Why ODE Academy???

What? What is this new ODE Academy? Why do students have to apply? Will you be turning students down? Does my child have to apply even if he or she has been at ODE for a long time?

Lots of questions are rolling in so we thought we’d try to address some of them in this post. 

Our overall purpose is to help and encourage homeschooling families, to support and fortify, bring resources, community, and respite. We all want our children to grow up to be compassionate, well-adjusted, caring, disciplined, hard-working, competent adults. In order to be those people, they must be confident in their own worth, know their own value as individuals, know that they are deeply loved and cared for, and from there they can take on challenges and adversity that they will inevitably encounter as they face the world. We believe that each and every child is uniquely equipped with skills, talents, and many different areas of strength and intelligence. 

ODE provides classes and programming for children beginning at age 3 all the way through high school graduation at 18. While our purpose remains the same for the entire program, our implementation does, out of necessity, adjust. Children in elementary learn at such widely different rates and in so many different ways, and do not have the independence to make their educational choices for themselves. Young adults in high school, although they may attack their workloads in different manners, need to function independently, and work within the perimeters laid out for them, taking the responsibility on for themselves. This is why we want the STUDENT to apply – just filling out the application and submitting is a great way to begin. This is a way for teachers to get to know a little bit about them as well. 

To sum up, yes, ALL students need to apply – even those who have been at ODE previously. Please encourage your student to take the time to think through the questions. Encourage them to take this opportunity to tell us (their prospective teachers and admin) about themselves. We would love to know them better, and we are so very willing and eager to work WITH them! We are all on the same team. And for those new 7th graders who are just now transitioning from our enrichment program to our ODE Academy – please do not worry! We will walk the bridge with them. We know the 7th graders are not at a place of independent motivation. It is a wonderful and exhilarating thing to see the students bloom in those bridge (7th and 8th grade) years. 

Our Bridge classes will look great on a transcript if you are thinking of putting your child in high school. But you do need to make sure you are aware of the requirements to get into high school because ODE only provides a handful of classes. If you are homeschooling for high school, you will not need a formal transcript for those years. A high school transcript will just be for the classes taken during the high school years.


One Day Enrichment exists to support homeschooling families. We meet on Fridays for the whole school day, offering a wide range of classes. At the elementary level, our classes aim to provide enrichment. We assume the basic fundamentals are being taught at home through a wide range of philosophy and curriculum. Many of our families are deeply immersed in a rigorous, daily program while others embrace a more relaxed approach. Consequently, the time frame when students reach proficiency in reading and math skills is very broad. So we at ODE focus instead on classes that really are better in a group or require more skill and expertise than the average mom typically has. It is very difficult to play a game of kickball or dodgeball at home. Creating a choir is a challenge on the living room couch. And how about art? Children love art – but for a busy (and oftentimes exhausted!) homeschooling mom, art can easily be left by the wayside because it is not critical to academic development, and finding the required materials can be an overwhelming obstacle. And of course science experiments are the same way! Who has time to plan experiments in advance to make sure science they happen? Sometimes it is hard just to get the required ingredients to even feed the little guys, let alone do science experiments with them!!

We recognize and applaud the very deep investment parents make in the lives of their children when they make the decision to homeschool. Homeschooling can be exhilarating and should be rewarding as you watch your children grow and develop, but of course it is also exhausting. At ODE we understand that homeschooling young students offers very little respite, and we are so glad to provide a day when you as a homeschooling mom can take a few hours to rest, run errands (without the endearing, incessant questions!), go to lunch with a friend, make plans for next week, or do anything that strikes your fancy. This is a huge part of our mission – caring for mom! To that end, we never want you to feel pressure to be at ODE to pitch in with anything at all. Yes, you read that correctly. We do not want you to feel pressure to help with anything. However, community is important and can help with days that seem hard and long. Knowing you are not the only one in your situation, not the only one struggling, can be a lifeline. Hearing the stories of others can be just the balm you need. To help us connect, we do provide moms’ coffees from time to time, and we hope that you will make use of our forum and closed facebook group to connect with others and to draw encouragement from others who have been exactly where you are.

