Inspire Insider

Bringing families together, one newsletter at a time!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Quote of the Week

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School News and Important Dates

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 --

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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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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OC Public Libraries Waiving Fines!

If you are on the mailing list for OC Public Libraries, you would have received the great news that any overdue or lost items returned to the library from February 14th to February 24th will have all fees waived!
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Join Our Costa Mesa Lending Library Open House!

We are so excited to announce that our Costa Mesa Lending Library is opening soon!

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.

Inspire Test Locations

We have test locations across Orange County! They are listed here on lines 77 to 82. Please let your HST know which location you would like to test at.

50 Reasons to Test with Inspire

Why is testing beneficial? Here are fifty reasons!

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

Constitution Quest Game

A hugely popular game with our Inspire families, Constitution Quest is a great way to connect and play with your kids, while learning about the Constitution! Students claim Constitution Quest has helped them to confidently pass their government exams!

Kids who might not sit still to read the Constitution do sit down to play the Constitution Quest Game with their family... because it's a game!

This beautiful, eye-catching, American-made game, is high-quality and nonpartisan. 223 game cards filled with constitutional information, including:

  • 3 branches of government
  • Powers granted and denied
  • Checks and balances
  • Laws from the Articles
  • The Bill of Rights and other Amendments
  • Historical facts and dates
  • Play in less than an hour

Includes a complementary copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence

It covers all of the articles and amendments in the US Constitution, with attention to all three branches of government, separation of powers, checks and balances, as well as key facts, dates and vocabulary.

You can play the game without any prior knowledge, because the game was designed for children and adults to learn the Constitution as they play.

The Constitution Quest Game is the most fun and easy way to learn and remember the U.S. Constitution. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to teach the text of the U.S. Constitution in a highly- engaging and very effective way!

Check out their website here

Cost? $49.95 plus shipping and taxes

Consumable? No.

Vendor Spotlight: Urban Workshop

Urban Workshop provides a 12 Week Youth Learn and Build S.T.E.M. Program, geared toward students ages 10-15! Each 12 week program is designed to create a relaxed and pressure-free environment in which students learn to use a wide selection of hand and power tools with a variety of materials. Each individual class introduces participants to a new group of tools and techniques and include a project to provide the experience needed to instill confidence. Each 12 week program will build upon the previous level introducing new and more advanced tools, techniques and materials while building upon what they have already learned.

The goal of this program is to help kids become confident and independent by teaching them practical skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. Another aspect is provide career exploration opportunities to kids as they experience firsthand engineering and technical problem solving using both traditional and high equipment to achieve a solution.

Starting with Level 1, students learn how to use basic hand tools, and help develop the “feel” needed to successfully work with different materials and mechanical systems. This understanding of the hand tools will provide a solid foundation for the level 2 – 4 programs, where increasingly more powerful tools will be introduced along with more complicated projects. Level 5 will allow the students to have supervised open shop hours to build any project they desire using any of the tools and equipment they now know how to use.

All students start at Level 1 and progress to the next level upon successful completion each level. The 12 week programs are offered twice a year; spring and fall. To keep the students progressing forward, our summer camps are based on the 12 week curriculum and qualify students to move to the next level. Students could complete all four levels in just one year if they do the summer camps along with the 12 week programs. Students who complete all four levels are welcome to become full fledged members of Urban Workshop!

Participants in the program will learn to use current state of the art tools and equipment. These are no ordinary STEM classes, more like old school shop classes really. The kids will have fun, get dirty, use loud and obnoxious tools and make a lot saw dust, metal chips and wire scraps along the way!

To learn more about the youth classes Urban Workshop offers, please visit their website.

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Homeschooling Advice

Tips for Emphasizing the Positive

"I was once tutoring a girl who had a grumpy attitude toward learning to read. Because of failures earlier in life, she lacked motivation. I knew that my first job would be to find something that she was doing right and build from there.

So when I caught her doing something correctly, I pointed it out to her. “When the words didn’t make sense in that sentence, you went back and sounded them out. Excellent!” With consistent positive feedback, she began applying her phonics skills.

During another lesson, we were specifically working on reading with expression. She normally read with a flat, lifeless tone. The moment she had the tiniest bit of expression in her voice, I praised her for her risk-taking. “You are bringing the story to life!” I told her. With immediate and clear feedback, she learned to add beautiful expression to her reading."

Read the full article here!

Local Events

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.

The Revolution - Living History in Huntington Beach Central Park

"The British are coming! The Huntington Beach Historical Society is proud to host this reenactment of the American Revolution in Huntington Beach Central Park, behind the library, on the site of our annual Civil War Days reenactment. Come experience the founding of our nation with some of the country's finest living history presenters. As always these events are absolutely free to the public."

When: February 16th & 17th, 2019

Where: Huntington Beach Central Park

Price: Free!

For more details, click 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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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.

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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