Meet Lauren! Local mom Lauren Field is a learning and reading specialist in Fairfield County with more than two decades of teaching experience. After working for years in one of Manhattan’s elite public schools, she launched her private tutoring business in Fairfield County to help children succeed in school. She has both her special education and elementary certifications and she offers one-on-one tutoring sessions, formal reading evaluations and reading screenings. She believes that all students learn differently and, therefore, she uses a variety of materials, methodologies, and targeted support to differentiate her instruction. We loved getting the chance to speak with Lauren to ask her about her local business , as well as finding out what brought her to Fairfield and what she loves most about raising her family here!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in the area?
I am originally from Dix Hills, New York. I moved to CT with my husband Steve and our son Aaron in 2005. We moved from Manhattan to Stamford when Aaron was just two months old. We then bought our house in Fairfield a year later, and have been here ever since.
I have two children, Aaron is 13 and Lucy is 9.
One thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I had many jobs as a teenager, one of which was working at Burger King.
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
From as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a mother! I knew that it couldn’t be easy, but I never knew how hard it really is. I also never knew how much your heart can ache when your child is unhappy. Not everything goes according to plan, you have to be flexible, and do what’s right for your family, not what’s best for anyone else.
Favorite local things to do in Fairfield?
We are big live music fans and we love to go to Fairfield Theater Company as often as we can. We love going to the beach with the kids and friends for sunset dinners. We also love taking our dog to Lake Mohegan.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
I love everything about Fairfield. It took me a long time to get used to living in the suburbs and I used to think that I wanted to raise my kids in NYC. But eventually I realized what a special town Fairfield is and what a wonderful community we have here. We have met amazing, down to earth, supportive, smart, caring, like-minded friends and feel so blessed to live here.
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant? Date night?
We have many… Colony Grill, Grey Goose, Molto, Centro, Tequila Revolution, Bodega, Sakura, Wafu, Brick and Wood, and of course Saugatuck Sweets for ice cream. Our favorite date night restaurants are Toto and The Sinclair.
What is your go-to activity for your family? For yourself?
We are a very active family and love being outside. We love to ski, bike ride, hike, go to the beach, and be with friends and family. We also love to snuggle up on the couch and watch a good movie together. My favorite activity for myself is anything that involves exercise- I love all classes at JoyRide in Westport, running, tennis, yoga at Jarosa, and walks with my dog. My guilty pleasure is Sun Reflexology!
Funniest part that you’ve learned about parenthood?
You have to learn how to laugh through the chaos. Every day is a new adventure, you can either laugh or cry. I choose laughter!
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Teach your kids to be independent, responsible, and self reliant! I have my kids make their own lunches the night before school because our mornings are always so rushed. Everyone has to participate in household chores- putting their own laundry away is a big one for me!
Name one thing you regret when learning the ropes of parenthood and what you learned from it?
I am still learning the ropes of parenthood, and learn something new every single day. I regret being so hard on myself if something goes “wrong” or not the way I expected it to. My kids are my best teachers!
Let’s talk about your business, when & why you started, and the reason behind it?
I have been a private reading/learning specialist for over 20 years. After my work day as a special education teacher at PS 6 in Manhattan, I used to see students privately in their own homes. When I was pregnant with Aaron, I was teaching in a Collaborative Team Teaching Class in Kindergarten. I had to go on bed rest for a month, so I had to stop working abruptly. After we moved out of the City, I decided to not return to work full time, but continued to tutor in the City one day a week. Simultaneously, I began to work with students privately here in CT. I eventually stopped commuting into NY and decided to focus on growing my business here. I realized that it was the perfect job for me because I get to be home with my kids, and use my skills and experience to help children who are in need of extra support.
What benefits do kids receive from working with a Reading Specialist or a Reading Tutor?
Reading specialists like myself, have advanced degrees and specialized training in helping struggling readers. A reading specialist is an expert in teaching reading and can support and encourage stronger reading skills in the classroom and out. A good reading specialist will make a quick determination regarding what type of intervention is needed. For children with dyslexia or decoding difficulties, this will most likely involve an Orton-Gillingham-based program. A reading specialist will determine at which level to begin and introduce your child to the various aspects of the program. Reading specialists have specialized knowledge of assessment and diagnosis that is vital for developing, implementing, and evaluating a students strengths and needs. We help to build a student’s confidence by providing individual care and attention to those who might be reluctant to read, and will increase their chance of overall educational success.
If you hadn’t started this business, what do you think you would be doing today?
I would either be some kind of mental health practitioner or a backup singer/dancer for Justin Timberlake!!
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and a family?
For those who know me, they know that I can always find something to feel guilty about. I have learned that there is no such thing as a “perfect” mom. I believe that a “perfect” mom, is a happy mom. A happy mom, at least in my opinion, is someone who finds balance in her day for herself, her children, her spouse, her girlfriends, and her career. Balance is the key word and I am always striving to find it! I try everyday to be grateful and appreciative and to not sweat the small stuff.
Who has most influenced you to be the mother you are today?
My mother for sure has been my greatest influence. There is not a day in my 44 years of life where I have ever felt unloved or unsupported. My mom is the definition of unconditional love. My girlfriends have also been a huge influence on the type of mother I am today.
What would you share with a new mom or other moms?
Best advice I have is to show your kids unconditional love. You can never say I love you too much and you can never be too affectionate. Enjoy every day and every stage, it goes way too fast. Some days are really hard, but try to remember that stages don’t last forever and try to treasure and savor the small moments. Try to be in the moment and really listen to your kids. Sometimes it’s hard not to offer advice or give direction. Sometimes all they want to do is to be heard and feel supported. Set high expectations and lead by example. Know that you are doing your best each day for your family and forgive yourself when your best is sometimes not good enough. Teach your kids the importance of relationships and to value the people we have in our life, the people who are going on this journey with us. My husband and try to teach our kids the importance of owning our mistakes and knowing how to say “I’m sorry”. Don’t judge how anyone else parents, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You’re going to make mistakes and your kids are going to make mistakes.