Many ask if ODE is a Christian program. The founders of ODE are Christians. The current director of ODE is a Christian and a member of Judson, the church that graciously hosts our program. Most of our teachers are also Christians. They believe in God and his love for each one of the people He created, and that we can know Him and be known by Him. Our salvation comes through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his son, and we humbly acknowledge our need for him on a daily, even hourly basis. Having said that, we do not require that our families believe the same way. We welcome any student and family who wants to come to ODE, and we respect and value each student and each parent. We want to be very sensitive to the very diverse group that we represent, and we are grateful and acknowledge your valid views and opinions. We hope and pray that there would never be any circumstance where someone feels belittled or unvalued because of their beliefs or opinions – when it comes to religion or politics or any other issue. We are all enriched by cultivating authentic relationships with people who are different from us, provided we put aside our preconceived generalizations and begin from a position of humility and respect for all people.

You may wonder if your child will be asked to do homework for ODE. We do believe that for a class that meets once a week, your child’s experience will be richer if they do add time at home and do some work on their end. We post homework on the website every Monday morning for your student to do for maximum success in the class. You can even use the class and the homework as a springboard for deeper study or more work in your homeschool – especially in the literature, unit, and science classes. Having said that, we again want to emphasize that our desire is to come alongside you and lighten your load. If you are very busy during the week and doing homework for ODE would be a burden to you, and you do not wish to spend any time on it, that is ok. We do hope that as the students get older, they will be able to independently find and complete their work, but again, that is up to your discretion as the parent.

You may feel confused by the class names – Dolphin Swimmers, Time Travelers, Banana Smoothies, Seahorses, and Dragons. These names were voted on by the students themselves, and we love the creative flair. We have five levels for six actual grades of elementary. We know that homeschooling can be a little more loose as far as age ranges, and we want you to feel free to place your child where you think she or he will thrive. As a general rule of thumb, the Dolphin Swimmers group is for 1st and 2nd graders. Time Travelers is for 2nd and 3rd graders, Banana Smoothies for 3rd and 4th, Seahorses for 4th and 5th, and Dragons for 5th and 6th graders. So it is not necessary to move to the next level every year, but most years they will probably move up. Please do communicate with us about any questions you might have about placement and we will be happy to help you find the best group for your child!
Any other questions? Please feel free to shoot an email to info@onedayenrichment.com. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Academy Class Schedule

Academy class schedule

This is the preliminary Academy schedule for Fall 2019 through Spring 2020.

Bridge to High School
7th, 8th, 9th Grade
High School Track
8:30-9:30 PE



8:30-10:00 Local

Chicago History



9:30-10:30 Art



10:00-11:30 Literature


10:30-11:30 Science



11:30-12 LUNCH
12-1:30 United States Geography


12-1:30 Theater

Honor’s Literature
(separate application)

1:30-3:00 Bridge Literature

Speech & Debate

1:30-3:00 Speech & Debate



2019/20 Year Calendar

Kick-Off Picnic – Aug. 30, 2019

Session I

Week 1 – Sept. 6, 2019

Week 2 – Sept. 13

Week 3 – Sept. 20

Week 4 – Sept. 27

Week 5 – Oct. 4

Week 6 – Oct. 11

Week 7 – Oct. 18

Week 8 – Oct. 25


OFF – Nov. 1, 2019


Session II

Week 1 – Nov. 8

Week 2 – Nov. 15

Week 3 – Nov. 22

OFF on Nov. 29 for Thanksgiving

Week 4 – Dec. 6

Week 5 – Dec. 13

OFF on Dec. 20, 27, Jan. 3 for CHRISTMAS

Week 6 – Jan 10, 2020

Week 7 – Jan. 17, 2020

Week 8 – Jan. 24


Session III

Week 1 – Jan. 31, 2020

Week 2 – Feb. 7

Week 3 – Feb. 14

Week 4 – Feb. 21

Week 5 – Feb. 28

Week 6 – March 6

Week 7 – March 13

Week 8 – March 20 (CANCELLED)


OFF- March 27, 2020


Session IV

Week 1 – April 3 (CANCELLED)

OFF April 10 for Good Friday

Week 2 – April 17

Week 3 – April 24

Week 4 – May 1

Week 5 – May 8

Week 6 – May 15

Week 7 – May 22

Week 8 – May 29


Grand Finale – May 29, 2020


Friday Class Schedule 2019-2020

These are the preliminary Preschool and Elementary class schedules for Fall 2019 through Spring 2020.


