05.19.2021

Learner Spotlight: Lusineh Nasrollahi

Lusineh Nasrollahi featured

iLEAD Exploration learner Lusineh Nasrollahi cares deeply for the Earth and the animals and plants that live here. She is a member of the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. She uses Earth-friendly products, recycles, donates items she no longer needs, and tries to not buy things she doesn’t need. Lusineh is also hoping to start composting soon. One of her goals for the family is to create as little trash as possible. In the summers, a portion of Lusineh’s backyard turns into a kind of butterfly farm for monarch butterflies. This summer, Lusineh plans to provide extra help to the butterflies, giving them milkweed, water, and possibly some extra protection.

If Lusineh is not working on a flower garden, she’s working on a vegetable garden. She takes care of fruit trees in the backyard and is now working on growing flowers and turning the family’s backyard into Descanso Gardens.

Lusineh has a wonderful imagination and sense of humor. She is very creative, and she “sharpens her saw” by doing craft projects, sewing, gardening, reading (especially Magic Treehouse, Flat Stanley, and graphic novels), drawing and modeling (especially Pokémon characters), and taking care of her pet bird. Art and animals inspire her to write more creative stories.

Lusineh participates in many different extracurricular activities for fun. Initially her family turned to extracurriculars to offer her an opportunity to develop her communication and social skills. Many of the activities have become a part of Lusineh’s life, and she has continued doing them for years. She exemplifies zest with her interests and passions.

Lusineh loves to dance. She started dancing when she was four years old. She usually dances ballet, jazz, and tap. Her favorite dance style is tap, but she also wants to learn flamenco, tango, salsa, and Irish step dancing. The family has lots of dance parties at home. Lusineh brings out the disco ball and puts songs on her mom’s phone, while she and her little five-year-old and three-year-old sisters dance until they are covered with sweat. Lusineh loves to be funny and to make people laugh. Improv (theater) class, which has been via Zoom so far, has been a great outlet for her.She is the youngest one in her class.

iLEAD Exploration learner Lusineh

Lusineh also enjoys singing in a choir. She started by singing in a small church choir. She has sung a few solos for the church congregation and has performed a solo with the adult choir. She was invited to record a tiny bit of a solo at a private recording studio. She was awarded a singing scholarship last year. With the pandemic, choir meetings have not been allowed for a year, but as soon as things get back to “normal,” Lusineh will definitely start singing again. Lusineh is now also singing in a community choir. Other artistic activities Lusineh enjoys for fun are musical theater, martial arts, art classes, and piano lessons. Recently, Lusineh has started experimenting with making her own songs on the piano.

Lusineh absolutely loves animals, especially birds. Lusineh has a pet cockatiel whom she brought home when he was only a baby. She named her pet bird Feathers and has taught him some words, songs, and games. Next, Lusineh wants to have an aquarium, and she definitely wants some neon fish and a suckerfish in there. She wants to have a farm with different animals but will settle for a chicken for now.

When it comes to academics and extracurricular activities, Lusineh’s family does not encourage competitiveness. They just want Lusineh to have a wonder-filled childhood in what they perceive as a fast-moving, pushing-children-into-adulthood world. At home, they encourage an awareness of values (and value differences between people or families) and the need to live by one’s values (and to accept and to love others whose values may be different from theirs). Lusineh’s family strongly believes that joy and happiness come from having good values and from living by those values. The amazing thing about homeschooling is that it gives Lusineh the opportunity to explore the world and herself, to fill her life with things that bring her joy, and to understand her values.

Homeschooling was not something Lusineh’s family considered. However, year after year, Lusineh was being bullied at school. When her parents found out more about the situation at school, they turned to emergency homeschooling. That changed everything, and now Lusineh has been with iLEAD Exploration for the last two years. Having had a taste of homeschooling with iLEAD and with the support of an amazing educational facilitator, Lusineh’s family has decided that homeschooling is a kind of dream come true for them, and not only for Lusineh, but for all their children.

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