IT’S 4 A.M. AND I’M AWAKE CUTTING UP FLASHCARDS!

It’s 4 a.m. and I’m awake cutting up flashcards! Preparing for 3rd grade, homeschool is about to take on a whole new form and I am ready for it. This year will be more fun, I’m convincing myself. This year I will be a better teacher, now that I got the hang of it. This year I am going to prepare and get all of the paperwork done earlier. I will lay a foundation that will not be broken because NOW I know exactly what needs to be done. Hahaahahah

Truth is my daughter will come in, take the reins and guide her own education and let me know everything she needs. While prep is good, I have also learned to be flexible. Just because Tuesday went exactly as I planned, Wednesday was totally off course but on that beautiful Wednesday, we had fun and we both learned a lot!

Children are resilient and flourish in their own environment! With their own tribe, on their own time. Life is a lot different for them when they can receive a hug after a ruff assignment. They also can feel when those around them lead with love! So, as you’re planning your homeschool year, remember to schedule in the love!

Good luck, parents. It’s a dirty job but we are the best ones to do it!

ROOKIE SOCCER MOM

Okay so, it’s been officially 33 years since I have been on the soccer field. My daughter started asking me a year ago if could she play soccer. I was honestly hoping that she would forget! In between swimming and Taekwondo, I just didn’t feel like she had time. Call me a bad mom but I just wasn’t sitting on a hot field during the summer with all that heat and sun for a sport I am not sure she will love or stick too. Fall is here and she is 5 so the you’re too young excuse doesn’t work anymore. Fall Ball, here we come!

She’s got her shorts, cleats, her shin guards, her socks, sunblock, 2 soccer balls and a pump. I have my hat, my chair, my cooler, sunblock, water bottles and Gatorades.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?

I spoke to my sister in law, Vanessa, who is a pro soccer mom now. Her advice to me was healthy snacks, in case my name is called to be snack mom. No sugary stuff or candy, no Capri Suns. Check, I got that. I texted my sister in law, Vickie, who just laughed at me. LOL, I think she thought I was over thinking or joking. But I would like to hear from you “Soccer Parents”? I like to be prepared so what else do I need to know and have on me? PLEASE, HELP A SISTA OUT?

RED BELT!

Just like that right before her fifth birthday, she’s a red belt. For those of you who are not familiar with Taekwondo, my young daughter is two belts away from getting her little champions black belt, which is a big deal!

This journey is super amazing to witness. During her last testing was the first time I wasn’t nervous for her. I was excited! I watched her create her own journey. You know, just a couple years ago she asked me if she could she take Taekwondo and I really thought it was gonna be a phase but it’s her thing. It takes people years to figure out what they’re good at, find their purpose and their interest. For her to be so young and already know herself, I am so grateful. I only have one choice and that’s to foster what she loves. She’s determined to get the black belt before she turns 6, and I know she will. Right now, that belt is her goal. I hope she sticks with it because she’s already counting on having her second belt by the age of 12! Lol, wish me luck. She just convinced me to sign her up for soccer, which starts next month. So, on top of Taekwondo and swimming Ima bout to be a soccer mom! (She gets it from her cousins) I didn’t see this one coming when I gave myself the soccer mom hair cut a couple of years ago, LOL!

Hey soccer moms, Rookie Mom coming. Can I please get some tips?

MOLLY IS STILL ALIVE!

Good ol’ Molly is still alive! I am thankful to report she is now a year and a month old and she’s still alive. (I have never worked so hard to make sure a fish is taken care of.)

She has had 1 babysitter so far and that was Grandma when we went to Disney World! Thank you, Mommy. (My daughter actually called her grandma every night we were gone to check on her fish).

We were all scared last month when the whole family packed up and went to California for 7 days and Molly was left alone. I felt like a parent who wasn’t being responsible, oooh the guilt! I now have faith in the 7-day Beta feeders (thank you, Petco). We were all rushing to try and get in the house before her to make sure Molly was gonna be okay. Just so happens as soon as we boarded the plane coming home, our sweet flight attendants name was Molly! My whole family gasped for air and it became real thick while my daughter said all excited, “O.M.G. You have the same name as my fish. I am going home to see her now.” The flight attendant was so sweet once we were sitting, she had a talk with baby girl about her fish and brought her extra cookies because of her great choice in names. I still think we were all holding our breaths! Before the plane could get in the air, we were all praying, “Lord, please not only bless this flight but please let Molly be alive when we walk in that house!” It was unspoken because we didn’t want to alarm her but the terror in our faces was undeniable.

