Category Archives: Uncategorized

Math in Ancient Africa (with discussion questions and activities)

Greetings,

As I shared in an earlier post, I’ve been devoting more time to tutoring Math for students of all ages.  This has been an exciting experience – helping children to increase their interest in Mathematics and improve their performance.  It’s very rewarding to witness the growth of their critical thinking skills.

However, I recognize that many of our youth still think that other ethnicities are naturally more gifted in Math than them.  This is partially due to a lack of knowledge about the history of Math.  Take time this semester to share the African history of Mathematics with your children.  Here is a great article to assist:

Link: http://blog.mindresearch.org/blog/interesting-facts-about-math-in-ancient-africa

Image result for african stonehenge

Have a discussion after reading the list of facts.  Here are some sample discussion questions and activities that you can utilize:

  1. What are some of the math games that were created in Ancient Africa?  (i.e. Mancala; You can use technology to find the answer.)
  2. Are there any math tools that you know of today that are similar to the Lebombo bone?
  3. Why would sheep herders need to recognize their herd by face?
  4. Why would trackers hunting animals need to know if the animal was hungry or not?
  5. What are cowrie shells?  Can you find a picture of them online?
  6. Can you find ten examples of symmetry in African patterns online?
  7. Can you list the skills one would need to design and build their own house?
  8. Look up edible plants in your area together and then go on a nature walk to identify some.
  9. Build a replica of African Stonehenge using cardboard and rocks and test it in the sunlight to see how the shadows are cast at certain points throughout the day.
  10. Search images of different types of African cloth (i.e. Kente) and create a game matching cloths to their countries.

Extension:

Do you have other ideas for discussion questions or activities?  Please share!  Thank you for reading and enjoy your week.

All Best,

Nikala Asante

 

 

New Site! This Site Will Still Be Up Too.

Greetings,

Now that I’ve completed my Master’s Degree in Education, I’ve been working super hard over the past few months to design my offerings and complete my website for my education company, Asante Educational Works.  I’m happy to announce that it is LIVE!  I am excited to offer services for parents AND educators.  Whether you are homeschooling, parenting a child who is in public/private school, teaching, working in education administration, or running an entrepreneurial education business, I can help you.

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Current Services for Parents:

  • Homeschool Advising
  • Customized Study Plans for Grades K – 12
  • Year Round Math Tutoring
  • “My First Book”: Writing and Publishing for Grades K – 12

Current Services for Educators and Schools:

  • Curriculum Design
  • Ed Tech Coaching
  • Online Course Creation
Also, you can find educational books for children and teens and cultural tee shirts on the Products page.  Please share with parents and educators in your network and thank you for your continued support in my mission to educate, motivate, and inspire!
Love and Light,
Nikala Asante

What Are Your Best Homeschooling Tips?

Greetings,

I pray you and your family are doing well.  My son and I are doing well visiting family in Houston.  Thankfully, we weren’t hit too hard by Hurricane Harvey and will be heading back to Belize soon.  We are excited to have a new addition to our home, my 5-year-old niece.  I have been homeschooling her for a little over a month now and it’s a thrilling journey to start the home education process all over again.  With my son being in his 8th year of homeschooling, it is super easy to assign him work and support him where support is needed.  It is a welcome challenge to utilize the skills and tools I’ve gained along the way to start from scratch.  With that said, I’d like to share some of my homeschooling tips and ask for some of yours.  What helps you to make the best of each day?

A Few Homeschooling Tips

1. Be patient with yourself and with your child/children.  Starting fresh with a 5-year-old, I can tell you that some days she doesn’t want to learn.  She will cry and yell and petition to watch My Little Pony instead of learning.  What has helped is patience – reminding her that she is smart and strong and that it is important to learn so that she can be smarter and stronger.  Also, I try to make the learning fun, not take more than 2 hours max for all subjects, and take song and dance breaks when we need to.

2. Use digital tools.  I downloaded free math games on my phone as soon as I knew my niece would be with me.  When she is bored at any point throughout the day, I can easily hand her my phone and ask if she wants to play a game.  This way, I’m sneaking in extra learning after our school time is over.  Already, she has started viewing math as fun.  Also, I’ve been using reading tools on Starfall to help her with learning to read.  She loves it.

3. Enlist help when and where you need it.  Whether you join a homeschool coop or partner with family members, we all need help.  For my niece, I’ve recruited help from my mom, friends, and local community center to assemble her school supplies, start building her book collection, and make her feel surrounding by a loving village invested in her success.  You don’t have to be in this by yourself.  If your family isn’t supportive, search for other homeschoolers/homeschool groups in your area.

Now, I would like to hear your tips!  What are your suggestions for making the best of each day?  I look forward to reading your comments!

Love and Light,

Nikala Asante

A Good Resource

Greetings!

