The Raven's Call

Raven Homeschool

October 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 have questions, please contact Maegan, mmascagno@yksd.com.


- Raven Homeschool

From the Director's Desk:

Dear Raven Parents and Students,


I hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer and fall. We are so delighted that you are part of our amazing learning community here at Raven. We welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in educating your child(ren), and we look forward to working with you and your children.


There are still changes and things to deal with regarding the COVID-19 situation. Raven greatly values our face-to-face conversations as personal relationships are key to how we serve our students and families. We are here to meet with you in person, via the phone and virtually. The choice is yours. With the state advising that the ongoing threat of COVID transmission is very real and varies between communities, we will be sharing any changes in our operations with you via our weekly Smore communications.


Our focus will still be to ensure that:

  • every homeschool family, every day is finding a way to feel connected,
  • every homeschool family, every day is being challenged to encourage their child(ren) with new learning and experiences,
  • and every homeschool family, every day knows they have a champion they can turn to for assistance.


Parents, we want to thank you for choosing Raven as your homeschool of choice and trusting us to serve you and your children. We especially want to thank you for raising such an amazing group of children. Your involvement in their life, especially at this time, will lead them to more opportunities for success and facilitate the development of many positive qualities and characteristics that will serve them well as they continue to grow. Realize that your ability to teach your children is priceless, requires grace, and is a risk well worth taking. Set those expectations very high for your children and they will do their best to reach them.


Students, realize that you have the potential to be anything you wish. Set high expectations for yourself and then reach for them. Be the leader and be willing to take risks while being kind, caring and respectful to those around you.


This will be a wonderful year for creating memories, so let’s make them positive ones! Remember we are here to help, so do not hesitate to reach out and we will gladly connect you with one of our experienced homeschool staff!


We value our partnership with families! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions or concerns.


Be Fearless. Stay safe!


What learning activities are you planning for your children that will have them running back for more?


Warmest Regards!


Kim Bergey

Raven Homeschool Director

Five key facts about homeschooling every parent should know:

  1. Parents have unparalleled flexibility and choice in curriculum, scheduling, what and how to teach, and the best way to meet your child’s needs.
  2. Families that homeschool get to spend more time together at work and play.
  3. Homeschooled children consistently outperform public school students academically.
  4. Raven Homeschool is accredited. Many prestigious colleges and universities have accepted Raven graduates.
  5. Homeschool students graduate from college at a higher rate and with a higher GPA on average.
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Counselor's Corner:

Meet Your Counseling Team:

Ryan Tilbury

Raven Homeschool Counselor - Delta, Fairbanks & Juneau offices

​​I was born and raised in Minnesota and made my way to Alaska in 1995. I have a Master’s degree in Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish Language. I am currently enrolled in Air War College with the US Air Force. I also studied both in Mexico and Ecuador as an exchange student. I am married and have three children. My wife Jennifer is an English professor at UAF and between the both of us we have over 30 years working with the university system. I have worked very closely with UAF, UAA, and UAS over the years and am very familiar with their programs and policies. During my early years in Alaska, I worked in fisheries research for US Fish and Wildlife, substance abuse treatment with Fairbanks Native Association, and commercially fished out of Cook Inlet. I am also an officer in the Air Force Reserve (22 years) and am currently serving at US Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii. I also am an avid outdoorsman and spend a lot of my time in the fall hiking, hunting, and fishing.


Megan Rosendall

Raven Homeschool Graduation Coach - Anchorage, Eagle River & Wasilla offices

I was born and raised in Michigan, where I developed a love for outdoor activities, including fishing, skiing, camping, biking (bicycles and motorcycles), and almost anything involving water. Before going into education, I was a director with the YMCA in Michigan and Ohio. I joined Raven in August of 2019 after spending 12 years working in the village schools for LKSD. My last 7 years with LKSD were spent as the site administrator (principal) at Kwigillingok School, a K-12 school. I truly loved my students and working with them, but felt a need to be closer to family and friends so I moved into Anchorage in 2019 and joined Raven Homeschool. I have loved learning about homeschooling and what an awesome opportunity it can be.


How Can We Help?

Over the years we've learned that students and families who begin working with their school counselors in 8th or 9th grade graduate high school far more prepared for the future than students who don't. Students with early counselor support have a better grasp on what they want to do post high school and a plan on how to use their diplomas to get there.

