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NUA Home School Herald - January 2017

Enrolling with NUA Home School
Click Here to Enroll with NUA Home School
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) - 
Gillian Simcox (San Diego/Riverside Counties) - 
New Vendors
Check out our recently-added new vendors: 
  • GoNoodle - GoNoodle is actually a new online program with FREE access for NUA Home School students. GoNoodle is a collection of warm-up and transition activities (songs, dances, games) that help children start their day or move from one activity or subject to the next. As your Education Advisor for more information or to sign up.

Our vendor request window for the 2016-2017 school year closed on December 16th. The vendor request window for the 2017-2018 school year will open on May 1st. Look for information regarding new vendor requests in the May 2017 issue of the Home School Herald.

Urban Workshop - Spring 2017 Class Offerings
Urban Workshop in Costa Mesa just released their Spring 2017 classes which begin on January 17th. These Level 1 STEM classes are available to students age 10 and up. Please see the flyer linked below for all the information: 
Urban Workshop Spring 2017
Questions? Call Urban Workshop at (949) 296-2153 or visit their website:
Fall 2016 Report Cards: Grades 6-8
It's time to complete formal end-of-semester Report Cards for all students in Grades 6-8. Students in Grades 6-8 receive one grade on the A-F scale for each of the six learning areas/courses: English-Language Arts, math, science, history-social studies, PE, and Elective. 
Your EA has until February 3rd to complete and submit Report Cards for the Fall 2016 semester. Look for correspondence from your NUA teacher regarding grade discussions and her own specific due dates. 
Happy New Year! A Fun Way to Set Goals for the Year 2017 (Article by Megan Perkins)

Happy New Year! Every year people create resolutions...a set of goals they intend to keep for the coming year. Often, though, by the end of January, the resolution has been set aside for whatever reason, and the year keeps on going...goal unfulfilled. Since it’s almost the end of Semester 1, it’s a great time for you and your child to take stock of what they need to do to finish out the school year strong. It’s a great time to create some school goals.

At the beginning of every year, I like to have my students create an “I Am...” Poem. An “I Am...” Poem helps a child understand themselves on a deeper level. It can be created for younger students, as well as the older. For instance, in Kindergarten, I might have a student tell me things about them using the 5 senses and 1 feeling sentence:

I am Student Name                                                                            I am Megan Perkins
I see Something they need to work on                                               I see that I can be a
                                                                                                                  better friend  
I hear Something they want to hear others say about them               I hear my Mom
                                                                                                                  thanking me for 
                                                                                                                  cleaning my room              
I smell Something that reminds them of something they love            I smell the grass when
                                                                                                                   I score a goal in 
I taste Something they would like to learn to make in the kitchen       I taste chocolate
I touch Somewhere they would like to visit this year                           I touch the Empire
                                                                                                                   State Building
I feel How are they going to follow their goals?                                   I feel motivated to
                                                                                                                    achieve my goals
I am Student Name                                                                              I am Megan Perkins

Students in upper grades can add more detail, use figurative language, or include deeper feelings. They can use the lines, “I wish...”, “I hope...”, “I imagine...”, “I can...”, “I will...”, etc. A template I often use is on the ReadWriteThink website:

Goal setting can be done in a variety of ways. I hope you and your child get a chance to create some goals for the rest of the school year, and beyond! 

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 - Shiloh (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: Shiloh
Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Suggested reading level: 3-8
Read aloud level: 2-8

When a stray beagle follows 11 year old Marty Preston to his small house in a West Virginia holler, the boy knows he won’t be able to keep him, as his family can’t afford a dog’s food or vet care—and then there’s the fact that the dog probably belongs to Judd Travers, a man who drinks too much and abuses his dogs.  But Marty falls in love with the dog he names Shiloh, and is determined not to return the dog to his cruel owner. Problem is, this is an economically depressed area in which poor families scrape together a living and authorities have little time to investigate allegations of animal abuse. What follows is a suspenseful novel in which Marty figures out a way to hide Shiloh in the hills, feeding him with scraps from his own meals and solving a host of problems along the way.  Throughout the book, Marty shows resourcefulness and courage, choosing to do what’s right by the dog in the face of personal troubles and danger.  Both times I read this novel I couldn’t put it down, drawn in by Marty and Shiloh’s increasingly difficult, seemingly unsolvable situation.  Unlike beautifully written but ultimately heartbreaking novels about animals such as The Yearling, Sounder and Old Yeller, this novel has a happy ending and the animal in question doesn’t die at the end. This book is as touching and tender as those others, and includes themes of sacrifice and heroism, but also leaves the reader with a joyous and warm feeling as good triumphs over evil in the end.

