ilead exploration

Learner Spotlight: Lily Ochoa

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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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LunchBunch

Virtual Science Fair

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Virtual Science Fair

Together Tuesdays

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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 stories@ileadschools.org 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

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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.

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Virtual Workshop with Tree People

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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 emily.strickland@scvi-k12.org.

Learner Spotlight: Garrett Family

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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Here is a template to help you get started:

FriendlyLetterTemplate

Spring MAP Testing

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Although state testing has been cancelled, spring MAP testing will continue for all learners in grades K-10. Learners take the MAP test in their own home at a time convenient for each family and their EF. Think about what time of day your learner will feel their best and if they would prefer to work through the whole test with a break in between or whether they prefer to break it up over a couple of days. Please find a time in the coming weeks to schedule this test with your educational facilitator.

For more information, watch this introduction video to learn about MAP testing (Powerpoint here). You can also visit NWEA.org/Parent-Toolkit.

Learner Spotlight: Grace Gilroy

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When you think of a learner who exemplifies the notion of what a homeschooled 10th grader might look like, you think of Grace. She thrives in this environment and strives for excellence in all that she does! Not only is she a talented dancer, spending countless hours in the ballet studio, but she also loves to perform on stage and beams in front of an audience. Grace has performed in the Nutcracker, Hansel and Gretel, and will be in Cinderella this Spring. Dancing fills Grace’s heart with so much joy! Not only does Grace thrive in the dance studio, but she is also an amazing scholar! She puts forth so much effort in both areas, proving that hard work pays off.

Grace would love to attend the University of Nebraska when she graduates in 2022. We have no doubt that Grace will continue to find success in all that she does. It is part of her character and embodies who she is to the core.

“I know the price of success: Dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

Educational Resources

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Here at iLEAD, we have a family first approach to learning. During this virtual time, we want to further support you by providing you with some more free online resources. With changing schedules, we hope these help enrich your day!

Storyline is an incredible site that offers videos of picture books being read by actors and actresses. They have a wide variety and it is a wonderful resource to utilize from home!

Teacher Created Materials is curated by teachers is proud to offer these FREE teacher-approved resources for at-home learning! These materials are designed to help learners solidify educational concepts.

Terra Arts is offering free virtual lessons that address core content and include worksheets and teaching guidance.

Pobble 365 offers an incredible technique for encouraging kids creative thinking, story telling, and grammar basics. Each day a photo/painting is displayed along with questions to help develop the creative thinking process. They often provide a story starter based on the image, as well as ways to develop literary devices such as personification, and how to “fix”/edit sentences.

Kennedy Center Artist in Residence, Mo Willems, is offering daily live drawing “doodle” classes! Classes are at 10:00 a.m. but can be streamed later in the day as well! Mo Willems is the author/illustrator of several children’s series.

The Cincinnati Zoo is bringing the zoo to you via Facebook live.

National Geographic offers resources and student experiences that can be adapted to all grade levels and subjects.

Virtual Field Trips allows you to explore the world without leaving your home.

Planets for Kids is a free astronomy website for kids who are curious about the stars and planets.

Sciencing is a site that offers easy science project ideas for kids of all ages.

Code Wizard HQ offers free coding websites, classes and apps to help kids interested in coding.

Storytelling in a Box is brought to you by Disney Imagineers. Hundreds of career disciplines around the world share how they use a wide range of skills – from story development and conceptual design, to math, physics and engineering – that all come together to create immersive experiences. Imagineering in a Box allows you to explore different aspects of theme park design, from characters to ride development, as you design a theme park of your very own.

National Honor Society (NHS) Application for 2020-21

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More than just an honor roll, the National Honor Society (NHS) recognizes high schoolers who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. The NHS’s primary goal is not only to prepare students for university, but also for life. It engages learners in service projects, leadership development, scholarship searches, and career exploration.

The following is a note from our current iLEAD Exploration’s NHS president, Mary Miller:

“NHS is one of the most amazing groups you can join in high school. Every year we get the opportunity to complete 10 school service hours and 10 independent hours. This gives us a chance to meet students throughout the school and serve your communities. In NHS, we learn how to successfully serve our school, meet other high school students, and become tech-savvy. Personally, I joined the NHS because I was super excited to meet other high school students. It has taught me time management, helped me brainstorm service projects, and even helped me apply for college! If you meet the requirements, I highly encourage you to apply for the NHS.”

