Work with me

hjd circleHow can I help you…?

Need to talk it through with a mama in the know?  I’m here.  And if your husband needs to talk to someone in the know, I’m here (and so is Husbeau).  When you feel like you need some guidance and hand-holding because it all feels confusing (and maybe scary).  Questions my clients come to me with include:

  • With the possibility of significant changes to how mainstream education operates and looks like, I want to explore my options. Can you help me navigate that process?
  • What’s going to be the best educational choice not just for my child, but for my family?  But also my child!
  • If I wanted to consider homeschooling, what do I really need to put in place?  It all feels so overwhelming.  Can I even do this?
  • Someone in my household has special needs or challenges that make education tricky.  How do I even approach a new path?
  • What are my curriculum options?  Do *I* have to teach math or science or (insert dreaded subject here)?  How much will all of this cost?
  • What are the best curricula for my very specific wants and needs?

I have dealt with all of this and more; and offer both coach and consulting services (as well as support groups and webinars!)

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What are coaching, consulting, educating and advising?

Coaching and consulting are two different things.  I do both.  Coaching is a facilitative and guiding process.  It is not about telling you what to do but rather asking the deep and probing questions that help you process your thoughts and ideas.  It is reflecting back what you’ve said so that you can hear yourself through my ears.  It is observing things you repeat or change in tone or speed of speech or the countless things that I hear or see that I might ask you about that will clue YOU into what’s going on in your world and what you’re thinking about that may not be right on the surface.

Consulting is a little different in that you are paying for an educated opinion about how to handle a situation.  And just because it’s important to me that you understand ALL of the possibilities, there are also “advising” and “educating”.  Educating is literally teaching.  It is a sharing of compiled information presented in a meaningful and absorbable format.  I do that, too.  Advising is what licensed professionals do.  It’s different from consulting in that they are saying “You need to do this” where a consultant says “Here’s what I think based on my background”.  I don’t advise.

Working with me does not require that you are homeschooling or intending to homeschool.

My family’s journey has us predominantly educating at home.  I do not assume this is the path that everyone SHOULD or NEEDS (or is capable of) taking.  If it’s what you want, I can certainly help you.  If it’s what you’re doing and have hit roadblocks or challenges, I can certainly help you.  But if you are struggling with your child’s learning and connecting in any way–I can also help you.
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How am I qualified…?

My formal education includes a Master’s in Teaching Secondary Education (middle and high school) with additional graduate credits in Special Education and specifically in teaching children with autism. I hold a teaching license in both NJ (having taught at the high school level) and IL – and have homeschooled in both.  I have been on both sides of the IEP and 504 table–more than once, in more than one state.  In 2017 I founded illuminatED Coschool where I also serve as the lead instructor, and since spring 2018 I have sat on the board of Midwest Academy for Gifted Education.  In spring 2019 I began teaching online through Outschool.

Additionally, I have been trained in Shared Inquiry by Great Books Foundation, multiple courses in Modeling Instruction by American Modeling Teachers Association and math instruction through Jo Boaler’s YouCubed program via Stanford University.  All of these are dedicated to constructive learning, critical thinking and growth mindset.  I’ve created curricula that included differentiated instruction, project-based learning, multiple intelligences, varied learning styles, etc.  Add to it my own digging and training on dealing with gifted and twice-exceptional/2E (meaning “advanced in one area and disabled or challenged in another) children both in the classroom and homeschooling.  On my own family’s journey to find a fit, we investigated Montessori settings (both out-of-the-home and implemented in the home), Democratic schools, Free schools, Unschooling cooperatives, Reggio-Emilia, Waldorf, Thomas Jefferson education, classical model of education among others.

My coaching training includes a certification in Positive Psychology coaching, a certification in FirstLine Therapy (a therapeutic lifestyle change program) and a certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

Since 2007 I have been working as a coach and consultant for people who struggle with challenging children or challenges related to educating and caring for their children.  Most of that work has been consulting on lifestyle interventions to help their children thrive based on a decade of personal research and training; but a chunk of that includes handling their education.

Before all of that, I spent 1990-2005 working my way up the ranks to a 6-figure salary in technology management and project management in some of the largest and most recognizable institutions of banking and pharmaceuticals.  To keep my technical skills current (and before marriage and children), I would leave my job and stop to teach technology classes to adults before heading home for the night.  I loved to teach and mentor.  I continue to maintain a my certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and hold a Bachelor of Business Administration and a graduate certification in Project Management.  Being a good manager is like being a good teacher and coach: it’s about facilitating the process of acquiring new information fluently and being productive with it.

Ultimately, my goal is to create kids who grow up and LEAVE MY HOUSE!  Hopefully in a very happy and productive manner, but still enjoy coming home and spending time with their parents.

If you’re looking for guidance, let’s talk.  Click the button below to start the process of making it better now.

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