January 2017 - Important Dates
Save these important dates
  • Monday, January 9th - Welcome back to school after Winter Break
  • Tuesday, January 10th - Roynon Museum Field Trip
  • Thursday, January 12th - Naturalist Program in Dana Point
  • Monday, January 16th - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday (NUA Holiday)
  • Tuesday, January 17th - Naturalist Program in Trabuco Canyon
  • Thursday, January 19th - Learning Period 5 ends; Fall 2016 Semester ends
  • Thursday, January 19th - Naturalist Program in Crystal Cove
  • Monday, January 23rd - Spring 2017 Semester begins
  • Tuesday, January 24th - Naturalist Program in Trabuco Canyon
  • Thursday, January 26th - Naturalist Program in Crystal Cove
  • Tuesday, January 31st - Tuesday classes at the Mission Viejo and Tustin Enrichment Centers begin
NUA Home School Master Calendar - 2016-2017
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday - NUA Holiday
Monday, January 16th is a holiday for all NUA students and staff members as we recognize the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Why not try out some of the lesson plans and activities linked below to learn more about the life and work of Dr. King?
Lesson Plans from the National Parks Service
Lesson Plans and Activities from Teacher Vision 
NUA Instructional Funds: Reminders
  • 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!
Handbook Highlight: Limits for Purchase Orders
NUA Home School Handbook
As a California public school, our student funding, along with any materials purchased with said funding, belongs to the State of California. That means we have to follow some fairly strict rules about how we spend school funds. 
The following is a reminder of the limits placed on our school in regards to the use of school funds: 
  • NUA can purchase basic educational items for students. This includes basic school supplies.
  • Educational materials and services purchased with funds must support new learning and student progress. 
  • Non-consumable items (textbooks, novels, technology, anything that is not "used-up") must be returned to the school when you have finished using the item or when your child leaves NUA, whichever comes first.
  • School-owned technology (laptops, tablets) must be collected every summer. Students who plan to return to NUA in the fall may reserve the item for the following school year.
  • NUA pays applicable tax and shipping fees from Instructional Funds accounts. 
  • Each student may purchase up to one technology item per year. Please refer to our Technology Menu for available items.
  • Printer ink: Each student may purchase up to $150 in ink each school year; up to $350 per family, per year.
  • Printer/copy paper: Each student may purchase up to three (3) reams of standard weight, multipurpose paper per year; up to 10 reams per family. 
  • Each student may purchase up to $200 in consumable educational software per year.
  • PE equipment may be purchased with funds, but students are limited to purchasing equipment that may be used by another student. Personalized PE equipment (clothing, shoes, custom-fit equipment) may not be purchased with school funds.
  • Each student may purchase up to $300 in materials that create an end-product. This includes items such as arts and crafts supplies, science kits, sewing/knitting supplies, etc. Please see Page 14 of the Home School Handbook for a more complete list. 
  • Each student may purchase up to $150 (up to $350 per family) in educational games. 
  • Microscopes, up to $200, may be purchased with school funds. 
  • Students may purchase a musical instrument (or peripheral supplies [bows, reeds, etc.], up to $200, with school funds. 
  • NUA cannot use school funds to pay for registration or recital fees for the visual and performing arts or sports. NUA cannot pay for registration or assessment fees associated with student tutoring. We cannot pay competition fees. 
  • Excessive quantities of any materials are not allowed. 
  • Sophisticated office supplies may not be purchased with funds, nor can home and office equipment or furniture. 
  • NUA cannot use school funds to pay for religious materials, or materials from religious publishers. 
  • NUA cannot purchase items such as food, kitchen equipment or supplies, personal hygiene items, or yard equipment.
A good rule-of-thumb that the teachers and I use is to ask ourselves, "Would a traditional public school purchase this for their students?" All charter schools are public schools, so we are held to the same funding rules as any other public school. 

