Do you know someone who is looking to home school with the support of an award-winning charter school? If so, please encourage them to check out NUA Home School!
Interested families will find lots of information about the program on our website: Home School Resources Site.
Our student enrollment application can also be found online: Admission Application Page
Questions should be directed to one of our Program Principals:
Jennifer Carrete (Orange County) - email@example.com
Gillian Simcox (San Diego/Riverside Counties) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Hinojosa - Ms. Hinojosa offers tutoring in all core subjects, as well as art classes in San Diego.
We are accepting requests for new vendors through December 16th. While we can't guarantee that everyone will want to fill in the paperwork, we are always willing to send out vendor application packets. Please contact your Education Advisor to request a new vendor the for 2016-2017 school year.
Winter Break for NUA Students
Our Winter Break this year is three weeks. Students will be on break from Monday, December 19th through Friday, January 6th. School resumes on Monday, January 9th. Enjoy the time off with your family!
NUA Wants to Hear from You!
Part of our WASC Accreditation renewal process that we are embarking on over the next three years involves gather feedback from our stakeholders. That includes you and your children!
In order to gather this feedback, I have put together two surveys (both are based on surveys developed by California State University, Los Angeles). There is a parent version, as well as a shorter, student-friendly version.
Please take some time to thoughtfully complete the parent survey. Then, read through the student version and go through the survey with your child. Your honest feedback and comments will help us make improvements to continue to grow our program to better support our students and their families.
These surveys will be given annually so we can collect and compare this important perception data.
Thank you! Parent Perception Survey Student Perception Survey
For the Love of Reading - The Slopes of War (Article by Liz Derr)
Did you know? Copies of all books featured in the "For the Love of Reading" section of the Herald will be available on a special shelf in the NUA Library? Look for a shelf tag with Liz's reviews for the book of the month.
Title: The Slopes of War: A Novel of Gettysburg Author: N.A. Perez Suggested reading level: 4-8 Read aloud level: 2-8 Good for: Reading while studying the Civil War
A 16-year-old girl who lives with her family in the town of Gettysburg; her brother, who is fighting on the Union side; her cousin, who recently joined the Confederate army; Robert E. Lee, supreme commander of Confederate forces; and George Meade, Union general—these are some of the characters through whose eyes the reader gets to experience the three day battle know to history as Gettysburg. This is an exciting, action packed, historically accurate portrayal that puts the reader right in the middle of events—and into the thoughts and emotions of the characters as well. Beginning with the first skirmish—misunderstood as “no big deal” on both sides—to the final, moving speech given by Lincoln and immortalized as The Gettysburg Address (a speech which at the time was completely underappreciated by the press and the tired, hungry audience), this novel opens a memorable window to a significant historical event. The book does not overemphasize the human suffering involved, but doesn’t shy away from it either, and this seems fitting in order to accurately portray a war with an appalling casualty rate, but one that succeeded, as Lincoln declared, “to bring about a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
December 2016 - Important Dates
Save these important dates:
December - Ongoing through December 15th: Orange County community service opportunity. Students will make beanies for the Jessie Rees Foundation at the Mission Viejo Enrichment Center.
December - Ongoing through December 15th - Drop off previously-loved stuffed animals to benefit less-fortunate children. Teddy Needs a Bath Flyer. (All three NUA enrichment sites.)
December 9th - Learning Period 4 Ends.
December 15th - Extravaganza events at the Mission Viejo and Carlsbad Enrichment Centers.
Spring Funds - Spring 2017 funds ($1,100 per student) are now available. Any remaining funds from Fall 2016 did rollover to Spring, but funds do not rollover from one school year to the next.
Preferred Programs - We offer up to an additional $200 per semester when students take core classes (science, math, language arts, or social studies) through one of our Preferred Programs vendors. We will reimburse (direct reimbursement to the Instructional Funds account) the cost of the core class, up to $200. Please see the Preferred Programs page of our website, or contact your Education Advisor if you have questions.
Reimbursements - Did you know you can be reimbursed for classes taken through city recreation programs, your local YMCA, or AYSO soccer? We also offer reimbursements for certain student-level memberships! See the article below and check out the Reimbursement page of our website for more information.