When the car pulled in the driveway it was almost a race into the house. We all wanted to get there before my daughter, but she won. Hahahaah, she beat everyone to Molly!! THANK YOU MOLLY IS ALIVE! What we didn’t know was my mother had already made a side deal with her days prior that if Molly had died while we were gone as soon as we got home her and my daughter would turn around and go right back to Petco to buy a new fish. Lmfao

My mom’s a genius! My baby was happy Molly was alive but screamed, “Grandma, we good.  No need to go to Petco.” If Molly was gone I think she’d have been okay too. The fact that she has a good handle on the circle of life sure does make us all feel comfortable.

Btw, my baby girl said Molly made it because she left a picture of herself for Molly to look at, so she didn’t feel alone. Hahaahahah, she had a picture frame right next to the fish bowl!

MY DAUGHTER’S NEW FAVORITE SCHOOL SUBJECT

My daughter’s favorite school subject has become social studies, thanks to the amazing layout of these books. It’s big for my daughter to see her own likeness in books and they have done a great job at representation of all. My Story takes children on an amazing colorful adventure through all the continents and the waters. I tend to teach a more secular curriculum but MASTERBOOKS is bible based. It makes a few references per chapter but not in a way that’s overbearing so I don’t mind it. I want her to be educated on all religions so it’s a nice intro to understanding conversation pieces that will be made through her life by Christians.

My Story and the World Around Me is a lower elementary social studies course that introduces students to history, politics, sociology, economics, and geography, while providing an understanding of God’s world and the cultures of the countries. Level 1 begins with children in their homes, helping them to think about their lives from their immediate families and beyond, as well as learning about local governments. Equivalent to a first-grade level.

Life is an adventure. Why not spend the school year with your children traveling the world?!

My Story 1 & 2.

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My referral code

https://www.masterbooks.com/r/V3bEoJlk/

CHILDREN ARE SO SMART UNTIL WE DUMB THEM DOWN!

I was in the bathroom with my daughter changing her earrings and cleaning the holes in her ears. I was taking her rubies out and putting her diamonds in.

“Mommy, what are diamonds?” my daughter asked.

“Stones, baby,” I answered.

“What are rubies, Mommy?” she asked. I could see her thinking.

“They are stones baby,” I said.

“I have stones in my room, Mommy,” she said sweetly.

“Yes, you do baby,” I said.

“They lied to us, Mommy,” she said.

I giggled and said, “Who’s they baby?”

“Those men, who took over our land,” she said seriously.

“They are precious stones, baby,” I said.

She left the bathroom and came back with one of her rocks that she had in her room.

“Mom, look?” she said, oh so seriously.

I looked up and she handed me a rock.

“I’m an archaeologist mom. Stones aren’t precious. I get it now,” she said seriously.

“What do you get baby?” I was hesitant to ask.

“They tricked us, they lied and called them precious. Diamonds come from Africa, right, but so many black people are poor, and they stole the diamonds from them,” she explained.

My 4-year-old just told me precious stones are a sham. LMFAO. She is 100% right. I wasn’t going to be a fool and try to convince her any differently. I took the time to explain to her material things in the big picture hold no value. Not clothes, shoes, cars or homes. True value should be placed in yourself and the people you love. Material is all replaceable, but real family isn’t. I also explained to her family isn’t just the people with the same blood as you, family are the people who don’t turn their backs on you when you need them most. You can lose your house, a building doesn’t make a home, A home is made by the people who live inside it with you. You can lose your jewelry, your clothes but you can’t lose your self-worth! The only true thing you own in this world is your joy! Never let anyone steal your joy!

She gave me a big hug. I really hope she remembers this conversation when she grows up. She really has taught me so much about life and love…I was raised around some really unhappy, materialistic people. It made me think. I thought about the people I know who grew up with the bare minimum, they were full of life, happiness and love. Walk in a wealthy person’s house, you might be offered a bottle of water. Walk in a not so wealthy person’s house you are offered food till your tummy burst and a place to rest your head if needed. Makes you wonder what true wealth really is.