Please refer to Pages 9-16 of our Home School Handbook for more information. 

Even with these limits, there is plenty of room for choice and for building a fantastic educational program that meets the needs of each child. Your Education Advisor will be happy to support you and your child with suggestions for curriculum and supplemental materials, lessons/classes, and tutoring. 
Field Trips Sign-Up Reminder
Don't miss out on our exciting spring semester field trips! The deadline for sign-ups for all Spring 2017 field trips is tomorrow, Tuesday, January 10th
Contact your Education Advisor today to sign-up!

Spring 2017 Field Trips
February 8th - Whale Watching in San Diego
February 22nd - Medieval Times
March 7th - Palomar College Planetarium (Grades 3-8 only)
April 7th - Bowers Kidseum (Grades TK-2 only)
April 7th - Bowers Museum (Grades 3-8 only)
May 25th - The Ecology Center, San Juan Capistrano

May 30th-31st - Maritime Museum of San Diego overnight trip (Grades 3-8 only)
NUA Home School PE Testing
The annual PE testing window opens on February 1st, 2017. All students in Grades 5 and 7 are required to participate in PE testing as one of the state-mandated assessments. 
Students will be tested in the following areas: 
  • Pacer - This is a progressive 20-meter shuttle run that becomes more difficult as students progress through the levels. The students are able to stop as necessary. 
  • Body Mass Index - A measure of weight in relation to height.
  • Abdominal Strength - Students perform curl-ups.
  • Upper-Body Strength - Students perform push-ups.
  • Shoulder Stretch - Students try to touch their fingertips together by reaching over the shoulder and under the elbow.
  • Trunk Lift - The student uses their back and core muscles to lift their upper body off the ground.
PE Testing for San Diego and Riverside students will be held on Tuesday, February 7th at the Rancho Bernardo Community Park. 
PE Testing for Orange County students will be held on Friday, February 10th. 
PE testing fliers with more information will be distributed via email soon. 
NUA Running Club Update (Article by Jennifer Carrete)
NUA Homeschool will participate in the Rockin It Racing Trail run on Saturday, February 11. Several of our runners from the running club will be participating. You do not need to meet with the running club each week in order to participate in the organized races; All students are invited to participate in this race and are welcome to train independently! If your child is interested, please contact Jennifer Carrete. I will issue you a special race code and the school will cover the cost of the race. Your child needs to be registered by Tuesday, January 10 @ 5:00 pm.

More information about the race can be found here:
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.
Plant Nature Program Flyer
January 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 continue 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. 

Consider writing a letter to our troops following the guidelines from Operation Gratitude:

Letters may be turned in to your EA or at one of the Enrichment Center sites. 
Spring 2017 Enrichment Center Schedules 
Curriculum Review: Math-U-See (Article by Heather Hemmelgarn)

NUA Materials Vendor: Math-U-See Review

Do you ever wish you had a math expert who could demonstrate a new lesson for you?  Then Steve Demme, author of Math U See, may be the resource you need.  Math U See was developed specifically for homeschool students.   Lessons are taught using multi-sensory tools such as videos, manipulatives, and other resources and are designed to appeal to any type of learner.  Each lesson has a short videos which shows Steve Demme presenting a friendly, small group lesson, encouraging students at home to actively participate.      

Math U See uses a mastery based, student paced approach that presents topics in a sequence that may be different from some math curriculums.   The program covers all necessary math concepts, but it does not try to correlate the teaching of concepts at the same grade level or in the same order as some other programs.  A initial placement test can help you determine which level to start you student on.  Although the program was not written for Common Core, grade level correlations are available on their site.   