There are two options for our Ladybugs and Grasshoppers. They can choose to begin at 8:30 and take a Kindermusik class or they can arrive at 9:30. Pick-up time is 3:00.

(3-4 year olds)
(4-6 year olds)
8:30 – 3:00 Kindermusik followed by ODE programming Kindermusik followed by ODE programming
9:30 – 3:00 Regular ODE Preschool with no Kindermusik Regular ODE Preschool/Kindergarten with no Kindermusik


Dolphin Swimmers Time Travelers Banana Smoothies Seahorses Dragons
8:30-9:30 Science Literature Unit Science Art
9:30-10:30 Unit Science Science PE Music
10:30-11:30 Art PE Literature Music Science
11:30-12:30 Music Art PE Unit Literature
12:30-1:00 —– LUNCH —–
1:00-2:00 Literature Unit Music Art PE
2:00-3:00 PE Music Art Literature Unit

Click here to view the schedule for the Upper School ODE Academy classes.

Lost and Found!

Last chance for Lost & Found!

This Friday MORNING, please COME INSIDE when you bring the kiddos and peruse the many items that have been collected in the LOST & FOUND!!!

We have THREE BIG boxes of books📚, water bottles🍼🥤, lunch boxes🎒, shoes👟, clothing 🧥👕👖🧢🧤🧣 and more that miss their families and would like to come home.

This Friday MORNING ☀️ we will lay everything out on tables to make it easier to find any items that may belong to your family. I will also take pics and post on our FB page.

Alternatively, if you know you are missing something, post a description below and we will try to find it for you!

Although we would love to make sure every item is reconnected with it’s family, there just isn’t enough room to keep everything so long. Therefore, anything left after lunch will be packed up and donated to charity.

As always, there will be hot coffee in the lounge so please come inside, grab a coffee, have a look around, (find that missing lunch box) and enjoy a little chit chat with other parents 😃

Art Tinker Room

Help us build the tinker lab of the ODE art room. I’m asking families to look through their closets storage areas, and crawl spaces. Please consider donating unwanted items to the ODE art room. We are looking for very nontraditional items in addition to items most would consider art materials. Basically if you don’t want it let us see if we can make something out it. Here’s a list of items we’d love but please consider donating anything you like. We will make sure the unwanted donations make it a donation box in the area!

List of possible donation items:

cardboard boxes

recyclable items; cans plastics, paper

wood scraps






old electronics

old lamps




old toys



unwanted kitchen items

paper plates





any art or crafty item

old posters

plastic silverware

old fabric

old clothing

anything you can think of

Our brilliant art students would benefit from anything you can thing to donate. Make some room in your home before Christmas comes! Our deepest gratitude! Thank you ODE Families!!!

Lauren Feece

Illinois requirements for a high school diploma

If you are wondering what exactly your child needs to satisfy the requirements of high school in our state of Illinois, Mrs. York has put together some links and a summary of exactly that. Please note this does not necessarily satisfy college entrance requirements.

In Illinois, the current high school graduation requirements are, for students starting high school in 2016 and later, available here: https://www.isbe.net/Documents/grad_require.pdf   Every homeschool parent should make sure they understand these requirements.
This is a very brief summary:
TOTAL: 16 Units of High School (with each unit being a year-long class. Partial-year classes can be added together.)
Math: 3 Years including Algebra 1 and some Geometry
English: 4 Years  (no content specified)
Writing: 2 Years of ‘Writing Intensive’ courses, one should be an English class and the other is open.
Science: 2 Years (no content specified)
Social Studies: 2 Years and one year must be US History with a semester of specified civics content/Constitution (IL and US) exam if not completed in middle school
Consumer Education: 9 Weeks (may be part of Economics or another course)
Health: 18 Weeks of Health Education
Electives: 1 Year of arts (foreign language, music, art, etc.)
Physical Education: 4 Years of some sort of daily physical education but this is not a graduation requirement but rather a requirement that every high school program offer this to all students.
SCED. This is a standardized way to code classes in high school transcripts. Using these codes is completely optional but may help colleges in understanding a student’s achievements. Here is the link to the current catalog of codes and how they are used:https://nces.ed.gov/forum/SCED.asp
Note from EBY – – The Excel file can be kind of confusing. There is a .PDF version that is a little older but still includes most (hundreds!!) of the codes and is searchable:  https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007341.pdf

String Lessons in Oak Park for your child – tailored to the home schooling family!

