iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

iLEAD Exploration continues to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format.

Feb 1, 2021 @ 18:00

ilead exploration

Family High School Guidebook

Family High School Guidebook 2

Our Family High School Guidebook has been newly updated with all the relevant high school information you need to know.

  • Graduation Requirements
  • A-G vs. Customized Graduation Path
  • Curriculum and Learning Center Resources
  • Learner Expectations
  • High School Advisement

High School Connection Meeting

Meet the Team

We would like to meet our high schoolers in person! Our high school connection meetings are a wonderful opportunity for our high school learners to meet Bethany Maddox, Laura Kazan, Lisa Rittenhouse, and other high school team members so they can learn more about this school year. Choose from two sessions: 1) September 6 at 10:30 am in Los Angeles; or 2) September 13 at 10:30 am in Costa Mesa. If you would like to attend, please register here!



Registration is open for optional PSAT/NMSQT testing on October 16 (Costa Mesa) or October 19 (Santa Clarita) for 10th and 11th graders. This is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) for 11th graders and also provides great preparation for the SAT. Please view the PSAT/NMSQT Fall 2019 Registration form for more information and to register at either location.

The cost is $20 and a check must be mailed to 3843 S Bristol Street #616, Santa Ana, CA 92704 to complete registration. The final deadline for registration and payment is September 6th.



We are pleased to offer the Naviance website to our high school learners. Naviance helps connect academic achievement to each student’s long-term goals – whether they’re applying to college, entering the workforce or joining the military. More than 10 million students rely on Naviance to achieve key readiness milestones and answer critical questions about future aspirations and how to work towards achieving those goals. More information will be announced in our September High School Highlights Newsletter.

Introducing CTE

Career and Technical Education

This year, we are excited to introduce a new program for our high school learners. Career and Technical Education (CTE) allows learners to essentially “major” in high school. It is a program of study that involves a multi-year sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide learners with a pathway to postsecondary education and career. It provides learners with an opportunity to pursue purposeful electives and participate in productive career exploration. Contact your EF or our CTE coordinator, Ally Adair-Chung, at for more information.

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Meet Laura Kazan



Laura Kazan joined the homeschool world by accident. After pulling her younger son out of traditional middle school, she realized that nontraditional education would provide him with far more opportunities for college. She received her master’s degree in education with an emphasis in higher education from Claremont Graduate University and has a certificate in college admission counseling from the University of California, Riverside. Before homeschooling, she was a university researcher regularly analyzing college admission trends. After becoming a homeschool mom, she began providing college advisement to nontraditional learners.

Laura has lived and taught in a variety of cities, states, and countries. She spent a season of her life working on a cruise ship and teaching English in a foreign country, and has since realized that her favorite vacation is staying home with her family, cat, and dog.

Contact Laura NOW for senior college advisement!

Meet Bethany Maddox



Bethany Maddox graduated with her master’s in education from Azusa Pacific University and has been serving as a high school counselor for the past 13 years. She loves working with and guiding high school-aged learners as they make their transition from childhood to adulthood. She has been working in the independent study learning environment for 10 years and exclusively with homeschooling families for the past two years. She truly appreciates the flexibility available to learners in our unique learning environment and looks forward to expanding her services available to all high school learners in the areas of academic, college, and career advisement. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any high school-related questions.

Bethany was born and raised in Southern California and is blessed to be raising her own family here. She resides in Fontana with her husband and two young children.


CTCL College Fair


Colleges That Change Lives- CTCL College Fair on July 28 in Los Angeles
The Colleges that Change Lives Fair is coming to Los Angeles on Sunday, July 28. These colleges are located around the country and are perfect for many learners, a-g or not! CTCL colleges are for those learners who are highly academic, non-traditional or have unique interests and passions. Many of these colleges are well known for their generous financial aid (two schools even cover full financial need).
Learners register HERE.

Fall ACT & SAT Registration


The September ACT and October SAT registrations are now open. To participate in fall testing, register directly through ACT and College Board right away. On examination day, testers need to use the iLEAD Hybrid College Board code 054846 for both tests to ensure that our school counselors have access to testing information.

