The Raven's Call

Raven Homeschool

December 2021 Edition

Dear Raven Families,

Welcome to Raven's Call, your digital newsletter to keep you up to date on all things Raven. This quarterly newsletter via SMORE will have an overview of highlights from each of our 6 Raven offices. Within this electronic version​ of our newsletter,​ you have easy-access to your local office news and resources by clicking on links within each section.


​We are looking forward to another successful year and hope you will share​ pictures of your learning adventures with your local offices to be included throughout the year.


If you would like a printed copy, please contact your local office.


If you have questions, please contact Maegan, mmascagno@yksd.com.


- Raven Homeschool

From the Director's Desk:

Dear Raven Parents,


Winter holiday time is a time to relax, reconnect, and reflect on the year past. It is also a time to look ahead at what the new year has in store. Our Raven School community has shone bright this last year! I am so grateful to our community of students, parents, and staff. Our community has been very strong in its support of students as well as all of our returning and new-to-homeschooling families, and we are grateful for the many relationships we have built over the last year.


Throughout our modern history, people have had times where holidays could not be celebrated as hoped. One just has to go back to the two World Wars to see how people found hope, renewal, charity, and rejoicing during very difficult and bleak times. With Covid on the decline, we have an opportunity to create a holiday for our loved ones that will be unique, meaningful, and memorable; but it will take creativity, energy, and collaboration. It can be a holiday that one looks back on fondly, and perhaps from it, new traditions and customs can be born. This is a gift wherein we have a choice to create a new style of celebration or to take a pause and return to our traditions from years past.


I am reminded of the Dr. Suess story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and can see many parallels. It is the end of the story that I cling to… “He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!... "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps...means a little bit more!" Christmas and the spirit of hope, joy and love will come just the same. We, just like the Who’s down in Whoville, have to allow our Christmas hearts to sing.



I wish you and your family the joy, love, and hope of the holiday season. May you have a safe and blessed holiday and a joyous New Year!


Kim Bergey

Raven Homeschool Director

Don't forget about these important deadlines!

December 15th:

  • 2nd Quarter Progress Reports & Work Samples Due


January 31st:

  • Reimbursement Deadline for all receipts dated July 1-December 31, 2021
  • Internet Reimbursement Deadline for all statements from July-December 2021
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Counselor's Corner:

PLEASE CALL YOUR SCHOOL COUNSELOR WITH QUESTIONS!


Megan Rosendall | Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla | mrosendall@yksd.com | 907.622.6631

Ryan Tilbury | Delta, Fairbanks, Juneau | rtilbury@yksd.com | 907.374.9432

Anchorage Office:

The Anchorage office has been busy with several workshops, activities, contests and field trips for our families! We started the second quarter with a chilly field trip to the Reindeer Farm in Palmer and we also visited the Botanical Gardens and learned about Alaska Plants. We also threw a great Halloween Party full of science experiments, art projects, trick-or-treating, costumes and more! Deb Fancher has continued her exciting, hands-on science workshops! Students learned about Lotions & Potions, Haunted Halloween Science and all about different kinds of foods and how they interact with other foods. Carmen’s Spanish lessons have been so popular that we got to open them up for other offices to participate in virtually! Each week students are learning about different parts of the Spanish language. Our two Battle of the Books teams have been meeting regularly and are gearing up for the big competition in the coming months. Erika led a great workshop where students and families created handmade Thanksgiving placemats and then delivered them to Fire Station #14 for their big meal! To help kick off the holiday season, our office hosted a Holiday Door Decorating contest and - WOW! We had some amazing submissions and were blown away by the creativity demonstrated by our families! See below for some other updates from our fun clubs and activities!


Art Club

The Anchorage Office has had a tremendous turnout for our Art Club, so much so that we added a second class for December! We painted whimsical Birch Tree Forests in November, and painted individualized Snowpeople in December. We are so grateful to have so many wonderful young artists come out each month, and look forward to more painting in the next semester!


STEAM

STEAM excitement runs high in the Anchorage office!

