Inspire Insider

Bringing families together, one newsletter at a time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Quote of the Week

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School News and Important Dates

Learning Period 6 Ends This Friday!

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Our Costa Mesa Lending Library is Opening This Friday!

We are so excited to announce that our Costa Mesa Lending Library will be opening on February 22nd! This is a library made with homeschooling families in mind. There is curriculum, books, kits, games, and so much more!

Julie Bogart from Bravewriter will be Speaking at our Lending Libraries!

The incredible Julie Sweeny Bogart from Brave Writer is coming to the Costa Mesa Lending Library and the Torrance Lending Library to talk to us about homeschooling and getting your children to love writing! Tickets are FREE but very limited! Children may attend the Torrance event only.

We are so lucky that she will be sharing her knowledge of writing and homeschooling with our Inspire parents!

Sign up for the Costa Mesa event here!

Sign up for the Torrance event here!

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February 2019 Special Education Newsletter

From our wonderful department of Special Education:

"The month of February is upon us and that means we are comfortably into the second semester and are moving right along with teaching and learning. We appreciate all your feedback and support and encourage you to write to us if you have a particular topic you wish us to cover."

Read the full newsletter here.

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Coolest Projects at Discovery Cube OC

Coolest Projects is a world-leading showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, change makers, and entrepreneurs! The event is both a competition and an exhibition to inspire and enable innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and technology skills in young coders ages 7 to 17.

Do you have an idea for a creative tech project you’d like to showcase? Register now to participate in the coolest event in North America happening at the Cube on March 23, 2019!

In addition, adults and kids of all ages are welcome to attend this free event at the Cube to support hundreds of young innovators and celebrate them in their accomplishments. Attendees will hear from inspirational speakers, leading educational technology experts, and get the chance to join a global community of digital makers.

*Activities, times and dates subject to change without notice.

Click here for more information.

PBS Writing Contest 2019 is Open!

Enter your story or poem to win cool prizes and have your story published online. The contest is open to children in grades K-3 and each entry must be an original work – written and illustrated by the entrant. First, second, and third place winners will be chosen from each grade. Every child who submits an original piece will receive a Certificate of Appreciation for their participation.

1st place winners: PBS KIDS Playtime Pad; $50 gift card, books, and PBS KIDS goodies.

2nd place winners: PBS KIDS Plug and Play, $25 gift card, books and PBS KIDS goodies.

3rd place winner: $25 gift card, books and PBS KIDS goodies.

Special Category Winner: $50 gift card, books, and PBS KIDS goodies.

Read the full information here.

À la Carte OSP Subscription Options

We’re excited to begin offering our remaining available OSP subscriptions à la carte! Families may begin submitting requests via the À la Carte OSP Subscription Order Request Form.

The available subscriptions and prorated cost (Instructional Funds only) are listed on the order request form. All subscriptions are valid through September 1, 2019 (unless otherwise noted) and are subject to availability.

Funds will be manually deducted from the student’s Enrichment account and the subscriptions created within 1-2 weeks of the request submission.

If you have any further questions, please contact the OSP Team --

Barnes & Noble "My Favorite High School Teacher" Contest

Want to publicly recognize your amazing HST?!

High School Students can write an essay, poem, or thank-you letter about their favorite teacher!

The student whose teacher wins Teacher of the Year will win a $100 gift card to BNB. The teacher will receive both recognition and a prize.

Go to to enter between 2/14 & 3/14.

More High School Info Sessions!

Amy Edwards, Inspire teacher and homeschooling parent, held an amazing High School Information Session on Friday. If you were not able to attend, here are the upcoming dates in which she will hosting more sessions.

If you have a student approaching the High School years, or have a friend that is considering options for High School, this would be a great place to start! Everyone is invited!

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4th Graders Go Free!

Did you know that you own millions of acres of national parks, historic structures, cultural artifacts, ancient forests, snow-capped mountains, and clear blue lakes? Our federal public lands and waters belong to all Americans and are waiting for you to explore them! You can get your Every Kid in a Park pass at, the official website where parents, educators, and kids can learn more.