The Oak Park String Academy has daytime lessons available and would love to add homeschooled children to their available slots.


***Special note from Meg Lanfear:

If families sign up before September, they will receive a discount of $135 off! I am always willing to work with families who can come for lessons during the day, so even if lessons are something that a family might think is out of their reach, they should contact me to discuss.

Meg Lanfear, Founder & Director
Oak Park String Academy
(630) 886-6183

Here is some information:

The Suzuki Method emphasizes several techniques and philosophies which often align with the goals of homeschooling parents. Here are a few:
You are the Suzuki Home Teacher
-In the Suzuki Method, parents attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. The role of the Suzuki “home teacher” naturally complements the role of the homeschooling parent because parental involvement is integral to the success of the method. Previous musical knowledge from the parent is not at all required because the teacher ensures that parents understand all unfamiliar technical and musical concepts.

Developing the Whole Child

The purpose of music instruction is not to create professional musicians, but to develop the whole child through the study of music. Dr. Suzuki’s goal was not simply to develop professional musicians, but to nurture loving human beings and help develop each child’s character through the study of music. Our faculty also think of music as a means of teaching children skills like the ability to focus one’s attention, time management, goal-setting, the satisfaction of hard work (and accompanying success), teamwork, and self-assessment. These are valuable skills for all children, homeschooled or otherwise!


Click HERE for more further detail on their website.

Meet old and new friends at the park!

Taking kids to the park this summer? Join other homeschool families and increase the fun! Here is the park schedule of parks and dates.

We will join TEACH’s park days to draw on more local homeschool families. This is a great way to meet new people or catch up with old friends. Park Days will be on Thursdays for the months of June and August while Park Days will be on Fridays for the month of July. Meet up time is 12pm. Kids play and moms chat! Sometimes there are only a couple of moms and kids, and sometimes there’s a crowd. Either way, it’s always fun. Sunscreen and lunches are recommended; blankets and chairs are handy to have. If you’d rather enjoy the pool that is available at that park start a thread to see if others want to join you. Marshell will not make it out to all the park days but you are still welcome to call, text or email her.

For questions regarding Park Days: Marshell Edwards Cell (773) 677-2348 or marshell.edwards@icloud.com

All the parks listed have washrooms and some have tennis courts, ball fields and other special areas, so bring any equipment you think may be fun to have.

Thursday, June 14: Commons Park in North Riverside

Off DesPlaines Ave, behind the North Riverside police station

Thursday, June 21st: Maple Park- Oak Park

Harlem Ave, N of Roosevelt Rd

Thursday, June 28th: Taylor Park

N. Oak Park, 400 W. Division Ave, on RidgelandAve

Friday, July 6th: Station Park

Forest Park, 7400 Harrison St, on Harrison just east of Des Plaines Ave., across from the pool

Friday, July 13th: Proksa Park

Berwyn, 3001 Wisconsin Ave, on 31st between Oak Park Ave and Harlem Ave

Friday, July 20th: Stevenson/Memorial Park

Bellwood, 3105 Washington Blvd— just west of 25th Ave
(SEPARATE SPLASH PAD, $2 per child, chaperone free)

Friday, July 27: Gordon Park

La Grange, Ogden Ave and Tilden Ave, just east of La Grange Rd on Ogden Ave (SPLASH PAD)

Thursday, August 2nd: Station Park

Forest Park, 7400 Harrison St, on Harrison St, just east of Des Plaines Ave, near the pool

Thursday, August 9th: Longfellow Park

S. Oak Park, 610 S Ridgeland Ave, just north of Jackson Blvd (SPLASH PAD)

Thursday, August 16th: Gordon Park

La Grange, Ogden Ave and Tilden Ave, just east of La Grange Rd on Ogden Ave (SPLASH PAD)

Thursday, August 23rd: Scoville Park

800 Lake St, Oak Park, across from Oak Park Library

Thursday, August 30th: Field Park

Oak Park, 935 Woodbine, cross street is Division Ave (SPLASH PAD)