Kidzone is a great resource site for Math, Sight Words, Nature Facts, Animal Facts, and more: http://www.kidzone.ws/.  The resources are free and do not require a password.  Enjoy!

parts of a tree

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Updates and Summer Math Tutoring

Greetings,

I hope your summer is off to a great start.  We are visiting family for the summer and then heading back to Belize.  This year has been productive so far; I’ve been blessed to co-write and release a new book, 50 Afrikans You Must Know Vol. 2 with Dr. Samori Camara, and to walk with my Master’s in Education from the University of Houston.  The focus areas of my master’s program were Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Technology.  I’m using the tools that I’ve gained to offer more distance learning opportunities to our children.  This year, that involves the independent educational services I offer, instructional design for Kamali Academy, and helping international African-centered schools transition to online platforms.

More updates – Belize has been a good move for us.  It has been peaceful and I’ve been able to get a lot of writing done.  Many of our friends and family have been down to visit.  My son has been having a great time too.  He has not made a ton of new friends, but his friends from Houston have been coming to visit for extended periods.  He also communicates regularly with his friends on Google Hangouts.  He enjoys seeing new animals and swimming in the river most right now about our environment, but spends a lot of time working on writing, programming, and animation too.  He just finished writing his first novel, which I will be helping him edit and publish over the course of this year.  This is his third full length book and he just turned 13, so I would say that homeschooling and being in a rural environment has been good for him creatively.

We took a trip to Merida, Mexico by bus over Easter for 9 days.  It was sooo awesome!  Since we live by the river in Belize (not close to the beach), it was great having lots of beach time and also enjoying all of the excitement of the city.  Merida is safe and very affordable for family trips, in my opinion.  A nice hotel with wifi and AC was around $20US per night and taxi rides were $1 – $2US around the city.  Also, many of the attractions (such as the beach, street concerts, museums, and city events) were free.

Some of the highlights of our trip were: the delicious food, the vibrant markets, cotton candy, snow cones, fresh fruit popsicles every day, free museums, the Spanish/English bookstore, horse and carriage ridin’ through the city, Mayan sculptures, LOTS of art everywhere, cheap taxis, dancing in the streets with live bands, watching the crazy amazing Mayan ball game, stunning beaches, fresh fried fish on the beach, the old school traveling carnival with games and bumper cars, visiting the pyramids, swimming in the cenotes, meeting new people, and being amazed at the MAGIC of each day.

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, night, shoes and outdoor

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If you are looking for a fun trip this summer, look into Merida.  A final update – I am offering online math tutoring this summer for grades 6 – 12 one-on-one via Google Hangouts.  I can take 4 more students based on my schedule at this time, with monthly flat rate pricing on a structure based on your child/children’s learning goals for the summer.  Please fill out this short interest form if you are interested and I will contact you: https://goo.gl/forms/vM0sw7Ru6tPkDIXB2.  I have 8 years tutoring experience and have assisted many children in reaching their educational goals.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Those are my updates for now!  What’s going on with you this summer?  Feel free to message me or comment – it comes straight to my email either way.  I love you all!  Happy schooling!

Love and Light,

Nikala Asante

 

 

 

Summer 2017 Live Online Classes

I am offering three live online classes this summer for children ages 8 – 12, youth ages 12- 17, and adults 18 and up. Please visit the link of your interest for more information and/or to sign up. Early bird discounts are available. Feel free to email me with questions or for more information.  Love and light!

Description and Sign Up for Ages 8 – 12: https://goo.gl/forms/FTdoGf7CCaQRCdKk1

Description and Sign Up for Ages 12 – 17: https://goo.gl/forms/0JO6NPvPS8UNEAbJ3

Description and Sign Up for Adult Course: https://goo.gl/forms/1oXFkqS3hOl3XDx12

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10 Women to Research for Women’s History Month

Greetings,

While many of us seek activities to fill our children’s calendars and minds for Black History Month in February, fewer remember to celebrate in March, for Women’s History Month.  I am also guilty.  It seems that only every couple years I remember that March is Women’s History Month and do something special.  The acknowledgement of March as the designated time to celebrate Women’s History commenced in 1987 in response to a petition from the National Women’s History Project.

Before this month comes to an end, take the time to research women history makers with your children.  The women listed are from different points in history and have made varying contributions.  While this is by no means a comprehensive list, or meant to relay the “most important” contributions, it is a start.  Please comment with the woman your family chose to research first and what you found out about her.

yaa

10 Women to Research for Women’s History Month

1. Hathshepsut

2. Yaa Asantewaa

3. Ida B. Wells

4. Fannie Lou Hamer

5. Dr. Wangari Maathai

6. Elaine Brown

7. Mae Jemison

8. Winnie Mandela

9. Queen Mother Moore

10. Alice Walker

Who would you add to the list?

I look forward to your comments about who your family studied and what you learned.

