Our school is designed on a 3-year repeating cycle that ensures a broader world-view rather than an American-centric world view. Each unit is 6 weeks long. Each time a student revisits a unit, the material becomes more in depth for them. We use composition notebooks, and make table of contents pages so that everything they learn is handy and available for them as they progress through their academic life.
YEAR 1 (2018-19; 2021-2022)
Unit 1: The Beginning--solar system, chemistry, physics
Unit 2: Mesopotamia/Middle East--engineering, nutrition
Unit 3: North Africa--environment, desertification
Unit 4: Important Topics in U.S. History--space race, engineering
Unit 5: Middle Ages/Renaissance--architecture, biology, viruses’
Unit 6: WWI/1900-1930--chemistry, physics
Unit 7: Russia--electricity, magnetism
YEAR 2 (2019-20; 2022-23)
Unit 8: Paleontology--geology, volcanoes, plants
Unit 9: MesoAmerica--biology, biodiversity, America’s animals
Unit 10: Greece/Rome--biology, human systems
Unit 11: N/NW Asia--rise of technology, nuclear age
Unit 12: Colonialism/Imperialism--Plagues & People, microbiology
Unit 13: WWII/1930-1950--biowarfare, ethics
Unit 14: Oceania--oceanography, islands
YEAR 3 (2020-21; 2023-24)
Unit 15: Evolution/MesoAfrica--archaeology, earthquakes
Unit 16: Southern Africa--anthropology, brain/gut science, epigenetics, wetlands
Unit 17: India/SE Asia--Asian beliefs, weather, energy
Unit 18: Europe--heredity, biology
Unit 19: World Geography--fossil fuels, borders
Unit 20: 1950-Present--global warming, insects, economics
Unit 21: Central/South America--anthropology, ecology, rainforest
June 2023 update to school format
Kishami Academy is going to be changing the format of how we approach the overall academics towards the prospect of a student's future: career, certifications, trade school, or college. Most of your students currently will not notice any difference for themselves. However, a few students
have already begun to experience the difference.
When Kishami Academy began in 2017, trying to remain as close to public school with the ability to follow rabbit trails of academic interests or focus on mental and social issues was the goal. It did not take long, as I analyzed the standards and materials for a full K-12 program, to discover that the guidance for growth was not well-delineated, and the requirements were very American-centric. Growth is necessary, especially in areas of executive functioning, creative thinking, and metacognition. I wanted these things in my school. Also, with the world “shrinking” due to technology and more fluid boundaries, proceeding to teach along nationalistic lines is not a valuable skill for future endeavors. These discoveries led to my three-year worldwide and time-vast unit study series that would allow students to get familiar with the world they live in, the scientific and historical timelines, and not just focus on just one country of the world’s 195.
I do like what I did with the unit series, it is a great organization of subject matter for Kishami Academy. However, I tend to want to teach and get the students to understand much more than is necessary which left me frustrated while doing excess research and racing to get materials ready for each day. Constantly feeling behind and like I am failing my students is not good for
my mental health or the welfare of Kishami Academy.
I am always reading and researching to discover more: What is happening around the world with academics, what is happening in America, what is happening at college-entrance levels, what is the output of our schools, what are the current trends, what does the newest research say, how does each of my students diagnoses affect how they learn, why am I having trouble
reaching a student or teaching a concept, etc. Every book, documentary, research paper, and class teaches me something new to add to my personal knowledge. It also helps me analyze what is happening in my own class, with my own students, and within myself.
This research has led to a new design concept for a larger school setting; Not so new for homeschool communities. Kishami Academy will now be focusing on helping students learn to learn and obtain a sixth-grade mastery in the subjects of reading, writing, comprehension, mathematics, spelling, grammar, and executive functioning. Research shows that once a child has attained this level of
mastery in academics, they have also learned better how to think for themselves, be able to learn and explore what they want to learn, and have the skill sets available to move forward, largely on their own, into whichever higher education (middle school through life) they desire.
Once a student has reached this level, they enter what is referred to as Unschooling. This means they are in charge of their education. For our middle and high school students who are in the process of crossing this 6th-grade demarcation or have already crossed it, this means that they get to choose their own classes, and obtain high school and college credits through online
programs that Kishami Academy has bought into. Students also will be given more time to explore the career they are interested in by trying out new things. As Kishami Academy is able to arrange: getting kits and supplies that will help them explore, tutoring, online programs, or in-
Students may begin to explore more on their own once they have shown the ability to think for themselves, connect concepts between subject matters, and show outside effort toward their own futures (Kishami Academy programs, extra classes, volunteering, etc.) for more than two
units, 12 weeks. This demonstrates both that they are able to do more than regurgitate information and their own self-motivation thus aiding their ability to problem solve and learn
These are the skills and concepts that are the most important to be
working on to help students attain the necessary mental abilities to self-monitor, guide, and motivate, manage time, organize, etc. These skills are taught throughout every subject, every day. However, it is up to each student whether they will choose to follow directions and work on these skills daily. Showing comprehension of a skill in one area and then claiming they do not know how to do something in another area that uses that exact skill means that they are not proficient and have not learned to generalize the skill in a way that can help them in their future
Requirements for graduation to full unschooling -- higher learning:
Completion of 5th-grade Saxon math text and confidently working through the 6th-grade text while having mastered Khan 4th grade and steadily working through 5th-grade mastery.
