Starting Fresh - Spring 2022
Friends, colleagues and clients - it's been a minute!
As some of you know, in July 2021 I took a sabbatical from both Educational Therapy and public-sector Special Education. During this time I was able to attend to some crucial family matters, rest, and reflect on my role as an educator. Now I am happy to announce that I am beginning to take on virtual Educational Therapy clients again.
Tomorrow I'll be travelling to New York City, both to visit my family and to attend the annual Learning and the Brain Conference. This year's conference theme is The Science of Knowledge. I've heard great feedback about this conference and I'm really looking forward to gaining new skills and perspectives for my work with students.
Looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces this Spring!
October 19th, 2020
I recently asked colleagues and friends for suggestions of chapter books for early readers and they came up with this awesome list! Enjoy!
Rainbow Magic Fairies
Who Would Win (non-fiction and so great!)
Frog and Toad
Cam Jansen mysteries
Magic School Bus (there are chapter books that are fiction with tidbits of non-fiction facts)
Nat Geo Kids readers
Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
Twig by Elizabeth Orton Jones
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Squanto Friend of Pilgrims
Junie B. Jones
Ivy and Bean
Magic Treehouse series
Boxcar Children Series
Ramona Quimby books
Betsy and Tasey books
My Father’s Dragon
Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
Clara and the Book Wagon
The Long Way Westward
George the Drummer Boy
Sam the Minuteman
Riding the Pony Express
The A-Z Mysteries
Third Grade Detective Books
Henry and Ribsy
The Chalkbox Kid
The Paintbrush Kid
The Shoeshine Girl
The One Hundred Dresses
When the Rattlesnake Sounds
Mouse and the Motorcycle
Ralph S. Mouse
Winnie the Pooh
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Phoebe the Spy
Sarah Plain and Tall
Ivan the One and Only
The Light in the Attic
Where the Sidewalk Ends
New Kid on the Block
The Cabin Faced West
Grandma’s Attic books
Ok maybe a little bonkers, but only because you'll find yourself humming this when your kids aren't around. His voice is just so soothing! Enjoy!
Hello families! What a pleasure it's been to get back into the swing of the school year with your kiddos. Despite the unprecedented challenges of the year, they continue to brighten my day with their stories and smiles.
But speaking of the year's challenges, whoa! As many of you know, I recently decided to leave Los Angeles for rural California. Seemed like a good time to take a break from city life and enjoy the great outdoors. Little did I know we would be met with a record heat wave and millions of acres of burning land. I taught the first day of school on our porch in 100 degree heat, quarantined from my housemates due to a Covid scare, while soot fell from the sky. Yikes!
But the real champions of 2020 are you, the parents! I am amazed everyday at your herculean efforts to hold things together these days. I see you, I appreciate you, and I want to do anything in my power to help.
Looking forward to another great year. :)
The anger, fear and unrest resulting from the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement has had an impact on many of our scholars. Some may feel hurt by or angry at the police, others afraid of the violence they see on TV or in our communities.
I would imagine that you have divergent opinions on these issues, as most people do. However I believe we can all agree on the following:
What can we do as parents and educators to ensure our children are creating a world that is more just and more peaceful than our own? We can do so much! The hardest part is leaning into the discomfort of these challenging conversations. There is no perfect way to do this, but there are so many resources out there to help.
We all have an opportunity to learn and grow here. Please reach out for support and please share your experiences!
To those families who are participating in protests right now: I support you and I'm proud to be your teacher! Stay safe everyone!
A Magic School Bus Meditation
Be still my heart! Bonny Nahmias is a San Francisco Kindergarten teacher and a dear friend. She has been taking care of my schoolbus-camper lately, and created this video for her students while they are home. I don't think it is possible for anyone to enjoy this as much as I do... but I hope you find it soothing!
I don't think any of us expected to be in the situation we are in today. I am writing to you on my birthday, going a bit stir-crazy in my studio apartment! Certainly not the ideal birthday, but feeling so grateful to have the privilege to work and connect with students and parents each day. I hope that those of you reading this are not facing financial hardship, health scares or food insecurity. I want you to know that I care about all of you and that we'll get through this together!
For those of you who are here because you have become a home educator seemingly overnight, I welcome you to use this blog as a meeting point and resource center. Please reach out with questions and tips! Tell us your struggles and successes! Let other families know that they're not alone!
A 2 Week Plan for Homeschooling:
I've added an "Emergency Resources" tab where I've shared:
I showed one of my long-time students my youtube channel yesterday and told me I need better lighting, more sponsors and a better name. I'm working on it U!
He also said I should probably upload my multiplication songs, because they helped him a lot, but I should "you know, like, make it more lit for youtube." I can't promise these songs will ever be "lit" but here you go. I hope you find these helpful! Songs are for counting on 6, 7 and 8, our hardest-to-remember times tables.
PS - Counting on your fingers is important here. They need to actually know how to use this skill within a multistep problem. So practice with fingers. Good luck!
Jonathan Mooney is coming to LA
I will be attending this event. If you'd like to join, register here. It's free!: Eventbrite - Jonathan Mooney's Normal Sucks Tour
"Jonathan Mooney is a dyslexic writer and activist who did not learn to read until he was 12 years old. He is a graduate of Brown University's class of 2000 and holds an honors degree in English Literature. He is founder and President of Project Eye-To-Eye, a mentoring and advocacy non-profit organization for students with learning differences. Mooney has been awarded multiple academic distinctions, and is a leader in the fields of learning disability and social change. In addition, he is a highly sought-after speaker and has lectured in 43 states and three countries."
Jen Vega, M.Ed. enjoys sharing knowledge and resources related to homeschooling, special education and innovative ed. Please explore and join the discussion! Much more to come!