Student Support Spotlight: Kayla Evans

Kayla Featured Image

Hi! My name is Kayla Evans and I am a virtual education specialist for iLEAD Exploration. I live in Derby, Kansas and have been with iLEAD for a year and a half now. I have two beautiful, yet rambunctious boys who are five and one years old. I also have a pug and a miniature schnauzer; both girls. When free time presents itself, I love taking time to self-reflect through journaling, playing piano and singing, and doing yard work! My lawn and I have a special relationship where I’m pretty sure the lawn is currently winning! Working for iLEAD Exploration has been a true blessing in my life and I really look forward to the coming years and success of our amazing school!

Fun fact: I’ve been in the military, both in active duty and now as an Army Reservist, for 12 years and counting. HOOAH!

Summer Fun


Summer break can be a great way to recharge and relax after a school year full of work. We’ve compiled a list of several ideas you and your learner can participate in this summer!

1. Spend time reading.
Summer is a great opportunity to work on your learners’ reading skills by reading with each other. You can also use different websites and apps to assist.

  • For a small fee, Epic will provide your kids with unlimited access to 35,000 books and videos over the summer.
  • ABCYa provides a variety of educational games and activities.
  • Starfall has a host of activities for kids in grades TK-3.
  • Storyline Online reads stories aloud by great actors.
  • Celebrate summer reading with the Barnes and Noble Book Reading Program!
  • Check with your local library about summer reading programs!

2. Stick to a schedule.
If your school year is structured with a specific schedule, structuring your summer with a similar flow can make for an easier transition back to school again in the fall.

3. offers your children the opportunity to bowl for FREE all summer long! Each day, every child gets two free games. Visit their website to find the nearest participating bowling alley near you!

4. Planet Fitness welcomes high school teens ages 15 – 18 to work out at any of its more than 1,800 locations throughout the United States for free all summer long as much as they want! This offer is available from May 15, 2019, to September 1, 2019!

5. Other Fun Activities
Build a fort or tent. Take an afternoon and push your couches close together. Drape them with blankets or sheets and eat a snack or play a game under your fort or tent!
Play hide and seek in the dark. Blackout your windows and prep areas that may be hazardous. It certainly makes for great entertainment.
-Make milk carton boats. Shape an old milk carton into a boat. You can even paint it and stick a toothpick in it with a taped flag! Test it out by putting it in water in the sink or bath. Does it float? If not, your kids can brainstorm ways to fix it.
Complete a puzzle together. This can be a wonderful time to bond with your kids and work together to solve a puzzle.When searching for the right puzzle, look for the correct age group, as there are specific difficulty levels out there!
-Write in shaving cream. This may get messy, but what a fun way to write! If you’re prepared for the mess, have your kids practice their ABCs.
Paint rocks. Have fun painting faces or designs on rocks with your kids. You could use these as door stoppers or paper weights!
Balloon tennis. Using paper plates, paint stirrers, and air-blown balloons, you can easily make this fun summer kids’ activity for the outside. You could also play this inside since they are hitting a balloon!
-Homemade water blob. Using plastic sheeting and duct tape, create your very own water blob!
Squirt gun water painting. With watercolor paper, watercolors, an easel, and a squirt gun, painting is made fun!
-Glow in the dark mason jar. You can make believe with this glow-in-the-dark jar! You can capture fairies or even use it as a night light. The results are radiant!
-Dig for fossils. This activity involves preparation, but the fun your kids will have is a lasting effect. Bury different items in dirt-filled shoeboxes and have your kids discover different items!
-Egg drop. Obtain a set of eggs you don’t mind wasting and have your kids come up with inventive ways to secure and protect an egg so that when you drop it from a window, it does not break. This can include placing the egg inside a shoebox filled with foam, or any other creative method out there.
-Make a video. Take the family video camera and have your kids video record the summer-y nature outside with commentary, conduct talk shows outside, or be actors and actresses. It can be an amusing memory to look back on one day.

