Published: May 14th, 2023
min read
The Letter

The May Newsletter: Mother's Day

Team Ello

Ello’s new monthly email series for parents and teachers is full of recommendations and resources.

Dear Readers: 

We're excited to share with you this special Mother's Day edition of The Letter. In it, we feature Dr. Elizabeth Adams, Ello's Co-Founder, as well as homeschool teacher Melissa Hernandez for their perspective on all things teaching, parenting, and a healthy work-life balance.Wherever you find yourself this weekend, we wish you and yours a safe, relaxing, and memorable time with family!

The Ello Team

P.S. You can subscribe to Ello’s newsletters here.

Dr. Elizabeth Adams


Dedicated to promoting reading and strong family relationships.

1. Why You Co-Founded Ello: I watched my daughter, Lili, struggle to learn to read via Zoom school when she was in kindergarten during the height of the pandemic. I heard from countless parents and friends, who thanks to COVID, were struggling to support their children at home with reading that they needed support. Literacy is the foundation for all learning, and if we unlock the potential in all children, the impact on the world will be astounding.

2. Advice For Parents with Reluctant Readers: Encourage a love for reading by finding books that your child is interested in, even if they aren’t classic literature or award-winners. Let your child see you reading, and make reading a fun, bonding activity by reading together and discussing the book. Start with short books, graphic novels, or comics for reluctant readers, and make sure to find books that are appropriate for their reading ability. Finally, be patient, and understand that it’s ok if your child doesn’t love reading at first – it can take time to develop a love for it. And of course, Ello can help!

3. Most Underrated Kids Author: Kevin Henkes. He writes charming, relatable stories with simple language and beautiful illustrations that can appeal to a wide range of ages.

4. Must-Try Parent Resource: I highly recommend reading and following Emily Oster, an economist and professor at Brown University who has written extensively about parenting and child development (pro tip: her books are a great baby shower gift!). I appreciate her evidence-based approach to parenting and her emphasis on using data and research to inform decision-making. She even touches on what parents should know about reading.

5. Favorite Moment Building Ello: Hearing from one of our very first beta testers how Ello completely changed her son’s relationship with reading. She wrote me a heartfelt email saying how thankful she was for Ello and how she saw her son’s relationship with reading change in a matter of weeks after testing for us. It was the first external validation we received from a parent, and it was within weeks of putting Ello out in the world. I cried when I read the email and felt so proud of what our team had built, and it allowed me to really visualize the impact we could have on thousands of children. I printed the email out and it is still sitting on my desk. The parent later wrote a blog post about her experience.

6. Advice for Job Applicants To Ello:You can follow us on LinkedIn and check out our job openings. Share with us your genuine commitment and excitement about our mission.

7. Who’s Influenced You The Most: As a child psychologist in the education space, I have been greatly influenced by the works of Carol Dweck, who writes about the power of a growth mindset in education. Her research shows that children who believe their abilities can be improved through hard work and dedication are more likely to succeed than those who believe their abilities are fixed.

8. Tip For Teachers: Prioritize building relationships with your students. When students feel seen, heard, and understood, they are more likely to engage in their learning and feel supported in their academic and personal growth.

Melissa Hernandez

Mama of 3, Modern Homeschooler,

All about hands-on learning, Florida adventures, and the homeschool life.

1. I Wish I Had Known Sooner That... Homeschooling is not as hard as I thought. It's true that different states have different rules and regulations. And homeschooling often comes with some (inaccurate) stigmas (it's weird, lonely, difficult, etc). But in reality, it's incredibly rewarding to fully customize your child’s education and to follow their interests.

2. To Foster Happy Reading...try your best to avoid making it a chore or homework. Instead, read to them out loud make it fun, and have them sit by you and watch you point to the words as you read. Little by little, start adding more words for them to read when you pause and get to them. In our home, Ello has been a huge help in making independent reading an enjoyable activity for all three of my children.

3. Most Underrated Kids Author: We recently discovered Brudder's picture books, written by K.A. Leigh and illustrated by Derek Roberts. My kids are enjoying their books so much! Also, for elementary-aged children, I highly recommend Arron Johnson's National Park Mystery Series.

4. Best Part About Homeschooling: The opportunity to choose our curriculum. The kids and I get to work through our favorite resources for each subject. Also, we love to go on field trips and work on projects together. So as a mom that’s one of my favorite parts too.

5. Best Piece of Work-Life Advice: If it doesn’t bring your family joy, don’t do it.

6. To avoid 'The Summer Slump'...the kids continue using Ello and they have a shortened math lesson each day, usually half the normal amount (instead of 20 problems just 10). We continue science and history lessons because the kids enjoy it that much.

7. For Better Habits: I’m the most productive when I put everything in order the night before, like setting out clothes, lessons, or meat to thaw for dinner. Tomorrow runs that much smoother.

8. What’s Next For You? We are working on establishing our own organization that will help create and foster more hands-on learning opportunities for children. It’s something I have wanted to do for a long time. We aren’t quite ready to share more, but families can follow along our homeschool journey on Instagram!

Ello is hiring. 

Ello is growing! We're hiring for full-time positions. Know someone who may be a good fit? We would greatly appreciate any referrals and email forwards.

“We have had Ello for 4 days now. Both of my boys ages 5 and 6 have read their first book already with the help of Ello. We read the same book w/ Ello a few times and they both are now able to read that book without mine or Ello's help. I am excited to continue with Ello and watch my boys grow into great strong readers."
— Ariel H.
The Letter