Vendor Requests - The deadline to request a new vendor for the 2016-2017 school year is coming up on Friday, December 16th. Mark your calendars and remember to send your vendor requests to your EA on or before that date.
Order Deadlines - The deadline to submit materials orders to your EA is Friday, February 24th, 2017. Please have your final materials orders in early to avoid backorders. The deadline for service orders (lessons, classes, tutoring) is April 21st, 2017. All reimbursement paperwork must be submitted by the last day of school, June 8th, 2017. These strict deadlines are in place due to school-wide fiscal deadlines. Thank you for understanding!
Home School Reimbursement Program
We are really proud to offer a reimbursement program for our students. This program makes a great addition to our extensive vendor list. Students may take classes through their local YMCA, city recreation program, or AYSO soccer. As the parent, you pay up-front for the classes, save your receipt, and fill in some paperwork. NUA will reimburse you for the cost of the class (as remaining Instructional Funds allow) after the end of the class session. We also offer reimbursements for individual, student-level memberships at some fantastic museums in San Diego and Orange Counties. We currently offer reimbursements for the following:
Information on the YMCA-City Recreation-AYSO reimbursement program may be found here. For more about our membership reimbursements, click here. Please contact your Education Advisor for more information.
BrainPOP - Online Program
Have you signed up for your child's FREE BrainPOP subscription yet?
BrainPOP is an online program that is perfect for students in all grade levels. BrainPOP, Jr. works well for those in Grades TK-3, and BrainPOP is suited for students in Grades 3-8.
Children have access to educational videos about a wide range of subjects and topics. They can also access quizzes and other follow-up activities and educational games.
BrainPOP covers all subjects, and there is always a "Daily Feature," as well as "New and Trending" topics.
BrainPOP has options for BrainPOP ESL for those learning English, as well as BrainPOP Espanol and BrainPOP Francais.
All NUA students have access to all BrainPOP products and features; simply contact your Education Advisor to get started! BrainPOP
Available Subscription Boxes
Have you tried some of the great monthly subscription programs that are available to students?
Kiwi Crate/Tinker Crate/Doodle Crate - Science, engineering, and art boxes.
Check out a review of Tinker Crate below!
Know of a great subscription program? Be sure to request the program as a vendor before the December 16th deadline.
Reminder: OC Naturalist Program (Article by Jennifer Carrete)
Families, there is still room to sign up for the 5 week naturalist program in the spring. The deadline to sign up is December 15.
Join Naturalist Joel Robinson from Naturalist For You this Spring for a 5 series natures program focusing on plants in both coastal and canyon areas of Orange County!
Your child will cultivate a profound relationship with plants who support everyone's existence. Utilize all of your senses to observe the diversity of plants. Investigate unique adaptations, human and wildlife benefits and ecological impacts. Learn the edible, medicinal and material values as they relate to Orange County's tribal heritage. Navigate through rocky streams, shady woodlands, fragrant shrublands and other stimulating landscapes. This is an introductory journey into the "rewilding" process.
The the program will run on Tuesday/ Thursday while the enrichment center is on break. The cost of the program is $100 for students (instructional funds may be used) and $25 for adults, and is limited to 20 participants. The deadline to sign up is December 15. See flier for more details. Email Jennifer Carrete to sign up, or with questions. email@example.com Plant Nature Program Flyer
December Character Education: Caring (Article by Jenna Yates)
In addition to reviewing and continuing to show the values of Responsibilty and Respect, the enrichment centers will be beginning a unit on CARING. We will discuss how CARING means being kind, thoughtful, and concerned about others. Our historical figure will be Mother Teresa. We will read and discuss how she established a hospital for the less fortune and how she cared for people that were considered "untouchable". Other heros that demonstrate CARING are Harriet Tubman and and the Red Cross organization. We will discuss "Random Acts of Kindness" and give examples.
Also see our Memory-Making Muffins feature below for another opportunity for caring and sharing.
Orange County Student Community Service Opportunity (Article by Jennifer Carrete)
NUA student Kayla Petersen will be teaching students how to knit handmade beanies during lunchtime at the Mission Viejo Enrichment Center to donate to the Jessie Rees Foundation. All interested students are encouraged to participate to help us reach our goal of donating at least 50 beanies to the foundation by December 15. If your child does not attend the MV enrichment center, there are several simple tutorials on Youtube that demonstrate knitting on a loom. You can also support our effort through donating yarn or looms, and small toys to place in the Joy Jars.
