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 The techniques were outdated, and the misinformation was sickening.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/

EVERYONE DOESN’T AGREE WITH MY CHOICE TO HOMESCHOOL & I’M OKAY WITH THAT!

Everyone doesn’t agree with my choice to homeschool and I am okay with that. I am not in a place in my life where I have to please anyone except my child.  As long as I do right by her, that’s all that matters. She is 4 years old and extremely above average. She always has been according to her pediatrician. (It’s not just a mother’s love.) She is reading at a 2nd – 3rd grade level, doing fractions, bar graphs and 3 digit adding and subtracting. The kid can tell time, count money and speak Spanish. So, I don’t feel right putting her in preschool so she can “socialize” is the right choice for her. In fact, I feel it is an injustice. Her learning will not grow in a school environment. She will be stuck in a class with a group of children saying their ABC’s. FOR WHAT TO SOCIALIZE?  Socialize is the most common thing people love to bring up, as if she is a hermit with no friends, who I don’t allow out of the house. The kid has a slew of cousins, she takes Tae Kwon Do 4 days a week and has a much better social calendar than I ever have with weekends full of play dates and birthday parties.

I understand some adults live for the weekend and their time to socialize with friends. I hate to break it to you but that’s only the working class. The employees who spend their lives making other people’s dreams come true. No offense, but I am tryna raise a C.E.O, a boss, doctor, entrepreneur or an astronaut. I want my little person to live a life that is all her design, full of possibilities and opportunity. I want her to know you can live every day of the week, not just on the weekend.

Let’s face it… it doesn’t take 8 hours in school to complete the work they assign. Most of it is fluff. I cannot send her to school where she will read the words, SLAVE AND WETBACK in her school books but NOWHERE will she read the KLAN or KKK or the fact that white people were her oppressors! I am just not comfortable with the idea of her never understanding the true history of this country until she goes off to college and takes an awakening African American Studies class that turns her head around like it did for so many of us. I will teach her who she is before the world tries to tell her who they want her to be. 

I cannot leave her education in the hands of people who look at her as a number or a check instead of a person!

If your child is average and you are okay with sending them to school to learn the same bullshit you were fed, that’s okay with me. I am not going to try to talk you out of it. If school was great for you, I pray it’s great for them. Me…myself I wasn’t challenged! School didn’t teach me shit but to read a chapter and answer the 6 questions at the end of the chapter. It taught me that even my own teachers were racist, and I was just someone they had to put up with. My saving grace was my tutor Mrs. Ruthann-Crudup Brown. That 5’2” beautiful chocolate tyrant stayed on my ass and went above and beyond what the California school system had set out for me. I’m going to let you go now because I am starting to ramble. I BASICALLY WROTE ALL THIS TO SAY EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT AND THAT’S OKAY.  STOP TRYNA PUT PEOPLE IN A BOX BECAUSE YOU WANT TO LIVE THE COOKIE CUTTER LIFE. It simply doesn’t work for everyone.

NATIVITY ACTIVITIES

So, with 6 days till Christmas my daughter shows up to her desk and decides her name is Mary. As in the Virgin Mary, with a scarf over her head and all. Sometimes I really feel I’m not mature enough to be her mother. Instead of correcting her, I was impressed she knew how to spell Mary.

That’s the great thing about homeschooling. I have 1 student, so I know whose paper it is. She read the paper perfectly the first try and answered the questions. So, what if her name is Mary today? Hahahaha….

Well, maybe the fact she is walking around with a baby doll calling him Baby Jesus is something we will have a talk about tomorrow, if this carries over after today.

It all started with a field trip that my community creates for the children. It’s amazing, they literally recreated Bethlehem! They made old school crafts with the children, taught them to make flour from grains, put on a play, they made perfume from herbs and prayers for the kids were optional. It was a beautiful experience for her, whether you are religious or not. She learned a lot of history and the way the olden days really were. Best part of all, it was free!

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I understand what works in my house isn’t for everyone. We celebrate everything, Chanukah, Christmas & Kwanzaa and are looking forward to Chinese New Year. I use all holidays as teaching tools. Introducing her to the world early, will help her understand different cultures and respect them. I think the greatest lesson of all is watching her be so empathetic to everyone’s beliefs. Religion is really about kindness and for us kindness is key!

Let me go back and finish teaching MARY!! Please share your funny homeschooling experiences.  I can’t be the only mother whose child changed their name, right?

MY DAUGHTER’S FIRST REAL PUMPKIN!

This year I was really excited about my daughter being old enough to really pick out her own pumpkin! I purchased a safety knife, so she could cut it out herself after cleaning it. (She was hesitant about sticking her fingers in.) I told her it was ewwwweeee gooey fun, so she dug in! Still, she wasn’t thrilled about the texture. Being a homeschool mom, I made a really big deal of it.  Not only was it a field trip to the pumpkin patch but it was also a whole Pumpkin Unit Study! We talked about the life cycle of a pumpkin and she learned vocabulary words. We read 4 different books about pumpkins. Her pumpkin investigation worksheet is below.

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She even named her pumpkin” Spookly”! It was a great way to end a productive school week. It also made me realize how much children can really learn while keeping homeschool fun. As she was washing the pumpkin seeds, so we could roast them, she counted each and every one of them! So, math, science, english, home economics and reading were all covered just by a simple trip to the pumpkin patch.  There is a whole world out there to explore with your kiddos and keep it fun! I’d love to learn some of your homeschool tricks.  Please share.