This month, we have been building structures, such as cranes and race cars, with motors and gears in Jr. Lego League. The students also used their ingenuity to make their own Lego creations! The Lego robotics team has learned how to program their Lego robots to complete missions, as well as jumping into programming Ozobots and choreographing with coding in Dance Party. It has been a fun season, and we all have made some new friends along the way!

We also enjoyed the monthly STEAM workshops. This fall, we explored engineering concepts and learned how to program Ozobots by drawing colored lines and by using the online coding platform. We are looking forward to math workshops in December and drones, Spheros, and Engineering II after winter break.


Health Workshops

The Health Club for grades K-8 continued through the 2nd quarter. Students met weekly on Mondays with Erika virtually and learned about kindness, empathy, fire safety, being safe at home, how to say no to drugs and alcohol and how to persevere when things get tough. We listened to a story each week about the health topic, played games and learned about each other! We even made new friends! Students were also given the task each week to do acts of kindness for others and reported back to the group about their good deeds.


Poetry Club

Poetry Club is still going strong! In the 2nd quarter, students joined Erika virtually for the Poetry Club! We wrote and learned about quatrain, couplet, diamante, limerick, and cinquain poems! The students made poetry club fun and entertaining each week. It was wonderful to hear their creativity shine each time we met! We even had an Eagle River family join occasionally! Poetry club will continue through February 8th, 2022.


Storytime Craft Corner

On the last Monday of each month during 2nd quarter, students came to the Anchorage office for Storytime Craft Corner with Rebecca and Erika! The students listened to a book that corresponded with the month’s holiday and created various art projects! We made leaf bookmarks, bat art, mitten ornaments and more! Rebecca even taught directed drawing lessons!

Halloween Party:

Holiday Door Decorating Winners:

Poetry Examples:

Thanksgiving Placemat Craft:

Delta Office:

Terrific Tuesdays have been going strong. The younger students enjoy reading with Ms. Heidi before playing board games. Ms. Katya led students and families on a tour of the Fire Station. Mr. Igor gave a great presentation on all the gear the firefighters wear and how to put it all on. Seniors have been meeting the last Tuesday of the month to get to know each other and begin planning for graduation and beyond. Our PreK students received very cute backpacks filled with lots of neat things.

November brought school picture day, a card making workshop with Ms. Shelly and the Usborne Book Fair. Students created placemats showing what they are grateful for in celebration of Thanksgiving. Five students were able to save Tom Turkey from being Thanksgiving dinner.

In December, Ms. Ashley presented a workshop on the Human Body with students learning about the lungs, heart and body! Ms. Katya set up a wonderful round of crafts for the holiday making snowflakes, spiral Christmas trees, and more! Eleven students participated in the Stocking Stuffer Gift Exchange. We are looking forward to our Holiday Celebration on December 14th.


Looking ahead:

January 2022

January 4th - Terrific Tuesdays resume with the Puffins

January 6th - Delta Raven Parent Advisory Committee Meeting

January 11th - Terrific Tuesday for Wolves

January 18th - Terrific Tuesday for Hawks, Ryan will be here!

January 19th - Bake-Off Competition

January 25th - Senior Meeting

January 25th - Terrific Tuesday for Owls

January 26th - Raven-Wide Parent Advisory Committee Meeting

February 2022

February 1st - Terrific Tuesday will be part of our International Day Celebration for Puffins and Wolves

February 8th - Valentines Day Craft

February 9th - Card Making with Ms. Shelly for Jr. High and High School

February 22nd - Senior Meeting

February 22nd - Terrific Tuesday for Owls

February 24th - Girls Only Tea Party

Turkey in Disguise Contest:

Eagle River Office:

The Eagle River office is in full swing this year with clubs, activities, field trips, and parties. The office staff has greatly enjoyed connecting with our families and having fun with everyone at our in-person events. These activities wouldn't happen without our parents and we want to say thank you!


We have been having so much fun with our families! In the past couple months we took a bowling field trip (what a huge turnout!), hosted Halloween and Thanksgiving parties, and next week is our holiday party! So many families make our parties a part of their family's celebration for the holidays and our parents go above and beyond in planning and helping us take care of all the details that so many students come to enjoy. We just want to tell them THANK YOU for their contributions to creating so many special events that create our homeschool community.