Success in high school and beyond is a team effort and, as homeschoolers, that effort continues year-round. As your counselors, we are right there with you. We are available 12 months a year to meet, plan, and help you achieve all your goals.

Contact us to discuss all post-secondary opportunities including military (active, guard and reserve) enlistment, officer programs, union apprenticeships, immediate employment, and/or college and university admissions as well as everyone's favorite, scholarships and financial aid.


Attention All Seniors (and Graduating Juniors)

Your final year of high school can become very busy. There are many, many deadlines. There are deadlines for applying to college or trade schools, deadlines for scholarships and financial aid, and registering for tests. AND there are deadlines for having your schoolwork done and notifying your advisory teacher of your intent for graduation (which includes a whole other list of deadlines).


It is important that you pay attention to any Smores you receive. Watch for Seniors: Things You Need to Know. These informational Smores will remind you of deadlines, provide you with after high school opportunities, and will often include workshops targeted just for seniors and their parents.


Seniors: Things You Need to Know

  • FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid


It is important that you stay in contact with your advisory teacher. Make sure you are on track with your classes (May 1st is the deadline to participate in graduation ceremonies) and reach out to your teacher if you start to struggle. They will also be sending and collecting information about all seniors for graduation (whether or not you participate in the graduation ceremony).


PLEASE CALL YOUR 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:

Our school year has started with a whirl of meetings, activities and workshops! We love seeing students and families back in our office and are looking forward to hosting more workshops throughout the year! We brought back some of our favorite workshops from years prior, but we’ve also introduced a handful of new activities, read below for some updates on our awesome clubs.


Back-to-School Field Trip:

We kicked off the school year with an amazing back-to-school field trip to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center! Over 150 participants braved the crazy traffic to hang out with us while we toured the park, learned about animal facts at the artifact table and enjoyed goodie bags full of surprises created by our family liaison, Christy!


Health Club:

The Health Club for grades K-8 started in September, students meet weekly with Erika virtually! We learned about kindness, empathy, being respectful and learned about each other. We listened to a story each time about the health topic, played games and shared! Students are also given the task each week to do acts of kindness for others!


Poetry Club:

Poetry Club is off to a great start! This quarter, students met Erika virtually for our Poetry Club! We wrote and learned about Biography Poems, Color Poems, Acrostic Poems and Who Am I Poems.


PreK Clubhouse:

PreK Clubhouse started up this year as a chance for our youngest students to have a chance to get together for a workshop specifically designed for them. Last month, we celebrated the start of our first year of school, and this month, we will be using some recycled materials to create the perfect trick-or-treat puppet companions.


The Play:

This year, the Anchorage office has decided to create a play from the ground up! We are offering students the chance to write the script, design and create their costumes, design and build their set, rehearse the show, and then put it up in front of a live audience! We are currently in the playwriting phase of our process, and have several teams working on their very own fairytale scripts. Students have been learning how to put together fully formed characters and settings to place into their own uniquely designed plots.


First Friday Art Club:

First Friday Art Club has been a huge success! Every first Friday of the month, students come together to learn fundamental art skills and then display their art in our office lobby for all of our families to see for the remainder of the month. Each month we work on a different project that teaches students different important art skills.


Science Workshops:

Deb Fancher is back in action! She has a whole year of amazing workshops scheduled for our office and we can’t wait to see what she does for each one. So far, she’s taught groups of students all about harvesting vegetables and the importance of farming. She also taught amazing Haunted Halloween workshops!


FLL & Jr. FLL:

We are building and coding! FLL and Jr. FLL is going strong! Our FLL team has built their missions and their robots and are beginning to learn how to code to successfully complete those missions. Jr. FLL teams are building edifices with gears, motors, and Technic blocks. They have built a crane, a merry-go-round, a race car, and a robotic dog. We are all having fun and making new friends!


Extreme Book Club:

In July and August, Terri and Erika took families out in nature for our first ever Extreme Book Club. We walked down Powerline Pass and Eklutna Lake. We shared books, had wonderful conversations and explored the great outdoors! Thanks to everyone that joined!


Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm:

In September, the Anchorage Office drove out to a local farm in Palmer, called Pyrah’s Pioneer Peak Farm. We learned about farm life, saw animals, went on a hay/tractor ride, and picked freshly grown vegetables with our hands! Each person was given a baggie to put their vegetables in. We had a blast and can’t wait for next year!


Workshop Wednesdays

Workshop Wednesday are two-part workshops - one part is for parents and the other is an activity for students! We host these workshops once per month; the topic and student activity change each time. In September we focused on “Progress Report ABC’s” while students created art with leaves, and in October we will be focusing on literacy while students work on spooky Halloween crafts.

Thank you!

Recently, the Raven Anchorage office received a generous donation from Bridgeway Academy and Donna Piper! We appreciate your gift and are excited to see how it will benefit our Raven family! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Poetry Club Examples:

Delta Office:

Welcome Back! We hope you had a wonderful summer. It was definitely busy for our office. It began with the Kindergarten graduation, Father’s Day Craft and End of Year Celebration, to moving the office in July and then the Grand Opening/Back to Homeschool Celebration! There were a couple field trips to Delta Meat and Sausage in July and the Dorshorst’s in September to learn about processing honey. Terrific Tuesdays began in September. The Lego teams are busy learning about their challenges.


Student Spotlight:

Cassidy is 5 and excited to be a big kindergartener at Raven Homeschool this year. Her favorite subject is science and she's especially interested in learning about space. She loves to play in the snow with her dog and little sister in the wintertime and in the summertime she's a big fan of hiking, camping, and swimming, especially at the lake. Cassidy is a proud member of the Fire Cats LEGO Team and an avid LEGO builder in her free time too. Cassidy is a kind hearted, fun-loving, nature enthusiast who loves making new friends with both animals and kids alike.


Looking Ahead:

October 15th: End of Quarter 1 Progress Reports and work samples due.

October 19th: Terrific Tuesday - Hawks, grades 6th-8th at 1:30pm

October 26th: Terrific Tuesday - Owls, grades 9th-12th at 2:30pm

October 20th: Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) at 2pm

October 25th: Scholastic Book orders due

October 26th: Senior Meeting at 1:30pm

October 27th: Raven-Wide PAC Meeting at 2:30pm

November 2nd: Terrific Tuesday - Puffins, grades PreK-2nd at 1:30pm

November 2nd-4th: Usborne Book Fair

November 3rd: Card Making Class at 2pm

November 9th: Terrific Tuesday - Wolves, grades 3rd-5th at 1:30pm

November 10th: School Picture Day

November 16th: Terrific Tuesday - Hawks, grades 6th-8th at 1:30pm

November 18th: Craft Day at 2pm

November 24th: The office will be closing at 1:30 pm

November 25th-26th: The office will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday

November 30th: Senior Meeting at 1:30pm

November 30th: Terrific Tuesday - Owls, grades 9th-12th at 2:30pm

Eagle River Office:

We hit the ground running in August with our back-to-school party and we haven’t slowed down since. All of our clubs also started back up in August, with offerings like book clubs (for littles and teens), geography, cooking, and Lego clubs. Raven teacher Cortney Fogarty leads three sessions of writing workshops most Mondays. Our Pre-K students even have their own little group that meets twice per month! We have a great group of teens that have created TLC (teen leadership council) and spend their time with community service projects, fundraisers, and having fun! Off-site, our families enjoy recess and outdoor clubs. And of course we can’t forget our favorite - science with Deb Fancher!


We have lots of fun activities in the works for the next few months - field trips, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas parties, and participating in Eagle River’s trunk or treat event. We always have a great turnout for events in our office and it’s so nice to see homeschool families having fun and connecting with one another.


Writing Workshops:

Our Writing Workshops are going well! Writing is one of Cortney's favorite subjects to teach. She is overjoyed when she watches students confidently put their thoughts on paper, just as easily as they do when they talk! She also loves seeing the progression of skills and abilities within each age group. This quarter we are focusing on writing research papers. Cortney has three groups, grades K-2, 3-5, and middle/high school, and each group is well attended with eager writers. They are such a joy to teach!


Eagle River Forgotten Gardens:

This past summer, Raven students and their families assisted the Greater Eagle River Garden Club (GERGC) with their Forgotten Gardens Project.