They tricked us, don’t allow them to trick your children!

MY GUILTY PLEASURE HAS BECOME COMPARING CURRICULUM!

I was the kid who hated school but loved education! Those two things were misunderstood by my authority figures growing up. I wasn’t able to articulate it, and nobody listened enough to try and read between the lines and understand. I loved to learn and research but hated the instruction I was given, and the guidance was misleading. The techniques were outdated, and the misinformation was sickening.

I was being taught so many lies. Sitting in a room full of peers who were all white watching them soak up the fact that the only history my people had in this country was slavery was disturbing! It was a lie and every time I spoke on it, I got in trouble. My grandmother armed me with the truth at a very early age. So being taught lies, misconceptions and stereotypes didn’t fly for me.

I was not a child who needed repetition: it bored me to DEATH, it turned me off and made me shut down! I felt stagnate and like I was stuck from progressing. (I see the same thing in my child.) I know the technique works well for many, but the truth is EDUCATION IS NOT 1 SIZE FITS ALL! Many teachers fail to care, and do not listen. They teach what they know and what worked for them.

The idea of alternative education hit me through a conversation with my lifelong friend, Andrea. (Hi baby, thanks for always reading my blogs.) Andrea is young, hip, innovative and is also a teacher. She taught me I don’t have to do exactly what everyone else is doing as long as I follow the FRAMEWORKS. Researching frameworks was the start of my daughter’s homeschool journey. I found that there is no solid curriculum I love through and through. I tend to mix and match a lot! Andrea has become my guidance counselor on this homeschool journey.

We are halfway through 2nd grade and I am already starting to look at 3rd grade curriculum! There are some things that we are doing now that I will need to change up for next year because they simply aren’t working. School should be fun and interesting not a drag or a fight.

I won’t let her start 3rd grade until 2020. I feel it’s moving too fast since she’s only 4, so I am just going to add on unit studies about things that interest her when the fall hits. My daughter has become amazing in guiding her own education. I am still looking for a great math curriculum that will keep her interest. While she is very ahead of her time, she still loves colorful pages and artwork on her work sheets. (That’s the key to keeping her engaged at this moment.) I’m flirting with the possibility of using “MasterBooks” 3rd grade. Right now, we use their social studies “My Story 2” and I am in love with it, because it seems to be her favorite workbook. She also enjoyed “My Story 1”. They take the children all over the globe. It’s a mixture of Social Studies, Culture, Languages, and Vocabulary all in one. Their history programs at first glance don’t seem to be a turn off either but haven’t tried them yet. Until she is of school age, which is like 6 or 7 years old, I am only going to teach her Black History so by the time she learns what’s required, it won’t be a play on her self-esteem. Right now, we are using “Blessed Heritage Our Story-History” and we like it a lot, mixed in with her “Urban Intellectuals Black History flash cards” and “ABC ME Flashcards”. I love Abeka’s health curriculum, it seems to be my favorite Abeka pick for now, but I still mix in their health with an anatomy book because my daughter loves the human body. She also likes to watch My 600 Pound Life, breast implants and butt implants. (I may have a plastic surgeon on my hands.) Her YouTube time is spent on plastic surgery, but she says she would never do that to herself which I love! I am also on the hunt for a new language arts curriculum, it would be nice for my daughter to see her own likeness in some of her required English work. So, if you know any language arts curriculum with little brown girls in their stories and on worksheets, please share it’s worth a look.

If you are a homeschool parent with a child who has gone through 3rd grade, I would love to know your curriculum picks. It takes a village please share with me.

Also, if you interested in the Urban Intellectuals Black History flash cards, here is my affiliate link: https://store.urbanintellectuals.com/aff/CherieJ75/

DEATH BY TINY TOYS

Death by Tiny Toys: that’s the headline I hear in my head at least once a week in my house. How many times do I have to scream, “Pick up your toys?” Last night I rolled over and a Littlest Pet Shop was in my ribs. I just damn near died from these Cutie Cars being left in the middle of the kitchen floor. I was tryna be the good mom and make homemade pizza bagels, baking sheet in my hand, pulling the fresh baked bread out of the oven. I turned around to take my oven mitts off and sat them on the counter. Next thing I know, I step on something little and hard and the damn thing has wheels! After my ass road it 5 feet, I hit the floor! As I lay on the floor, I look over… my daughters face is beet red, her eyes were wide, and she had her hand over her mouth. I know she wanted to laugh but was 2 scared. At this point I was tired and pissed! I didn’t even have the strength to yell. I looked at her and said in almost a whisper tone, “Pick your toys up off the floor.” She jumped up really fast and said, “Yes, Ma’am”, and off she went running with her Cutie Cars in her hand, into her room. Her little feet pit pattered like she was running some kind of race. I heard her mumble, “I am in big trouble.” At that moment I realized getting off the floor at 43 years old wasn’t as easy as it used to be.