To help engage and create our next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates, Federal Land Management agencies, launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative. The immediate goal is to provide an opportunity for each and every 4th grade student across the country to experience their federal public lands and waters in person throughout the school year.

All kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass at This pass provides free access to national parks across the country.

The Every Kid in a Park pass is good for the 4th grade school year, until August 31, 2019.

Information on obtaining the pass is available by visiting

OC Public Libraries Waiving Fines!

Do you have fines on library books from OCPL? Now is the time to return them! OC Public Libraries have announced that any overdue or lost items returned to the library from now until February 24th will have all fees waived!
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Enter Imaginology's Student Competitions!

Imaginology at the OC Fair and Event Center is a huge STEAM event that families and schools love! This year, it will be on Friday April 12th to Sunday April 14th and Inspire will be there! At Imaginology, kids and their families will not only see a world of wonder, but can participate in a wide range of fun and educational hands-on activities designed to inspire and encourage academic and career exploration.

Did you know that Imaginology holds competitions for children that have a $50 cash reward? This is the time for your child's creativity to shine!

There are 19 different project divisions, and they are:

Fiber Art


Upcycle It

Cardboard Engineering

Wood & Metal Arts

Digital Art

Make It With Clay



Read & Draw



Manipulated Photography



Lights, Camera, Action


3D-Printed Art

The full details are available here, and Inspire will be holding Project Build Days closer to the time to help your child create a fabulous project that they can then hand in to Imaginology judges! The project registration deadline is March 22nd, so start thinking about what you might be interested in building, and stay tuned for more information!

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Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

The State of California requires all public schools to administer the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) to students enrolled in 5th, 7th, and 9th grades. Inspire’s Physical Fitness Testing window is February 4, 2019, through March 21, 2019. We ask that parents bring their students to a test location and stay at the location during testing. Most students are finished in about an hour (test time may be a little more or less depending on the size of the location). For more information, head over here and for locations click here. Please reach out to your HST if you have any questions about your assigned testing location.

Field Trips

There are many incredible field trip opportunities! Click on the flyers to go straight to the booking page.

Park Days

A great way to connect with other families is by attending our park days!

Thursday, February 21, 2019: Adventure Playground, 1 Beech Tree Lane, Irvine 92612

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Educational Tools

Reading Eggs

"Reading Eggs was created by expert educators with over 30 years of experience.

The multi-award winning early learning resource supports your child’s learn to read journey with carefully designed online reading games and activities that are easy to follow, self-paced, and highly engaging for young children.

By incorporating Reading Eggs into your child’s daily routine, you will be helping to prepare them for the same structured learning they will need to succeed and feel confident at school.

Reading Eggs is based on solid scientific research to give your child the best chance at reading success.

Using the five essential keys to reading success, the program unlocks all aspects of learning to read for your child.

  • The lessons use colorful animation, fun characters, songs, and rewards to keep children motivated.
  • The program is completely interactive to keep children on task.
  • When children start the program, they can complete a placement quiz to ensure they are starting at the correct reading level.
  • Parents can access detailed progress reports as well as hundreds of downloadable activity sheets that correspond with the lessons in the program.
  • The program includes over 2000 online books for kids – each ending with a comprehension quiz that assesses your child’s understanding.

Learn essential reading skills

Children complete animated online lessons where they learn essential reading and phonics skills. The variety of fun activities within each lesson provides the repetition needed for these skills to become part of the child’s long term memory.

Read books online

Children gain confidence by reading online books that only contain words they have already studied in the program. There are over 2000 levelled books in the Reading Eggs program.

Earn rewards

Children earn golden eggs as rewards for the progress they make. They can use these eggs to buy fun reward games and items for their avatar or house. Children also earn a certificate at the end of each map, which can be printed.

Complete quizzes

After 10 lessons, children complete a quiz. This provides you with a report of what your child is learning. Children can repeat the online lessons as many times as they like to reinforce key learning concepts."

Reading Eggs offers a free trial. Visit their website for more information about how this program can help with your homeschooling journey.

Vendor Spotlight: Money Munchkids

Money Munchkids℠ is a company dedicated to teaching kids between K-3rd Grade financial literacy and money management. The goal of Money Munchkids® is to teach children about basic financial terms and principles in order to provide a sound foundation for their lives as adults and the financial responsibilities that await them.