Years ago, in an effort to beautify Eagle River, the Anchorage municipality allocated funds to install multiple gardens around the city. Unfortunately, funds were not allocated for maintenance of those gardens and over time they fell into patches of wild neglect. Some areas became so overgrown they posed a danger to the community. A few years ago the GERGC stepped in to right that wrong. With volunteer help and generous donations from the community, the GERGC has resurrected five of these “Forgotten Gardens”. GERGC’s goal is to one day restore them all, over 40 more gardens in Eagle River. They need help.


Last spring Eagle River Family Liaison Jolie McKay met with the GERGC to see if Raven could get involved with this project. The GERGC was thrilled with the prospect of pumping youthful energy into Eagle River’s gardens and ask Raven to “adopt” garden #5 - the largest of their currently rescued gardens. Raven Eagle River’s Teen Leadership Council soon got onboard. They spread the word to our families about this project and took on the task of organizing volunteers. Raven ER TLC also spearheaded the spring garden clearing, a huge and essential part of preparing the garden for the season. Then, they put in place a schedule of volunteers to maintain the garden throughout the summer. Every Tuesday students and families gathered to water, weed, and deadhead flowers. Students in the National Honors Society were a great help. Not only was maintaining the garden a fun activity to do with friends, it credited them with the community volunteer service required by the NHS. Through the summer, Raven volunteers were recognized repeatedly in the Garden Club’s newsletter, their FB page and even by the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.


On Tuesday, September 7th, Ruthie Mitchell (TLC President) & Megan Rosendall (Raven Graduation Coach) were invited to attend a volunteers Recognition Dinner hosted by the GERGC. After dinner Raven Homeschool Eagle River was singled out and recognized for “outstanding contribution as a volunteer on the Eagle River Forgotten Gardens.”


Later that night, at the Greater Eagle River Garden Club’s monthly meeting, members voted to sponsor Raven Homeschool Eagle River in its own nationally recognized junior garden club. The National Garden Club offers a variety of educational opportunities, including online classes. They also have a number of scholarship and grant opportunities. Raven Eagle River TLC voted unanimously to join. A TLC standing committee co-chaired by members Almira & Eli are moving forward with the application now.


Student Spotlight - Eowyn:

When Boy Scouts of America opened up scouting to girls to match their other programs such as Venturing and Explorers, Eowyn was signed up for Cub Scouts. She worked hard to catch up to her Arrow of Light Den. She then crossed over to be the founding member of Troop 2230. There she learned from senior scouts from her “brother” Troop (Troop 230) on what it meant to be a Scout. She learned about leadership, outdoor skills, life skills, and areas of interest. Eowyn was the first girl to become Troop 2230’s first patrol leader, and first Order of the Arrow member (the BSA Honor Society) from the Troop. During her journey to becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest level of scout in BSA, Eowyn earned 42 merit badges, volunteered over 200 hours of community service, spent over 45 nights camping, and over 100 miles of walking/hiking.


In order to earn Eagle Scout, a scout must learn several critical life skills, such leadership, community service, and project management. Additionally, a scout must demonstrate basic knowledge of 13 critical life skills, which are accomplished through merit badges. These life skills include: first aid, citizenships, communication, cooking, personal management, personal fitness, environmental science/sustainability, emergency preparedness/lifesaving, swimming/hiking/cycling, camping and family life. Additionally, the scout must demonstrate basic knowledge for 8 other skills of their choosing. These skills can be anything from reading to fishing to music appreciation to kayaking. Eowyn has earned 21 additional merit badges over the requirement to include the National Outdoor Award for Camping. During her journey to Eagle, she has stated that Personal Finance was the most difficult merit badge to learn. There were a lot of concepts dealing with money, stocks, and economics. The swimming was the easiest for her, as it was “natural” and extremely fun since she loves being in the water. She also has learned about fingerprinting, astronomy, search and rescue, disability awareness, woodworking, geocaching, and aviation.


Eowyn had her Eagle Ceremony on September 26th. Although she has earned her Eagle, she continues to learn and expand her skill sets. She wants to give back to her Troop and support new scouts as they learn skills that will help them in life.

Fairbanks Office:

In August, we held our Back to School barbeque at Pioneer Park and with over 150 people in attendance, it was a huge success! Everyone was so happy to attend an in-person activity. We served hamburgers and hot dogs, offered lots of games, but the highlight of the day was face painting. The kids enjoyed topping the day off with snow cones and cotton candy. A huge thank you to everyone who helped organize the event, especially Tami. Pictured are Selah Nickel, Trinity Kurzenberger and Tami Rump with Raven Students.


