and is the artist of the family. If you ever wonder how she is feeling, all you have to do is take a peek at her sketchbook and you will find her mood projected in the faces of her characters. She has been thriving at Studio H Fine Art, taking sketching and painting classes. These courses have pushed her into completing projects that she would never have done on her own. Her creativity is endless and it won’t be surprising when her stories turn into books.

James (11) is in 6th grade. Empathy is one of his strongest qualities: he acutely feels the pain of others and cannot contain his excitement when others experience good things. He is a hard worker, a loyal friend, and the silliest Smalley. Basketball with OC Rain is his new sport of choice, and you can see him practicing his dribble in the driveway, transforming a cardboard box into a basket. He also enjoys calculating math in his head and never ceases to amaze at how quickly he comes up with the correct answer, calculating sales tax into every purchase he makes.

Julia (9) is in 4th grade. She is the youngest and the most verbal of all the kids. If she has information, she is immediately on a mission to make sure everyone else has the same information. She is an avid reader and is currently in love with the Wings of Fire series. She has communicated the stories in detail to us all. She also loves to dance and dress up, singing along with JoJo Siwa and the Descendants. She has been a part of a tap class at Tustin Dance Center for a year and she loves it. She loves the friendships she has built but also the opportunity to perform, wear beautiful costumes and tap on stage.

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