After a visit to the Jessie Rees Foundation, Kayla was inspired to find a way to support the foundation and children battling cancer. Jessie Rees was 12 years old when she died from cancer. While in the hospital, she created "joy jars" as a way to send hope and joy to her peers battling cancer. The mission of the Jessie Rees foundation is "to fulfill Jessie’s wish by ensuring every child fighting cancer has the support and resources they need to Never Ever Give Up." The "Joy Jars" are filled with toys and hand made beanies to bring comfort and joy to children in the hospital. For more information about the Jessie Rees Foundation visit http://negu.org/.
Program-Wide Student Community Service Event (Article by Jennifer Carrete)
Here's one more community service opportunity in which everyone can get involved!
Teddy Needs a Bath is the first washer and dryer bag for washing stuffed animals! They are doing a Teddy Drive for the Holidays and are asking for your used stuffed toys. They will wash and dry them in their bags and deliver smiles to children in homeless shelters, churches and hospitals all over the country. Please join us this holiday season and share this with your friends.
You can donate your used stuffed toys to any of NUA's enrichment centers or mail them to:
PO BOX 593
San Clemente, CA 92674
Thank you!! http://www.teddyneedsabath.com
During this season of caring and gratitude, and to tie-in with our December Character Education theme of caring, we are giving students the opportunity to write thank-you letters to members of the US Armed Forces. These letters will be collected by NUA teachers and sent to Operation Gratitude for distribution to our troops.
Colorful drawings and notes of thanks are greatly appreciated. Please see the Operation Gratitude blog for more information: https://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/take-time-to-say-thank-you-for-serving/
After you send your letter, be sure to check the "Mail Call" section of the Operation Gratitude website to read messages sent back from the troops! https://www.operationgratitude.com/mail-call-troops-respond%E2%80%A8/
NUA Running Club (Article by Jennifer Carrete)
The NUA Running Club did an outstanding job of participating in the Dino Dash 2K and 5k on November 6th. The students have been training hard with Coach Petersen every Tuesday at the park, and their hard work paid off as they all crossed the finished line. We are so proud of our Bulldog runners!! The running club will be participating in another race in the spring. If you are interested in joining the running club, please email Jennifer Carrete firstname.lastname@example.org. You don't need to attend the Tuesday training sessions to be a part of the running club. You can train independently and join the NUA team at the race in the spring!
At-Home Project: Ziplock Bag Ice-Cream (Article by April Sonnenberg)
This may sound like it has the potential for a big mess but it does work and can be a yummy science experiment. There are several educational topics your students can explore with this activity.
History of ice cream
Chemistry of ice, salt and exothermic reactions
States of matter, how liquid turns into a solid then back to a liquid again
Note: this ice cream will be soft and creamy. If you desire it to be firmer simply pop in freezer. Also, non-dairy milk can be substituted like coconut cream from a can which has more fat, like the dairy cream.
Garage Academy (Article by NUA Home School Mom, Amy Wickstrom)
Only a few weeks ago, I had planned to send my kindergarten daughter and second grade son to a local homeschool hybrid program using my NUA funds, but a last minute decision to close the hybrid program led to a wonderful change in our homeschool experience. After of a series of quick decisions late August, “Garage Academy” was born.
We converted our two-car, detached garage into a classroom, and we outfitted it with desks, bookshelves, bulletin boards, a dry erase board, printer, refrigerator, and a variety of other odds and ends. Our new class began in September, and it meets 3 half days every week (Tues, Wed, and Thurs). There are 2 kindergarteners and 3 second graders, and the teacher goes back and forth between teaching each grade level throughout the day. This arrangement works well with the class size we currently have, although I’m not sure it would work with a class much larger. We chose to have the teacher provide instruction in reading, writing, and math each day, and once a week she teaches an elective for an hour.
This homeschool model has many benefits. As a mother juggling multiple children (a baby and a two-year old in tow), I don’t worry about whether or not my older children are staying on track in their learning. I also enjoy the freedom of choosing the curriculum my children use for “non-class” days (Mon and Fri), such as nature studies, science, and social studies. Furthermore, my children have a growing sense of community with the kids and their families who join us each week, and I’ve especially enjoyed that sense of community too.