New Family Liaison:

Amber Onink is this year’s Family Liaison, and she hit the ground running. She coordinated our first field trip to the Museum of the North. She organized two Halloween crafts days and she is leading the charge planning our Halloween trick or treating event. We are blessed to have her. Look for her announcements in our Smores and on our Facebook page.


Family Spotlight - The Osborn Family & the Great Outdoors:

Annalynn and Owen learned about hunting and field dressing grouse. They learned how to identify and differentiate between a rough grouse and spruce hen and tried their hand at some tasty game meat recipes combining science and their cooking class.


Tying in with their science curriculum on the wonders of and surviving in the Great Alaskan outdoors they learned some basic wilderness first aid as well and practice making splints from items they found in the woods or had on their persons.

Juneau Office:

This first quarter of the 21-22 school year has already been a busy one in our Juneau Raven office. In July, we continued to host virtual Summer Specials for Middle and High School students, as well as Show and Tell for Elementary. We had a great time with our Ice Cream Social and Curriculum Swap where kids got to enjoy treats and fun together while parents chatted about curriculum and exchanged materials. August kicked off with a full boat of 110 excursioners cruising along the Tracy Arm Fjord for a beautiful, fun science adventure. We also celebrated getting to be back to in person activities again with our “Together Again” Open House where we had a scavenger hunt through the office to do activities, to get to know the office resources available, and to win prizes. September held many more events including School Photos, the conclusion of the National Honors Society service project that our students began in the spring, a virtual activity with the Toledo Zoo about Food Chains, and the first one this year of our monthly Morning Mug Book Club meetings for parents. We also got to virtually tour Whiskeytown Rocks National Park and enjoyed lunch together at our annual Fall Picnic at Sandy Beach even though it was pretty rainy. October began with Terrific Tidepool Travels with the Alaska SeaLife Center where we learned all about the different intertidal zones and which creatures live in each zone. Marvelous Mondays started with the Oct theme of scarecrows, scavenger hunts, and stories. We even got to enjoy a visit from our High School Counselor, Ryan Tilbury where he met with students, helped them apply for college, and toured the UAS Career and Technical Education Center. As we look ahead to the remainder of October and the move into the second quarter, we are excited to continue with many in-person and virtual activities to facilitate all comfort levels while giving students many opportunities to get involved and spend time together in both social and academic environments.


Student Spotlight:

National Honors Society - May-Sept Project - The Juneau Raven Homeschool chapter of National Honor Society completed their first service project which spanned multiple months from May-Sept 2021. NHS member Aiden Pietan proposed last spring to use land at his grandmother’s farm, Swampy Acres, to plant potatoes which would be taken to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank in the fall. NHS members Phoenix Overson, Keelan & Stig Cunningham, Jemima Verebasaga, Saylor Ryan, James Zuiderduin, Harrison Holt, and Aiden Pietan participated in the event which began on Saturday, May 22 with a planting party, continued on Saturday, September 11 for a very wet harvesting party, and finally concluded on Monday, September 27 with delivery of the bags of potatoes to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank in Juneau. The potato harvest weighed in at 74 pounds and the potatos were separated into individual burlap bags for distribution. The harvesting event was also assisted by Juneau Civil Air Patrol, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the Thunder Mountain High School Robotics team, “Happy Dave.”

Student Spotlight:

Staff Introductions:

Wasilla Office:

The Wasilla office welcomed Bridget Henry and Julia Moore to the teaching staff and Sonia Padgett to the administrative staff. We are excited about our growth! We started the 21-22 school year with non-stop ILP meetings. Our goal was to get families going just as quickly as we could! In August we had our back to school picnic. Families were able to enjoy getting to know each other, play yard games, climb a rock wall or play in a bouncy house. In September we added a bowling club, games club, outdoor club, and interactive math. We are also excited for our ASL club and a handwriting bootcamp!


Student Spotlight:

Our very own Elle C. took 2nd place for her Irish Dance at the America’s Got Talent contest at the fair, winning $750! She also took first place in the cookie contest sponsored by Vagabond Blues, earning $100!

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