Learners may apply if:

  1. They are currently in 9th, 10th or 11th grade;

  2. They have been enrolled with iLEAD for at least one FULL semester;

  3. They have a minimum GPA of 3.0;

  4. They can commit to five hours of individual service projects in their community and five hours of school service projects (volunteering at school events, two hours of ASB, helping EF at park days, curriculum library and so on) for each semester; a total of 20 hours per school year;

  5. They are able to meet virtually once every month with the NHS team.

Applications for next year’s NHS membership are now being accepted until April 15th. To apply, click here. For any questions, please contact your EF or email us at highschool@ileadexploration.org.

MAP Testing Window is Open

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The MAP (Measured Academic Progress) testing window is now OPEN! Your EF is ready to set up those dates and times that work best for your family’s schedule.

Schoolwide Learner Outcome

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Below are some resources on this month’s schoolwide learner outcome.

National Honor Society (NHS) Application for 2020-21

National Honor Society Img

More than just an honor roll, National Honor Society (NHS) serves to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. NHS’s primary goal is not only to prepare students for the university but for life. It engages students in service projects, leadership development, scholarship searches, and career exploration.

The following is a note from our current iLEAD Exploration’s NHS president, Mary Miller:

“NHS is one of the most amazing groups you can join in high school. Every year we get the opportunity to complete 10 school service hours and 10 independent hours. This gives us a chance to meet students throughout the school and serve your communities. In NHS, we learn how to successfully serve our school, meet other high school students, and become tech-savvy. Personally, I joined the NHS because I was super excited to meet other high school students. It has taught me time management, helped me brainstorm service projects, and even helped me apply for college! If you meet the requirements, I highly encourage you to apply for the NHS.”

Learners may apply if:

  1. They are currently in 9th, 10th or 11th grade;

  2. They have been enrolled with iLEAD for at least one FULL semester;

  3. They have a minimum GPA of 3.0;

  4. They can commit to five hours of individual service projects in their community and five hours of school service projects (volunteering at school events, two hours of ASB, helping EF in park days, curriculum library and so on) for each semester; a total of 20 hours per school year;

  5. They are able to meet virtually once every month with the NHS team.

Applications for next year’s NHS membership are now being accepted until April 15th. To apply, click here. For any questions, please contact your EF or email us at highschool@ileadexploration.org.

Career Technical Education (CTE)

Career Technical Education

Career Technical Education (CTE)

Career Technical Education (CTE) is a program of study that involves a multi-year sequence of courses covering technical and occupational knowledge. The goal is to provide learners with a pathway to postsecondary education and/or career. You can think of this as a way for learners to “major” while in high school and focus on elective courses of specific occupational interest. iLEAD Exploration began our CTE program this school year with the following career pathways:

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To complete a CTE Pathway, learners need to choose a pathway, identify a career within that pathway, and then complete a two-year sequence of courses. Speak with your EF about adding a CTE pathway to your courses for the next school year.

Don’t see a career of interest above? That’s okay! There are many CTE opportunities available through your local community college. These programs offer state-of-the-art equipment and accredited certificates that can lead directly to a career. As an added bonus, you can also earn college units while working towards your career of interest! A simple search for CTE + the college name will bring up a listing of all their CTE Pathways. If you are interested, contact the Strong Workforce Counselor at your local community college.

For more information or assistance, view our CTE Webinar or reach out to us directly at cte@ileadexploration.org.

What Do Colleges Want to See in an Applicant?

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What do colleges really want to see in an applicant? Which boxes should I check to get into my dream school? The answer is there are no boxes, and there is no magic formula. Whether you are heading to your local community college, a California university, or if you want to attend an out of state liberal arts college, the answer is going to look a little different for everyone.

Chris Peterson from MIT offers an interesting perspective that can be applied to all learners. In his article, Applying Sideways, he goes beyond grades and SAT scores to emphasize three very important reminders:

Do well in school – Find things that excite and interest you and go beyond to the next class, level, or learning opportunity. The flexibility of home study allows you to advance and specialize your academic pursuits in unique ways.

Be nice Look at your local community or your homeschool community and ask what you can do to help. Volunteer where you see a need to enrich your own life and the lives of others.

Pursue your passions – Independent study allows you more flexibility to spend time cultivating your unique interests and passions. We encourage you to pursue new avenues of interest as well as develop your current hobbies and passions.

This is what colleges want to see in an applicant; a love of learning, kindness, and passion. While these will look different for each learner, the options available to you are endless. We encourage you to be proactive in pursuing your own unique path to college!

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