We also can't let our clubs go unnoticed. Our parents take precious time to plan, shop for, and lead these clubs and in the process enrich our students' educations with hands-on learning: Lego Club, Outdoor Club, Cooking Club, Recess Club, Geography Club, Book Clubs for littles and teens, and many more. Our parents are truly amazing and with our small staff, we wouldn't be able to provide such an engaging variety of learning opportunities without you!


And lastly as a community, we would like to recognize and thank Jolie McKay who is leaving her position as family liaison. For the past three years, she has taken the lead in building this special community of homeschoolers and parents. Her hard work and dedication to homeschooling will have a lasting impact on our community. Please join us in saying THANK YOU for going above and beyond to support, advocate, and connect our parents and students. We would not be where we are today without her.

Cooking Club:

How do you entice even more kids than normal to attend cooking club? Make it a cookie decorating/exchange event! The kids started by decorating boxes in which to put their haul. They then received a decorating lesson from Jeanette and were allowed to decorate 2 cookies of their own. Afterward, they took their boxes around and chose a sampling of cookies that other kids brought. There were so many good things to choose from - classic chocolate chip, Oreo balls, gingerbread, sugar, monster (everything but the kitchen sink!), peppermint, and so much more!

Student Recognition - Gwen:

"I am so proud of Gwen, and how far she has come with her reading over the last year! This time last year, she would struggle through reading one page of an early reader book, sometimes taking 20-30 to read that one page. I was questioning my teaching abilities, and my choice of homeschooling, but, nevertheless, we kept pressing on.


Then one day, something just clicked for her! She went from crying and whining when I would say “it’s time for reading!”, to her saying, “yay, what are we reading this time?!” Now I almost have to force her to put her book down and go to sleep. We decided to do a reading log for October, and last night she finished her 19th chapter book of October!! She absolutely loves reading now, and she has so much pride in herself every time she gets to mark a book finished on her reading log!


I am one proud, and happy mama that we pushed through her struggles so she could have a love for reading that I never had as a child!"

Fairbanks Office:

Pumpkin Carving & STEM:

Raven hosted a pumpkin carving and STEM activity at our office. Students participated in building a sturdy tower out of candy pumpkins. They experimented with the formation of different shapes to see which one was the strongest for building. Then they carved pumpkins that were later used to line a portion of the parking lot for our Halloween Party.


Expressions in Glass:

Our students visited Expressions in Glass, a locally owned glass gift shop and gallery. Here the students were able to create Christmas ornaments out of different colored glass pieces. They learned about the temperature and supplies needed to adhere their decorations to the glass base.


Art Class:

Starting in October our students had the opportunity to take art classes with Master Fairbanks Artist Randall Compton! Twice a week, students of all ages were able to come to the Raven office and learn various techniques. During a special class, the students were able to see and sketch Randall’s pet falcon.


UAF's Museum of the North:

We went on a field trip to the University of Alaska's Museum of the North. Here, the students went on a scavenger hunt throughout the different exhibits. This prompted ample questions, discussions, and discoveries. We ended our trip in The Place Where You Go to Listen, an ever-evolving musical composition and light installation composed by John Luther Adams. Visitors hear the changing rhythms of sunlight and darkness, the phases of the moon, the seismic vibrations of the Earth and fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field.

Juneau Office:

This second quarter of the 21-22 school year has continued to be busy and full of fun activities in our Juneau Raven office, both virtually and in-person. It has been exciting to share the virtual activities that we organize with the other Raven Offices so we can bring together Raven students from all across the state to participate and get to know each other. We hosted two virtual Book Fairs, one through Scholastic and one through Barnes and Noble, and both got a lot of great books into the hands of our students. Our Facebook Group is a very active forum for parents to connect with each other, share ideas, and get info/updates about fun activities and events to participate in practically every day of the week, plus monthly PAC meetings give parents an avenue for hearing about upcoming news and sharing feedback.


