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!
What a fantastic course combining hands-on STEM & Social Studies.
I loved watching my children learn about key landmarks around the world with such eagerness and curiosity.
They dove into the history, architectural marvel, geography, and engineering in an engaging fun way.
Mr. Meola is a wonderful teacher and this class is highly recommended!
Best Course EVER!
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.
Mr. Jonathan’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. Mr. Jonathan’s impact 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!