Jonathan Meola (co-founder of Open Tent Academy, as well as one of its instructors) grew up splitting his time between New Jersey and South Florida.
He graduated from the University of Miami with a dual A.B. in English and Judaic Studies, as well as a minor in Politics and Public Affairs.
Following graduation, Jonathan worked for Young Judaea in Florida, where he coordinated and directed youth programs across the southeastern US and Puerto Rico. He also worked summers at Camp Judaea in North Carolina, and recruited students for their Israel summer and gap-year study programs.
Jonathan returned to the University of Miami, where he worked for their School of Continuing Studies, teaching computer classes for urban youth and coordinating logistics for the SCS’s executive graduate degree programs. While working at “The U”, Jonathan also earned a professional certification in Applied Quality Management.
He then embarked on what eventually became a long career in the telecommunications and software industry as a technology architect and consultant in both the private and government sectors. While consulting, Jonathan lived and traveled extensively across the USA and abroad, including assignments that took him to various companies and locations in Canada, Israel, Europe, and Latin America. A significant portion of Jonathan’s career focused on the development and delivery of training for corporate clients, which included developing and delivering training plans and curricula covering various business functions and technical needs.
In 2017, Jonathan changed careers and decided to fulfill his life-long dream of teaching middle and high school students. Although he was involved in the fields of non-traditional education and continuing education since the beginning of his career, he has now taken his expertise and in-depth knowledge about history, philosophy, science, film, and writing and bringing it to his students at Open Tent Academy, focusing on children in grades 5 – 12.
After spending five years living in Israel, Jonathan and Eva are once again back in South Florida. Between Jonathan & Eva, they have three children, all of whom were homeschooled at various points in their educational journeys. In his spare time, he loves traveling, reading (especially histories and biographies), photography, college football (Go Canes!), and film.
Learning to love the past
History. This was definitely not my strongest area as a homeschool mother. I knew to provide my kids with what they needed, I had to look at outside resources. Taking a leap of faith, I registered both my 7th and 8th grader for U.S. History with Jonathan Meola.
Learning history through simple short stories using. “A History of US,” has been fun to read-a-loud. With a subject I once disliked myself, I’ve been able to power through, and engage with my children learning to love the past. Mr. Meola is a phenomenally fair instructor, and has allowed our kids to use their creativity for the semester project. The kids have enjoyed this area most about the class. Seeing their creations from the past come to life is a gift in itself. Thank you, Jonathan! You have lit a fire for history within my children!
Thanks for making homeschooling so much easier for us parents
We have absolutely loved Jonathan’s Ancient Civilizations class this year.
He is so organized, and his classes are expertly taught – my son usually makes me leave the room but I will often go back and listen to the recordings and watch some of the videos because they are so interesting.
We are thrilled that OTA is now a vendor with our charter school, and since Z will be in middle school next year, we plan on signing up for a lot more classes.
Keep up the excellent job and thanks for making homeschooling so much easier for us parents!
During our family new year’s celebration, everyone completed a year-in-review questionnaire. One question asked, “What are you most proud of that you accomplished this past year?”
Without hesitation, our daughter blurted out “I learned to write a five-paragraph essay!”
Our daughter, who up until this past semester would only write science lab reports, should be proud of this accomplishment. She willingly dedicated days to completing required essays, and we owe this success to Lights! Camera! Action! class.
The instructor’s enthusiasm, instruction, encouragement and feedback all generated a newfound level of confidence within our daughter. Plus, the course spurred everyone in our family (including grandparents) to watch incredible movies, which normally would not be in our Netflix queue. The impact of this course reached beyond our daughter.
I would like to say thank you. My daughter, Laura, was so inspired by OTA’s Lights! Camera! Action! class. She WANTS to improve at writing instead of shying away from the process that she finds so difficult. She is putting her heart and soul into trying. I am seeing improvement and I am seeing enthusiasm that just were not there before. You have no idea how joyful that makes me. This latest essay was really, really hard but a bit less overwhelming than the prior two. Slowly the elements that Laura is learning in class are sinking in.