Our virtual field trips have included a visit to Washington DC to tour the Presidential Memorials on the National Mall, a trip to the Smithsonian Institute to learn about The Lure of the West, and a tour of the Mayflower. The Alaska Sealife Center did a wonderful program for us about Living in the Ring of Fire, a park ranger dressed in full Civil War attire taught us how to Pack Like a Soldier from Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Georgia, and another ranger took us on a virtual tour of an Ancient Maze Cave at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. Two other virtual adventures we went on were to Hobcaw Barony in South Carolina for a Plantation Heritage Field Study and to Waco Mammoth National Monument in Texas. It has been quite the past two months traveling all around the country from the comfort of our own homes and we look forward to continuing our adventures during the third quarter when we even get to visit Australia!


At our office, we have continued to have fun with weekly Marvelous Monday activities, doing art projects, getting to know each other better, playing games, and having a great time spending time together. Math Club is meeting monthly for middle school students, and so far they have done some cool mathematical tricks and even plotted a Christmas tree with presents on a coordinate plane. This year, we have four different age group teams for Battle of the Books who are reading diligently, meeting weekly to prepare for the battles, and having a great time connecting with each other over their love of books. For our Morning Mug Parent Book Club, we read and discussed The Graveyard Book in Oct and They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They in Nov. It is a really lovely time each month to connect with Raven parents and we encourage more to join us monthly. For the first time this year, we did a Trunk or Treat event for Halloween instead of a costume and craft party, and we had a great turnout with a lot of fun and treats had by all. Our Turkey in Disguise contest had six turkeys working to sneak past Thanksgiving unnoticed, and we loved displaying our Thankful Tree on the bulletin board in the hallway where students got to add fall leaves showing what they are thankful for this year. A definite highlight has been our Christmas Ornament Pottery Class with Louise where twenty-four kids used their creativity to make and glaze a whole assortment of ornaments this holiday season, over 300 individual clay creations all together! Another holiday favorite is our annual Stocking Stuffer Gift Exchange which had a record number of 35 students participating this year.


We have many activities and events planned for the second semester, so be sure to watch weekly newsletters, Facebook, and the online calendar so you don’t miss out on all the excitement. Please enjoy this collection of photos from our Raven events and submit your photos and achievements for us to include in our next quarterly newsletter!

Student Spotlight:

In preparation for National School Choice Week, the Raven Juneau office was contacted by one of the NSCW representatives with a request for one of our students to represent Alaska in a promotional video that they are putting together to feature all 50 states. What a privilege to be selected for this! On Nov 4, we did a photo shoot with Anika and Megyn Linstid and their dog Sigma to record three different video clips requested as well as a collection of photos. Once the video is completed, it will be shared across the nation and Alaska will be represented by our own Raven students. We look forward to sharing the link once the video is completed and we celebrate Anika and Megyn's willingness and enthusiasm participating in this project. Sigma even cooperated and wore the scarf and bracelet sent for him.

Wasilla Office:

Our Raven Readers, taught by Dawn Noble-Jacobs of The Denali Learning Center, was a huge success! They would eagerly arrive, sign in, say hello, and hurry back to see what they were going to learn that particular day. All of the Raven Readers made progress and left the workshop series as more confident readers- looking forward to the next great thing!


The Games Club and Bowling Club are both facilitated by our raven advisory teacher Ruth Ross. These clubs bring students together for some positive social interactions. It is always fun to hear the students leaving Games Club asking where they can get the game that they just played or telling their parents all about what they learned. There are some very loyal bowlers who are improving their game; and if their parents give them money, are enjoying some fries that we hear are the best in the Valley. We have also started an Outdoors Club. They have gone skiing. If there are families interested in being out in our great state in the winter, this is your club; you can contact advisory teacher Steve Duby.


The American Sign Language Club members are adding to their repertoire- focusing on the alphabet and letter recognition, practicing the calendar, colors, and greetings. They even did an art activity! Advisory teacher Athaliah Duby is very happy with their progress.


If you didn’t know, we have an Interactive Math Workshop that is ongoing, taught by advisory teacher Bridget Henry. Math can be fun! The kiddos have a lesson and play a math game. This is for K-1st grade students. She will be facilitating a once a month math tutoring session for 2nd-5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th. Watch for an upcoming S’more with further details!


Wasilla also hosted a Cookie Exchange, which was a lot of fun!

Bowling Club:

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