Summer Fun in June

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Our experienced facilitators have put together some free or discounted activities for the month of June in your area that you may want to check out during our summer break. Please take a look at the links below for more information:

Orange County
All Summer: Adventure Playground at University Park
All Summer: The OC Zoo at Irvine Park
All Summer: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
All Summer: HB Concert Band Summer Series Concerts 2019
All Summer: Magnolia Bird Farms
All Summer: Volcom Skate Park
Starting 6/1 (M-F): Centennial Farm in Costa Mesa
Starting 6/21: Concert in the Park at Crown Valley Community Park

Los Angeles
All Summer: UCLA Fowler Museum
All Summer: Long Beach Concerts in the Park
First Tuesday of every month: Kidspace Museum Free Family Night in LA
6/9: The Wallis Dance Sunday
Starting 6/9: Valley Cultural Foundation in Woodland Hills
Every Thursday: Thursdays@Newhall Series in Santa Clarita
Starting 6/18: Long Beach Moonlight Movies on the Beach
6/10 – 6/27: Santa Clarita Library Reading Club
6/22: Great American Camp Out Day in Santa Clarita

Inland Empire
6/12: Riverside Summer Concert
6/15: Inland Empire’s Summerfest
Starting 6/17: Starlight Cinemas in Corona
Starting 6/19: Chino Hills Concerts in the Park
Starting 6/20: Apple Valley’s Sunset Concerts
6/29: Rancho Cucamonga’s 4th Annual Veggie Connection

Please note that these summer events are not sponsored or part of the iLEAD Exploration program.

Summer Fun in July

July only

Here are some more ideas for the month of July. Please check out these opportunities to help you fill your summer calendars.

Orange County
All Summer: Bowers Museum in Santa Ana
All Summer: Pioneer Road Park in Tustin
All Summer: Tucker Wildlife in Fullerton
Every Wednesday starting 7/1: Nights at the Anaheim Nature Center
7/9: Costa Mesa Concerts in the Park
7/30: Chargers Training Camp

Los Angeles
All Summer: Arcadia Junior Golf Camps
All Summer: Hart Museum in LA
All Summer: LACMA Membership in LA
All Summer: Long Beach Concerts in the Park
7/8: Aviation Career Education Camp ACE Academy

Inland Empire
7/5: Temecula’s Art Off the Walls
7/13: Rancho Cucamonga’s VG Kidz
7/13: Movie Night at Orchard Park
7/15: Temecula Trivia and Pizza Night
7/20: Jurupa BMX/Skate Summer Jam

Please note that these summer events are not sponsored or part of the iLEAD Exploration program.

Learner Spotlight: Harper & Jett Carney

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If you happen to be looking for the Carney family, chances are you will find them outdoors. This sweet family of young iLEAD Exploration learners has fully embraced the adventure of learning. Whether they are at the beach, in the mountains, or in their own backyard, they can be seen toting a basket containing a blanket, some books, and their journals. They are always ready to learn about the world around them.

From read-alouds under a big tree, to sorting and classifying their finds in nature, Harper (Kindergarten) and Jett (TK) have the opportunity to learn in a way that is meaningful and focuses on their individual gifts. Harper is a designer and a dreamer. She started designing doll clothes and accessories for herself as a toddler. Harper always carries a song with her and uses her hands to create many wonderful things. Homeschooling gives her the freedom and safety to groom her creative passions, to honor her budding identity, and to explore new creative spaces. Harper is now styling outfits for anyone who will let her and writing her own dreamy, living stories.


Jett is a fact guy. He holds information like a little computer! He is a lover of anything living. At a young age, Jett showed interest in gardening, and he has been learning and growing as a gardener ever since. Jett is also gifted with understanding difficult things. He understands how things are built and the science behind it. In fact, Jett teaches his mom new things almost every day. Homeschooling has provided a safe environment for Jett, one chock full of living things, opportunities to be curious, green space, and a teacher he can ask lots of questions of. It is hard to imagine Jett being forced to sit down and learn in a classroom when he can be outdoors instead.

The Carney family believes nature is the best classroom and playground, because it provides so many opportunities for learning. The bonding time in the wilderness sows rich seeds for this family.

Vendor Spotlight: Be a Maker Club


Children love to create, and Be A Maker Club in Upland, CA offers them the space and the direction to do this! This thoughtful, child-focused vendor provides workshops where learners can be trained to use high-tech devices and hand tools to make things such as backpacks, robots, cars, toys, furniture, costumes, and much more. Be a Maker Club runs orientation sessions, making sessions, workshops, and also hosts open hours.