I appreciate all that you do for the class! Thank you!
Great class !!
Great class. Highly recommend for middle school, high school and college students too! Great topics to help anyone get organized and various ways to study!!!
How did that happen????
My daughter normally is nervous with history classes because of memorizing dates. It was a breath of fresh air to find a history class that focused on the who, what and why. She was able to organize what she learned her way and retained more information that way. The assignments provided were open ended and allowed my daughter to think how the events may have happened and work on supporting her thought.
It was also a great “camp” in the summer during COVID.
Smarter, not harder
This Study Skills Class is pure gold! My daughter has found bits and pieces from this class to help her work on being organizes, manage her time, and figure out her priorities in her lessons. This is the one class where she understands how studying is a work in process. Every middle school aged student should take this!
Critical thinking at it’s finest
I LOVED the CSI class- not only for my son but for myself. I absolutely loved that Jonathan did not tell the students how to interpret some of the mysteries in our history.
Instead he presented them so many options and theories to let them decide by backing it up with facts they learned during class. It was the best kind of critical thinking. My son learned a ton of skills in this class. I always had so much fun going over his homework because I learned something each time too!
(This review is for a CSI class of a different time period but this one will not disappoint!)
Best Class Ever – So timely and important
Seriously we have absolutely loved all the OTA classes but this was the best and our favorite to date. It’s so important for our children to understand the election process and how democracy works. Just because our kids are so young doesn’t make them not worthy of having an opinion about what is happening now and what happened in the past. I hope Jonathan offers this class every year regardless of weather it’s an election year. Awesome job OTA standing ovation.
My son really enjoyed this class. Taking classes with Mr. Meola has turned my son onto politics and will be majoring in it in college. Such good discussions and information.
My child was successful!
You mentioned in our phone conversation at the start of the school year that Jonathan’s (Meola) method of teaching was different from the traditional way and let me say, IT WORKS!
“D” has succeeded in High School Geography!
Thank you for your grace and understanding, Jonathan. You provide the students organization but love how you remind them the importance of integrity through your methods.
Many thanks Jonathan!
This is an amazing class!
I will never forget our daughter’s excitement as she watched one of Mr. Jonathan’s required documentaries in the class 20th Century Wars and the Rise of the Superpowers and couldn’t believe she recognized and knew all of the names and places.
History is not a strong suit for our girl, and for her to show a passion for World War I is remarkable. The choice of reading assignments, videos and documentaries all parlayed well into a comprehensive history course. We have truly enjoyed Mr. Jonathan’s teaching style and desire to bring the past alive and look forward to taking another class with him next semester.
Jonathan’s United States History classes are amazing! I couldn’t be more pleased with OTA and plan on having my children take classes for years to come!
My son was completely engaged!
My son is currently taking the Extraordinary People from History class. He’s a very reluctant learning. He was dreading a history class. Within minutes of being in class with Mr. Jonathan, he was completely engaged. Mind maps are now his favorite way to research and compile his work and ideas. I’m so happy to see my son confident and looking forward to his class each week.
My son, L, has also taken several social studies classes with Jonathan Meola. Luke truly enjoys all of Jonathan’s classes and especially enjoyed American Government 101. Jonathan made government fun and exciting.
We are very pleased with the quality of lessons, the attention each teacher has given to L, and the invaluable learning received from all classes in Open Tent Academy.
I have recommended OTA many times and will continue to do so.
My son is currently taking the Extraordinary People from History class. He’s a very reluctant learner. He was dreading a history class. Within minutes of being in class with Mr. Jonathan, he was completely engaged. Mind maps are now his favorite way to research and compile his work and ideas. I’m so happy to see my son confident and looking forward to his class each week.
One of the best
Ancient World with Jonathan Meola has been one of the best online classes my son, Z, has taken. We will definitely be signing up for more with OTA!
(Some of*) Jonathan’s Ongoing & Upcoming Courses:
* For a Full List of Jonathan’s Courses, click here.