About Money Munchkids℠

Money Munchkids℠ was started in 2013 by Victoria Khaze. After over a year of research and beta testing, she launched the Money Munchkids, starting with the Financial Education Kids Course which has been in several LAUSD schools and recreation centers. Since then we have created educational activity books, educational home kits and a financial education curriculum for school classrooms. Money Munchkids has been featured by CNBC, California Jumpstart for financial education, LA Parent magazine, ADDitude magazine, several parenting websites and radio shows.

Homeschool Curriculum for Financial Education (K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd)

Their new financial education homeschool curriculum is perfect for teaching your child about money. Suggested for grades K-3rd based on federal education guidelines. However, if you have any questions regarding if our material is suitable for your child please contact them.

  • Created with multiple national and international teachers
  • supports five national and international education standards
  • 35 lessons: 30-45 minutes each
  • Utilizes all 7 learning styles
  • Dyslexia friendly
  • Autism Approved by the AHA
  • Topics such as barter & trade, history of money, income, types of jobs, banks, bank accounts, ATM’s, checks, debit cards, credit cards, interest, budgeting, needs vs wants, expenses, resources, supply and demand, investing, taxes, charity, and donation.
  • Student workbooks include over 200 pages of versatile and interactive activities suitable for all learning styles.
  • Single Instructors guide works with multiple students workbooks / Great for multi-student families!
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Homeschooling Advice

"Everyone Wants to Quit in November and February"

"Before we even began homeschooling, I had the good fortune to hear Susan Wise Bauer’s warning: "Everyone wants to quit in November and February."

Time has proven her right: these are the months when I feel like we’re just slogging through it, far from the excitement of the semester’s beginning or the relief of its end.

And these are the months when the days are cold and the nights are long, without the sparkle of the holidays. It’s easy to get sick, busy, or just plain stir-crazy.

November and February might not be easy months, but I can survive them a little better if I take the following precautions."

Read the full article here.

Local Events

Gem Faire

The OC Fair’s Event Center will be aglitter with gold, silver, crystals, and precious & semi-precious gemstones, along with fine jewelry, minerals and millions of beads. Among the largest shows of its kind, the Gem Faire attracts nearly 200 exhibitors from around the globe.Gem Faire is one of the largest gem, jewelry & bead shows in the United States. With nearly 50 shows a year, Gem Faire brings to the west coast, and some areas of the Midwest, quality gems, beads, crystals, minerals, findings and earth treasures directly to your town. Gem Faire vendors offer quality merchandise at manufacturers’ prices. You’ll discover fine jewelry, costume jewelry, precious & semi-precious gemstones, millions of beads, sparkling crystals, gold & silver, tools, jewelry supplies & boxes all under one roof! Gem Faire dealers are direct importers, wholesalers & manufacturers so you are buying from the source! Be sure to enter for a chance to win cool prizes at every Gem Faire location, drawing every hour. FOr more information, click here.

When: Friday, February 22nd, 12pm- 6pm

Saturday, February 23rd,10am- 6pm

Sunday, February 24th, 10am- 5pm

Where: OC Fair & Events Center, 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa

38th Annual Los Alamitos Race on the Base

Taking place on the Los Alamitos Training Base, this unique event features 5K & 10K options along with Reverse Triathlons for both adults and youths and a Health & Fitness Expo. Friday holds a Glow In The Dark Fun Runs, live music, and an evening festival. It also raises money for several charities. For more information or to register for races, click here.

When: February 22, 2019 – February 23, 2019.

Where: Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, 11200 Lexington Drive, Los Alamitos.

Anniversary Celebration @ Irvine Park Railroad

Come celebrate Irvine Park Railroad’s 23rd anniversary on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th. They’re rolling back prices to the original 1996 prices… including $2.00 train rides! It’s their way of saying thank you to their loyal customers who have visited Irvine Park Railroad over the years.

Irvine Park Railroad, which has become a favorite destination for families from across Southern California, takes passengers on a 12-minute ride through scenic Irvine Regional Park. The engineer narrates the ride pointing out all of the history inside of the park which is over 100 years old.