For more information on their mission and services, visit the Be A Maker Club website HERE.

Learner Spotlight: Anna Zielke


iLEAD Exploration learner Anna Zielke is an outgoing and active 8th grader whose passions are acting and performing. She has been involved in the theater on and off since she was just four years old.

Anna recently played Via in the Phantom Project theater’s production of Wonder, a theatrical adaptation of the wonderful novel about August, a homeschooler with facial anomalies who heads to public school for 5th grade. Some of our learners may have had the good fortune to watch her perform at our field trip to see Wonder at the La Mirada Theatre! To further hone her craft, Anna takes classes weekly at the Performers Academy, where she is able to improve her acting skills.

Anna is also very musical. She enjoys playing her ukulele and guitar. She can often be found singing a wide range of musical styles. Her taste varies and her favorites include Broadway music, Disney songs, pop music, and rap songs. Other interests include photography, softball, and bowling. She is a Harry Potter superfan, and also loves Marvel. Anna enjoys staying active by playing softball and bowling.

MAP Testing


We are excited to announce that fall MAP testing is underway. This assessment is free to all our families and provides a detailed report on your learner’s progress in dozens of sub-categories in reading, writing, and math. The test is taken from the comfort of your home at a time convenient for you and your EF. You can explore the test and how to use the results on the NWEA website here.

Online Subscriptions

MM Online Sub

iLEAD is thrilled to be able to offer complimentary and discounted subscriptions that will enhance learning all year long. Please remember that all subscription requests must be submitted to your EF by Sep. 7. Please watch this video for more information about all of our subscriptions for this year. To order, please complete the complimentary and optional subscription forms sent by your EF.

Complimentary Subscriptions



Discounted Subscriptions






Discovery Cube Field Trip Review


iLEAD Exploration learners had a wonderful visit to the Discovery Cube! Learners started this field trip with a presentation on predicting forces. Then they were off to explore the museum and participate in the hands-on exhibits. They had the opportunity to learn about the math and science behind the game of hockey. Some decided to race against others to sort recyclables and other waste materials. Using a touch-screen tablet, learners went on a scavenger hunt to inspect a home to see if it was earthquake proof and energy efficient. There was so much to see and do, and everyone had a great time exploring!

Coffee Connections and Parent University

dream big, set goals, take action - inspirational handwriting on

Hello, Families!

We hope you had a wonderful week back at school! Our educational facilitators continue to be hard at work planning many things for our learners and families! This past week, your educational facilitator emailed you many exciting new opportunities. This included a high school webinar on college planning (if you missed it, it has been added to the Hub under “High School Webinars”) and our upcoming Parent University which starts this week. It is not too late to sign up, so please feel free to do so by visiting last week’s Monday Message to view the Love and Logic flyer.

Additionally, we are excited to roll out Coffee Connections in many regions!


Please be sure to regularly log into the Hub to check for updates including family resources, field trips, and more!

Have a terrific week!

Learner Spotlight: Aidan Hodge

Aiden Feature

Playing sports, volunteering, studying science and history, acting, and traveling are just a few of the many activities that sixth grade learner Aidan Hodge enjoys doing. He has read over 20 books so far just this school year! Aidan also loves being a military child and despite moving a lot, he has been able to excel academically. This year he received a military child academic achievement award!

Aidan plays sports year round including basketball, which he is currently playing, baseball, and football. He has even received an academic excellence award from the Pop Warner Foundation. Aside from organized sports, Aidan enjoys spending time with his brothers, woodworking, art classes, Coastal Survivor Class, camping, hiking, fishing, ice skating, skateboarding, and he is looking forward to learning how to snowboard this winter.

Aidan is involved in Torch (a leadership program) and is an avid volunteer. Aidan has worked as a special needs mentor for the Dodgers foundation and has participated in many beach clean-ups. He also volunteers with his local youth center, and most recently he volunteered to be the elf at the community Christmas party for local children. On Thanksgiving, Aidan volunteered to serve the less fortunate.

