Hi! I'm Ashley
I’m a former teacher, a mom, and a big advocate of hands-on learning! I have two very active little girls, ages 4 and 1.5, and we are currently in quarantine in California trying to make each day new, fun, and educational.
I never imagined homeschooling my daughters until COVID-19 hit in March 2020, and seemingly overnight, the schools closed. I was devastated for my 4-year-old; she had the greatest teacher and wonderful friends, but all that community and structure had been swept away. I worried, like we all do, about her social-emotional health and her ability to cope with so many changes. So I decided to take action and homeschool her for the foreseeable future, and she began to flourish at home.
After I shared an Instagram video of her reading, friends began asking me for advice; they were feeling lost in trying to keep their child educationally stimulated without spending hours prepping the messy, artsy, crafty activities that usually dominate social media. I shared in their despair at having to manage their children’s needs while working full-time jobs. And I could relate to the fears that every parent has in the best of times, but which have been amplified during the COVID crisis in the absence of playmates, school, and community: “Is what my kid doing normal? Am I messing them up? Will my child be OK?”
As a teacher, I created a Transitional Kindergarten curriculum from scratch, well before TK programs were part of the traditional school system. For this magical age range, it’s vital to create a curriculum that is vibrant, engaging, and accessible. I'm proud to say my school provided full inclusion for students of every ability level, so I've worked closely with special education teachers, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and many other specialists to serve the diverse needs of my beloved students.
To be a child’s first elementary teacher is an incredible responsibility, setting the tone for the many years to come. It was my mission that all my students would learn to love school and carry with them the foundational skills that lead to success through the rest of their lives.
I felt that my eldest being the age I specialized in during quarantine was a stroke of luck for me, but also, it seemed like this was an opportunity to create something that could benefit more than just her. With some encouragement from my squad of awesome mamas, I decided to create FORWARD WITH FUN to help move all our children forward academically and emotionally, with lots of fun to be had along the way!
BA in Education & Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
M.Ed in Education with a focus in Social Justice, UCLA
Years of classroom experience with bright young minds in TK and kindergarten