"back to school" & executive function (Executive Function Series #1)

 "back to school"  &  executive function (Executive Function Series #1)

This week was “back to school” remotely in my town...and my youngest began his first official week of 8th grade.  

As a kid I always loved the first day and the possibilities of an empty notebook.  The pointedness of a freshly sharpened pencil, empty folders getting filled with “what to expect” syllabi, and often a brand new outfit and haircut. 

We were already homeschooling, and much of that stuff gets lost in translation- especially the new outfit!  This year, with COVID lurking and schools going virtual, this “first day” novelty and excitement is lost for most other kids. 

Firing up their Zoom classes and dealing with computer glitches or internet burps make the experience less than desirable. 

Some will celebrate being able to stay home and be online, most will make lemonade out of their lemons, but many will truly struggle with the experience.  

How do we best support those that struggle?  

If they are struggling with executive function skills...I got you.

executive function: a set of mental skills that we use every day to learn, work, and manage daily life....when we have trouble with these skills it can be difficult to focus, follow directions, handle emotions,  and organize our lives amongst other things

Next week I will be sharing an educational series on the basics of what executive functioning means and what it may look like in your student, or even yourself! 

Make sure that you are on my email list so you don’t miss it cuz I will send it directly to your inbox!  sign up here!

Join other moms in my free Facebook group: resilientAF midlife mamas 


Goodbye 2019!! Fare thee well...

Goodbye 2019!! Fare thee well...

Been consciously reflecting on the positive moments of 2019...

I know there are many and I am choosing to press them to the forefront of my mind. 

When crisis hits, it seems to take over and throw shade over everything good.  Truth is there was plenty of awesomeness that happened.  What stands out tonight is the travel.  For so many years it has been challenging to travel as a family or as a couple.  Even for one of us to stay back with the kids was difficult.  2019 we managed to get away as a couple for two wedding weekends!  What a gift to have that time together πŸ’œ

Ahn and I spent time in Florida for my grandmother's 98th birthday!  We will head back in a few weeks to celebrate 99!  πŸŽ


In March we drove down to DC/Maryland to visit family, celebrate Passover, and field trip to various museums and monuments. 

We also had a November visit to NYC- I love traveling with him and his curious nature! 

I traveled on my own to Salt Lake City, Nashville and NYC.  

The highlight was Sedona....

Adventrues with Ahn Days 4 & 5

Happiness is finding the most delicious croissant for breakfast! We did a morning mile walk around the Upper East Side before beginning our journey back to NJ.
Our car to the train station was stuck in traffic and we watched the clock ticking away wondering if we were about to miss our train 😳
Finally at the station with 6 minutes to spare we hauled our bags and ran in and down to the tracks...jumping onto the train with 1 minute to spare. Whew!! Catching our breath, feeling grateful and then we realize several mini have passed and we haven't left the station. πŸ™„
We met my aunt at our stop and had lunch before heading to a business meeting. Then it was our final destination for dinner with friends.

We found more pickles at the Amish market before hitting the road and they were a treat at our rest stops. 

10.4.18 Adventures with Ahn Day 3

Day 3 started with bagels, a subway ride, and a brisk walk on the Lower East Side to get to the Tenement Museum for our first tour.
Our first tour was called "Under One Roof" -more contemporary immigrant stories. We went to one apartment and learned about three families that lived there over time. The first a family from Eastern Europe that came over post Holocaust, then a Puerto Rican Family in the 60's and then in the 70's a Chinese family. It even included a garment factory tour. It was so interesting to learn about the challenges and tribulations each of these families were faced with on their journey to become Americans.
Lunch time took us on a brisk walk over to Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery for knishes! Yum!
Back to the Museum for tour #2 - a 2 hour walking tour of the Lower East Side learning about how the community and landscape had changed over time. Fascinating how the ethnic diversity has shaped this region of the city and our country as a whole. What really is an American? What do Americans actually look like? America today is a beautiful reflection of ethnic diversity and a multicultural quilt of humanity. 

Snack time 😁 before our last tour. Tour 3 took us to the oldest building and I so wish we were allowed to take pictures. We weren't allowed to touch anything or lean on the walls!! It has not been renovated and gave a true flavor of how life was then. We saw two 3 room tenements that were lived in by families of 5 (one also ran a garment factory in the living room). It was the perfect bridge from yesterday's trip to Ellis Island. 

As soon as our tour ended we ran over to The Pickle Guys to get some delicious snacks including pickled mango and pineapple! 
Ahn wanted to check out Chinatown and Little Italy so we strolled through on our way back to the subway station.

more adventures with Ahn Day 2

Pulling into Ellis Island on a boat was incredibly emotional for us. We were watching the Statue of Liberty shrink behind us and imagining being immigrants on a crowded boat seeing her for the first time. Then we pulled into the dock to a crowd of people at Ellis Island's entrance. Intense.
Then Ahn suggested we eat first so we found the cafe and ordered off the Immigrant menu replicated meals from 1906.

After eating our meal outside we went back in and picked up our audio tours. We chose the "Ellis Island Experience" tour and synced our listening times. The tour took us through several areas on the same path the immigrants took starting in the main area where luggage was left.

We went upstairs to the registry room (above) and sat on some of the original benches.


The room above was a dormitory space for those that were unable to leave. The beds were pullied up to make space during the day. The room had a primitive toilet and sink to share. 

It was interesting to learn about where everyone came from. 

The dreams they all had of coming to America and having better lives... 

and the discrimination they faced when they arrived. 

It was chilling to draw the parallels to our current times. 
Once we completed our tour inside we went outside and found names of relatives that came through Ellis Island. 

hn was disappointed that he wasn't old enough (by a few months) to do the hard hat tour on the other side of the island. We will definitely come back!
Boat back to Manhattan, ice cream for Ahn and then a subway up to 59th and Lexington.

A Sprinkles cupcake! Bloomingdales and a walk over to York for dinner with cousins. Another excellent adventure!!

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