Another benefit to this model for me has been the traditional class design, allowing my children to go through their year with the same children. This stands in contrast to other homeschool models that have sites which offer a variety of classes to students to choose from, but don’t offer the consistency to a child of having the same group of students rotating from one class to another. My children do best when they are with the same children in their class(es). They also benefit from having consistency with their teacher, who can partner with me in knowing where they need to grow academically over the course of the year.
Though this model of homeschooling may sound similar to hybrid programs, it is different in a variety of ways. First, we choose our own curriculum. Second, we do not send our children to a facility, but instead have them meet in one of our homes (or garages!). Third, we are much smaller in scale compared to hybrid programs. Essentially, I feel that we have control over the “school” (i.e. location, curriculum, class size, who is involved, etc), but we would not have authority over these things in many hybrid programs.
There are also ways our “class” functions as a co-op. For example, I’m currently teaching the children science for an hour before the teacher arrives on Thursdays. One of the parents is a musician, and he may teach our children music in the future. Another parent is a medical doctor, and I’m a child therapist, so the options for teaching other subjects drawing from our professional backgrounds is there if we decide to pursue them.
We’ve chosen to do P.E. with California Athletics at a park in Laguna Hills before the teacher arrives for class on Tuesdays, and our kids have enjoyed learning baseball together. We’ve also enrolled them in semi-private Spanish lessons via Skype through Homeschool Spanish Academy on Wednesday’s after the teacher leaves. Then the 2 girls go to ballet class at a local studio while the 3 boys ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac or chase each other with dart guns.
Though there have certainly been bumps in the road, we are so thankful for “Garage Academy.” At this point, we would not opt to have our child’s education any other way. Though our intention is not to grow the program, I’m already day-dreaming about how to create a new class on our property to allow the kindergarteners and second graders to be separated into their own classes and have a few more students join them. Like so many other things in life, only time will tell how it will unfold!
Make a Cranberry Bog in a Jar
Cranberries are such fascinating little fruits! This fun activity from Scholastic will help your children learn how cranberries grow. This is a good one to do during the winter holiday months while fresh cranberries are readily available. Take photos and write about your experiences so you can submit this activity as a portfolio sample! Materials Glass jar or plastic container
Green pipe cleaners
Foam (one of those foam blocks for artificial flower arranging will work well; you can find them at craft stores)
Cranberry bogs are made up of multiple layers, each of which plays an important role in helping the cranberries grow.
1) Clay is the bottom layer, so place a layer of modeling clay (about 1/2-inch thick) on the bottom of your jar.
2) Peat is the second layer. Add 2 inches of foam on top of the clay (ask an adult to cut the foam with a knife if it's too thick).
3) Sand is the third layer. Place about 3/4 of an inch of sand on top of the foam.
4) Glue several cranberries to one of the pipe cleaners.
5) Push the pipe cleaner "vine" deep into the sandy layer.
6) Flood the jar with water. The water should cover the top of the vine.
7) Using a pencil, gently knock the cranberries off the vine. Observe what happens to the berries. Questions for Discussion or Writing
1) What role do you think the peat plays in a bog?
2) How does flooding the bog make it easier to harvest the berries?
The video below teaches more about cranberry bogs and includes a tasty recipe at the end! Cranberry Video
Curriculum Review: Tinker Crate (Article by April Sonnenberg)
NUA Material Vendor: Tinker Crate Review
My family receives a project once a month in the mail with a subscription.
Things we like:
Materials all included as shown above.
Additional science experiments and activities from the Tinker Zine
STEM Education: hands on
How we use this in our family:
Sometimes we do it together as a family activity
Other times we set it out and have our 3rd and 5th grader work together on the project. This requires them to read the blueprints, organize the materials and then create the project together. Much like an advanced Lego set.
The photo below is the 3-D viewer our boys put together.
The Tinker Crate 3-D viewer that April's boys put together.