Anatomy and physiology are among Aidan’s favorite subjects. He is also fascinated by World War II and military history. Recently, Aidan has been working as a background actor and works several times a week. He enjoys traveling and his favorite place that he has traveled to is Europe.

Aidan’s goal is attend and play football for the University of Notre Dame where he will study criminal justice.

New iLEAD OC Studio Coordinator: Kendra Bailey

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We are super excited to announce our new, highly devoted and experienced iLEAD OC Studio Coordinator, Kendra Bailey, who will be planning and hosting a variety of awesome workshops for our iLEAD learners. Kendra comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience and we are excited to introduce you to her:

What are your plans for the OC Learning Studio?

I envision the studio ultimately being a place for learners, parents and teachers to gather to enjoy learning. From the learner perspective, I would like a variety of opportunities to be available for them including STEM/STEAM activities, project-based learning, collaborative groups, hands-on science, and the list could go on and on. For the parents, I would like the studio to be a place where they have the opportunity to learn from each other, share with each other and have a chance to learn from EFs as well. I would also love to work with vendors and allow them an opportunity to showcase what they have. And finally, I would like the studio to be a ‘hub’ for teachers; it could be used for in-person meetings with families, pod meetings, etc.

For this school year, we are going to focus on creating a place where kids want to be. The studio is going to host once-a-month theme days packed with all kinds of activities. Each theme day will have a STEAM focus with different activities geared for a group of grade levels. Our first fun workshop is Snow Days and it is scheduled for Jan. 26.

In what ways do you think about homeschool kids as you plan all the fun workshops?

While working at a school as the the middle school teacher for our in-person program, I learned what home school learners enjoyed about our in-person days. They love to be with each other. I would like any day at the studio to be sure to allow opportunities for the kids to interact and just enjoy being around each other. With that in mind, having activities where they get a chance to partner or be in a group is a focus. Not every workshop will be like that, but those opportunities are so valuable. I also want to bring to them activities that they may not otherwise do at home, such as a large-scale science experiment or reader’s theater. The studio is a wonderful opportunity to not only provide great learning opportunities, but also develop some valuable life skills, such as working with others.

Have you traveled to any other country?

Yes! Canada – last Christmas (it is a winter wonderland), and England – I was there for work with CAVA. I demonstrated lessons to the teachers there using K12 curriculum in grades 1, 3, and 5. It was an amazing experience to be a part of the schooling process in England and to see the kids. I’ve also been to Mexico (where my husband proposed in Cancun).

Do you have a unique or unusual talent?

I might be a little rusty, but I can belly dance. My instructor would arrange for some of us to perform at restaurants and a few parties. I don’t think I’ll be pulling out my costume any time soon, though!

What are some fun facts about you:

I love to read, run and garden. I find baking a great stress reliever – both for me and the receiver of the goodies. My friends and family have come to look forward to when I feel like trying out a new recipe.

Here are Kendra’s boys holding a homegrown zucchini Trent (almost 13) and Logan (10).

Brave Writer


Need some support teaching your child how to write? Writing is an essential skill to learn and is often a difficult one to teach. One of our vendors, Brave Writer, supports and nurtures the homeschooling family in the area of language arts and writing from age 5 until college.

They offer a Home Study Program for those who prefer to work at their own pace with a manual in their hands. They also offer online writing and language classes for those who enjoy more structure, support and accountability. All instructors have been homeschooled or are homeschooling their children, and are published writers. All materials and courses are original to Brave Writer. No matter which program you choose, Brave Writer assures access to ask for ongoing help in executing the processes in their materials. They also have a discussion board where moms can help each other!

Take a peek at their website, and become brave when it comes to writing!

The Intern Project

The Intern Project

The Intern Project exposes deserving learners to dynamic careers through paid internships in companies like Fullscreen Media, Skanska, Omaze, and Kaiser Permanente! They recruit and select outstanding Los Angeles learners, place them in internships based on their skills, and provide coaching and additional support to all interns throughout the summer.

If selected to join the program, learners will receive:
– An internship of a minimum of 20 hours per week for 4 weeks (max 40 hours per week for 8 weeks).
– Hourly compensation
– A transportation stipend
– Professional development workshops
– Field trips
– A coach
– More!

To learn more and apply, visit their website or email them at

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