Working through 6th-grade spelling lists and consistently spelling all previous list words correctly. Showing evidence that they can use phonetic guidelines to spell unknown and new words.
Grammar concepts should be continuously used in all areas of academics as they are taught. We directly teach grammar in addition to encouraging the habits necessary to help a student edit their own work with basic grammar knowledge -- which is the ability to speak coherently and be understood.
Reading & Comprehension:
Reading with competent comprehension in an Interactive Reader
6th grade or above. Comprehension is shown through making connections within the reading itself as well as between other subjects, experiences, personal research and past readings.
Comprehension is a whole-life ability because nothing is stand-alone and unconnected.
According to Kishami Academy’s writing rubric, students should be scoring at least 18.5 points (7th grade). This score ensures that students will be able to use the written word to further their careers, write persuasive documents, make requests, and organize presentations in
a manner that makes them sound coherent and professional. They must also be consistently presenting grade-level work at a 6th grade (16 points) level in all areas of academics. Writing must consistently show evidence of spelling, grammar, and metacognitive abilities.
WELCOME! My name is Kish Widgren. I am the head-teacher, owner, and founder of Kishami Academy, LLC.
OUR MISSION is to see all students succeed by addressing their needs individually. Each student is empowered as we fill in knowledge gaps, allowing them to learn at their pace, and aid in physical balancing of mind and body by bridging disruptive connections within the brain.
I have been teaching in one form or other since Kindergarten when I assisted my teachers with lower reading groups before running down the hall to my own reading group. Since then, I have studied with my mom, home-schooled my brother, tutored my friends, used my ability to read and understand directions to tutor those in classes I had never taken before. I like to learn!
These experiences have given me insight into practices that do and do not work, politics that hinder education, and ideas that I can apply freely in my classroom as needed to address the needs of each student.
I HAVE TAUGHT
- Sunday school, 2-3 year olds (4 years)
- AWANA, 3-4th grade (2 years)
- Pioneer Girls, 5-6th grade (3 years)
- Home-Scholar group, preschool-11th grade (2 years)
- Substitute Teacher, 5 districts in California (2 years)
- Substitute Teacher, 5 districts in Colorado (4 years)
- ELD teacher, 4th grade + Intervention (1 year)
Food: Pizza, tacos
Color: Teal, maroon, purples
Candy: Plain chocolates or chocolate covered toffee
Shows: Criminal Minds, Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Firefly, Star Trek (all), NCIS
Hobbies: Reading, writing, research
Mathematics & Language Arts Volunteer Instructor
I'm a very eclectic and creative person. I love getting to spend an afternoon in the library. I always have some new thing I desperately want to learn about. I fell into teaching by accident and found I loved it! To have found Kishami Academy is a delight. A place to volunteer my time, doing something I really enjoy.
- Colorado State Substitute Teacher 1998-2012
- B.S. Science & Criminal Sociology USC Pueblo 1998
- A.A. Graphic Arts PPCC 1984
- Certificates: CNA, EMT B&I
- Military Service: Army (92B10) 1985
Color: Dark green, lilac
Food: Vegetarian, rice & pasta, peaches, strawberries (allergic to peppers)
Size: 2XL anything soft, short or no sleeves
Shows: Scooby Doo (all), Ghibli (Anime)
Hobbies: Reading, rocks
Animals: Red pandas, turtles
Online Support Services
Currently on Maternity Leave: We miss her as a Tuzya, but her amazing mothering skills are what makes her a great addition to our school. Therefore, she is out with her family as long as she feels the need.
Working with students has been my passion and focus since my very first job working in public schools. I feel very fortunate to be able to help the students who need it most in a setting where I and my colleagues have the freedom to create new and innovative methods of instruction. One of the most rewarding parts of working with special needs students has been helping identify exactly where they are at, collaborating on a plan of action with my colleagues and then seeing the growth that results.
I also love the outdoors, exploring the world with my husband and daughter, and laughing as much as possible.
- Board-Certified Behavior Therapist specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy
- “Highly-Qualified” in Special Education via CO PLACE Exam
- Professional Education
- BA in Biology & BA in Zoology, Colorado State University
- Special Education Paraprofessional, Rifle High School, Rifle, CO
- Title 1 Paraprofessional, Monterey Elementary School, Colo. Springs, CO
- ABA Therapist, ACES
- ABA Therapist, Alpine Autism Center
- Tutor, Kishami Academy
- Sciences Instructor, Kishami Academy
Food: Pretzels, cultural fun foods
Candy: Fruits, chocolates (NO coconut)
Shows: Community, The Office, Shark Tank, Perfect Strangers
Hobbies: Hiking, video games, crafts, baking, animals