Who invented these tiny little toys, they hurt when you step on them? I know whoever sits in an office and thinks these things up they don’t have children of their own. If they did, they would realize it’s one thing to fall over a big toy it’s a whole other thing to step on some little shit that pierces your feet!

I can’t be the only parent out there who doesn’t love these tiny toys, right?

WE HAVE A BLUE BELT

7 minutes and 14 seconds: I felt like I held my breath while my 4-year-old took her test to move onto her little champion blue belt. I was nervous for her, but she was full of smooth confident moves. Her Master was standing 6’6” inches tall over her little 3’8’’ self with a smile on his face as he asked her to do different stances and kicks and she was nailing each one. After she was honored with a blue belt, he sat her down and explained to her, “With this Blue Belt comes great responsibility. Blue Belt is considered advanced in little champions. I ask that you are a leader, so I need you to always be a leader. As a Blue Belt, you come to class focused and are ready to go. The other kids will now follow you. You now have more responsibilities in class and at home. You have to help your mom out more and do better with your schoolwork.” Then, she jumped up and hugged him and said, “Deal!”

This is the perfect example of it takes a village. Her Master is a huge part of her village! He truly cares and takes extra time out to show her daily.

My daughter is determined she will get her little champion black belt by the time she is 6 years old. (I pray she does.) She started TaeKwonDo at 3 years old. Her master told her that only 2 other children in his 26 years of teaching have ever received their little champion blackbelts. The children happen to be her Jr. Instructors, whom she adores. That day he gave her a goal. She doesn’t want to miss a class for any reason. My family was planning a trip to Disney World and she wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to be during the days she has class. She cried, expressing how important it was for her not to miss class. So, we made sure she wouldn’t miss a day. Disney World and the child was worried about TaeKwonDo. What a wonderful lesson in making a commitment and sticking to it, I couldn’t have planned a lesson like this.

I knew nothing about martial arts before fostering my daughter’s interest but I am truly thankful I trusted her to make a choice for herself so young.

Blue Belt

KOOL-AID

Grandma gives Kool-Aid in a Goblet. Let’s first start with the goblet.  Mom’s gonna kill me but the truth is in my mom’s house as a kid, it was paper or plastic. You did not dare touch a good glass or some crystal. I dunno what’s going on with my mother but now the kids are given glass, crystal and real plates to eat on. NOT everything has changed. All I can do is shake my head and laugh. I grew up on Kool-Aid but it’s not something I give my children. Shit, it’s not something I drink myself. Sugar water as we call it. Her father said, “Look how she leans back and turns her foot in, that’s how you know it’s good! She got that from me.” It’s true when he drinks something he likes, he leans back and turns his foot in. All I could do is laugh. She closed her eyes every time she took a sip. Mouth bright red with a huge smile on her face. How could I not just smile back at her?

Yes, I hear you granola moms cringing. As a certified nutritionist myself, part of me cringes as well and another part of me giggles and says, “Oh, let her be a kid and live.” If it wasn’t sugar, it could be dirt. Yes, I’ve seen my kid eat dirt too. Do I freak out every time? NO, I just encourage her to drink water and brush her teeth just like I will after she finishes this goblet of Kool-Aid. LOL.

Often childhood memories revolve around what we drank and ate as children. Because we are using all 5 senses. Right now, if I close my eyes I can smell and taste my grandmother’s spaghetti. Now that my grandma is gone, the memories are all I have to hold onto. Food memories are so nostalgic because there’s all the context of when you were preparing to eat this food, so the food becomes symbolic of other meanings. Life is about memories, make the best of them. 40 years from now our daughter may be sitting around talking about Kool-Aid at Grandma’s house. Who am I to stand in the way of that?