Materials for each level include a DVD that covers all the lessons, a hardcover teacher edition, consumable student workbooks.  A basic set of color coded manipulative blocks are used through all the levels, with fraction overlays and algebra/decimal inserts being utilized at higher levels.   Math U See has been a very popular curriculum with many families at NUA.  That means that you can usually find the non-consumable components such as manipulative blocks and teacher editions available for check-out through our resource libraries in Tustin and Vista.  For more information, visit their website

Featured Educational Website: Number Nut
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 
Focus/Subject: Math
Grade Levels: TK-8 
Why It's a Great Resource: Number Nut features informative articles on a wide range of math topics; everything from shapes and colors to scientific notation. This website is a great tool to help you explain those abstract math concepts to your children. Many articles on the site include related activities to help children practice the math facts, as well as related links for more information. 
Vendor Spotlight: Ivey Ranch Park Association
Ivey Ranch Park Association offers therapeutic and able-bodied horseback riding lessons in Oceanside. They teach both English and Western riding styles and students can opt for group classes or private instruction. All instruction is leveled to meet the needs and riding ability of the students.
Instruction includes mounted riding, as well as ground training. Students are also taught the use of the various pieces of tack and horse care. 

Visit Ivey Ranch Park Association online at:
Vendor Spotlight: RSM Singers
RSM Singers Company offers singing and dancing lessons for young ladies. The Singers Company is more than just hitting notes and following steps; it inspires confidence for girls, provides non-competitive opportunity for them to perform, and allows them quality time to create lifelong friendships and memories Classes are offered Monday-Wednesday, and the cost is $55 per month. Students participate in performances in June and December. For more information visit their website:

The joy found through music and dance is just the vehicle used to help accomplish these goals and strengthen the innate good that is already within each of them.

Vendor Spotlight: Have Fun Teaching
Have Fun Teaching offers a wide range of curriculum supplements for students in Grades TK-6. These supplemental materials include worksheets and workbooks, flashcards, songs, and videos covering all subjects.
Seasonal worksheets and activities are available, and the site includes many resources that can be downloaded free of charge.
Check them out today at 
Vendor Spotlight: Ivy Kids
Ivy Kids is on of the popular monthly subscription programs available to NUA Home School students. Each box from Ivy Kids includes a children's literature book, along with at least activities or projects that go along with the story. The boxes are best for students in Grades TK-3 and the accompanying activities cover all subjects, creating a fun monthly unit study. 
Be sure to check out Ivy Kids online at
In Our Community: Orange County

1) Science Night at Dana Point Community Center 
January 12 @ 6:00pm-7:30 PM

Please come and join us and learn about current science-related topics presented in a family-friendly format. Generally, hands-on activities and/or displays will be presented and geared towards children. 

2) Tet Festival at the Orange County Fair Grounds

January 27-29
Join us in celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, learning about Vietnamese culture, enjoying delicious food, and sharing laughter and smiles at the 36th annual UVSA Tet Festival

3) Polar Bear Plunge at the Mission Viejo Sierra Recreation Center 

January 28 from 1pm-4pm
Take an icy dip in the spa for a fun photo opportunity and experience the thrill of playing in 180 gallons of artificial snow. Enjoy carnival games, snowball fights, snow cones, hot chocolate, water slide and rec swim in the heated poo. This event is free to enter with minimal charge for activities and food.  

In Our Community: San Diego County
1) Cowboys and Vaqueros Exhibit at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido
January 14th-February 26th

$5 for students and seniors, $8 for adults. Children 12 and under are free.
This art installation will feature paintings and exhibits showcasing life in the American West, as well as cowboy, Native American, and Mexican traditions.

2) San Diego Youth Orchestra Winter Chamber Concert
January 20th at 7:00pm

Ticket prices range from $15.00-$25.00
Enjoy wind and string music played by members of the San Diego Youth Orchestra. The students will play world-class chamber music. or

3) San Diego Tet Festival
January 27th-January 29th

Free admission
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at the 12th Annual San Diego Tet Festival. This event will be held at the Mira Mesa Community Park and will feature lion dancing, music, and much more!

4) Sculpture in the Garden
Ongoing through April 1st
Free with paid SD Botanical Garden admission or membership
Check out sculptures from more than 50 exhibitors with the backdrop of the beautiful San Diego Botanical Gardens in Encinitas.
NUA Home School Quick Links
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