The Anniversary Celebration will also feature other activities including carnival games, a bounce house, panning for gold, face painting, and more. Some activities require two (2) tickets. There are $2 concessions, too, including hot dogs, sodas, ice creams, and popcorn.

The $2 tickets are valid during the Anniversary Celebration weekend only. Coupons, discounts and/or any other promotions are not valid on the Anniversary Celebration dates.

And, for this celebration, they will be conducting raffles on both Saturday and Sunday every hour from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Winners will receive Irvine Park Railroad prizes ranging in value from $60.00 to $300.00. To add even more fun for visitors, a live band will play on both days from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

When: February 23rd & 24th, 2019

Where: Irvine Park Railroad, 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

Price: Free!

Visit the website here.

Riverside Dickens Festival

The Dickens Festival has been celebrating the life and works of Charles DIckens since 1933! For more information, click here.

When: February 23rd & 24th

Where: On Main Street between University Avenue and 11th Street (in front of City Hall) in Historic Downtown Riverside California.

Price: The street festival is free, but there are some paid events. View them here.

2nd Annual Children's Persian Book Festival

Bahar Kids, Center for Persian Immersion and Culture Education would like to invite you to their 2nd Annual Children's Persian Book Festival in collaboration with UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

This is a unique event happening in Orange County. You will be able to purchase quality Persian books and CDs for children, meet authors and illustrator and artists, There will be several children's activities, musical performances and a child friendly movie screening in Farsi.

There will also be a Children's Art Exhibition alongside the book festival. If your child is interested to participate, please see attached flyers for submission rules and due date.

When: Sunday, February 24th, 10am - 4pm

Where: UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies, 4100 Humanity Gateway HG 1030, Irvine 92696

Price: Free, but there may be a parking fee

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Jamboree at the Cube

Parenting OC returns to the Discovery Cube for its 13th Anniversary Edition of the Kids’ Summer Opportunities Jamboree event. The free event will take place on March 2nd, 2019, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. This is the fourth year the iconic Orange County family destination has partnered with Parenting OC to host the summer-fun planning extravaganza.

"We are excited to once again partner with Discovery Cube OC and the Cube team to present this event,” said Parenting OC publisher Randall Tierney. “There simply is not better venue for the kind of enrichment and fun learning opportunities that we bring to the Jamboree."

With more than 60 exhibitors committed, Jamboree will include special guests, games and many new exhibitors including family travel destination spots, summer camps, and school information.

Inspire will have a booth at this event, so please stop by and say hi if you go!

When: Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 10am to 3pm

Where: 2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Cost: Free for the event. Tickets for museum exhibits must be purchased.

For more information, click here.

Beauty and the Beast: The Ballet

Ballet Etudes will be performing Beauty and the Beast: The Ballet at Huntington Beach Central Library on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 5th & 6th! Tickets can be purchased inside the library.

When: Tuesday and Wednesday, March 5th, 2019

Where: Huntington Beach Central Library

Cost: $5 Per ticket

Community and Connection

Facebook Page

Did you know we have an Orange County Facebook page? We have new parents in the group who would love to hear from you! We also advertise our field trips here, and upload the newsletter there every week.

Instagram Page

If you are on instagram, we'd love to hear from you! Join our page, learn about our upcoming events and field trips, and tag us in your homeschooling photos!

Orange County Parent Resource Site

Have you visited Inspire's Orange County Parent Resource Site yet? If not, head on over to meet our regional team, stay current on school events, and find general school information. This website is a great resource and one you'll want to bookmark!

Ladan Rashidi - OC Family Liaison

I have three children who are 2, 6 and 8 years old, and I was previously a high school math teacher. Four years ago, our family chose the path of homeschooling and we have enjoyed it ever since! I am passionate about helping families navigate their way on their exciting homeschooling journey, and connecting individuals to build a community!

Shaemanique King - OC Family Liaison

I am a mom of four children, ranging in ages from 8 years to 6 months, and have homeschooled for the past four years. I consider my homeschooling style to be “eclectic” as I draw from many sources and philosophies. I have a background in Project Management Support and enjoy planning and hosting activities and events. I look forward to interacting with and supporting homeschooling families!


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