Featured Educational Website: Thoughtful Learning
Do you have a great educational website to share with other homeschooling parents? Please email the link, along with a quick message telling how you use the site and why you love it, to Gillian at email@example.com Website:https://k12.thoughtfullearning.com/resources/writingtopics Focus/Subject: Language Arts - Writing Grade Levels: 1-8 Why It's a Great Resource: The Thoughtful Learning site is a great source for writing topics and prompts. They are all organized by grade level and then by writing type (narrative, opinion, informative, research, etc.) to help your children meet all the writing standards. Student models are also available, as well as writing assessments.
Memory Making Muffins (Plus a Contest!)
I love to bake during the holiday season and have wonderful memories of baking with my family when I was younger. Home-made gifts, especially ones that can be eaten, are always hits! Try making these muffins with your family to give as gifts, or to enjoy as a tasty winter morning breakfast. Remember to take photos and write about your experience making these muffins and how your family liked them. This will make a great portfolio sample for "Elective!" This recipe is from Scholastic News Magazine.
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 banana, mashed
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup raisins Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan by greasing each cup or using paper liners. 2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. 3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg, banana, milk, oil, and vanilla. 4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the grated carrots and raisins. The batter will be thick and lumpy.
5. Using a large spoon or an ice-cream scoop, fill the prepared muffin pan.
6. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
Visit scholastic.com/careshare for additional ideas to care and share together and to enter the "Share Your Family Moment Sweepstakes."
Vendor Spotlight: A Dawn of Music Studios
A Dawn Of Music Studios offers piano, singing, guitar, and violin lessons for all ages and levels of training. Our class schedule is posted online at: www.ADawnOfMusicStudios.com
Vendor Spotlight: Arts Project of OC
The Arts Project of Orange County is a one-stop creative studio committed to cultivating a passion for the arts through private lessons, group classes, workshops and performances They have a staff of dedicated teachers that offer a wide range of introductory, intermediate and advanced courses in art, music, theatre and voice.
Some of the past productions include Elf, A Lighter Shade of Noir, Peter Pan and Big the Musical. They offer group and private lessons in voice, guitar, piano, percussion, dance and art.
The OC Arts Project will be teaching a Triple Threat class that will focus on singing, dancing and acting at both our Tustin and Mission Viejo enrichment centers in the spring semester.
Brain Chase offers online courses for students in Grades 2-8. Students may choose from a variety of elective courses including cooking, typing, foreign languages, and a book club! Students complete weekly challenges that align to their chosen electives and their individual learning levels.
Visit the Brain Chase website to learn more about upcoming challenges, pricing, and registration information.
Brain Chase: https://brainchase.com
Vendor Spotlight: Creation Crate
Creation Crate offers monthly subscription boxes to help students learn about technology and electronics. The projects are Arduino-based and are easy to follow for beginners. Each Creation Crate box includes an instruction booklet, hardware, the program, and exercises to complete. All parts needed to complete the projects are included; students only need access to a home computer. Past Creation Crate projects have included: Mood lamps, an LED dice game, and a reflex game.
Check out the website to learn more: https://mycreationcrate.com
In Our Community: Orange County
1) Nutcracker for Kids Performance
December 3rd at 2:30pm and 4:00pm Free Event!
Enjoy a free, kid-friendly performance of The Nutcracker at the Newport Beach Library. This is an abridged version of the original, presented by Festival Ballet Theatre. Please note, seating will be available on a first come-first served basis. http://newportbeachlibrary.org/kids/events#/?i=1
1) Balboa Park December Nights December 2nd from 3:00pm-11:00pm and December 3rd from 12:00pm-11:00pm. Free admission
2016 marks the 39th year of this San Diego holiday favorite. Enjoy holiday lighting and activities throughout Balboa Park. Highlights include food from around the world; holiday shopping opportunities; music, dance, and theatre performances; and special exhibits at some of the park's museums. http://www.balboapark.org/decembernights
1) The Vintage Marketplace December 2nd and 3rd $5.00 per person admission fee Stop by the Vintage Marketplace at Galway Downs in Temecula for holiday shopping. There will be at least 80 vendors selling everything from vintage jewelry and clothing to home and garden goods. http://www.thevintagemarketplaceatgalwaydowns.com
2) Pennypickle's Polar Express
December 23rd $25.00 per child
Enjoy a parents' night out while Pennypickle's Workshop entertains your child with fun holiday-themed activities! http://www.pennypickles.org/events.html