Love and Light,

Nikala Asante

 

 

10 Ways to Make History This Black History Month

Greetings,

I pray that you and your family are doing well.  My son and I are doing well in Belize.  While here, I’ve been volunteering at a clinic, homeschooling, working on my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, writing new books, and enjoying as much sunshine as possible.  We also traveled back to Houston for the holidays to do some book signings and workshops for our home community.  I’d like to commit more to blogging this year because I have sooo much to share, so hold me accountable to that, okay?  Feel free to e-mail me through the contact page anytime with questions or blog topic requests.  Your support is welcomed.

This February, I’d like to share some suggestions with you for how your children can make history instead of simply learning about it.  Here are 10 ideas; choose one or more and get started right away.

Make History

Make History This Month!

1. Write a letter and/or video letter to an elected official about a topic of concern.

One of the major political concerns currently on the radar is the restriction of certain travelers entering the U.S. from 7 Asian and African countries, known colloquially as the Muslim Ban.  Can your students(s) read about the nuances of this Executive Order, what measures have been taken to combat it, and how it relates to the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?  Afterwards, can he/she/they write a well thought out open letter or open video letter to the President or key federal officials?

2. Make a commitment to environmentalism and inspire others to do the same.

Although current political happenings are quite frightening, the state of the environment globally and the effects of new environmentally neglectful/abusive legislation are much more dismaying, as they will affect the health and life spans of millions, if we cannot take positive action.  Can your student(s) make a commitment to learn about what is taking place worldwide regarding the environment this year using internet research and be a personal ambassador for Mother Earth?  Immediate steps to take are practicing “reduce, reuse, and recycle”.  Your student(s) can also lead community clean up projects, DIY natural cleaning product workshops, and tree planting days.  Maybe he/she/they can also secure donations of reusable bags from a local grocery store or company and distribute them in the community.  Be an environmental history maker like Dr. Wangari Maathai.

3. Start a business.

My son’s entrepreneurship currently includes writing books and teaching technology classes.  He is working on teaching online classes as well, and should have them launched by fall of 2017.  What are your children passionate about?  How can they turn that into a business?  What are the needs of people in your neighborhood or social circle?  How can your student(s) address those needs with a business?  There are free online tutorials available for everything from photography to solar panel building to architectural design.  Have your student(s) to commit to learning a skill and turning that skill into a viable business this Black History Month.

4. Design an invention.

What do George Washington Carver, Madame C.J. Walker, Lewis Latimer, and Sarah Boone have in common?  All of them probably never heard of “Black History Month”, yet they made Black history.  They were bold, curious, and creative enough to design tools to solve problems they saw in their daily lives, communities, or in the world.  Have your student(s) brainstorm on problems in your household (i.e. too many shoes by the front door, popsicles don’t freeze fast enough, shower gets cold after 2 people shower, etc.), problems in your community, and/or problems in the world.  After brainstorming problems, have him/her/them to conceptualize at least one invention to solve a problem.  Then, draw and label a prototype.  From there, if the invention is viable, your student(s) can 3D design and 3D print the prototype, apply for a patent, raise funds, and put it into production!  Why not?

5. Plant a community herb garden.

With new challenges in healthcare availability, many are stressed about how they will access doctors.  The good news is that many common ailments can be prevented or treated with nutrition and herbs.  Can your student(s) make a commitment to learn about herbal medicine this month and then plant an herb garden that is 1.) labeled with the purpose of each herb and possible drug interactions, and 2.) open free or at a minimal cost to the community?

6. Get attuned to Reiki 1 or Ra Sekhi level one.

Another modality of natural health is energy healing.  Even children can provide energy healing to themselves and their family, although I wouldn’t recommend that they provide it to a large number of people until they have a greater understanding of how to protect themselves and discard energies picked up during sessions.  Seek out a Reiki or Ra Sekhi master in your local area or view an online class together to begin to learn more about the divine gift of energy healing.  You can also purchase this book to study together, Ra Sehki Kemetic Reiki Level One (https://www.amazon.com/Ra-Sekhi-Kemetic-Reiki-Level/dp/1478172401).

7. Start a needed youth community organization.

Does your community need a youth soccer team to stay fit or a nutrition club to make healthy smoothies and veggie burgers together?  What about a Mother Earth club with regular meetings to address neighborhood environmental issues?  Your student(s) can be the creators of a needed youth organization and even secure free space at a school, church, park, etc. to have regular meetings.

8. Solve a problem that affects 5 or more people in your neighborhood.

Does it get cold in your area?  Do elders in the community need blankets or space heaters when it’s cold?  Does it flood in your area?  Could residents benefit from a meeting to create a community flood plan including coupons for free swim classes sponsored by a local organization?  Can your student(s) think of an issue that affects 5 or more people in your neighborhood and conceptualize/implement a solution for it such as the ones above?  It is entirely possible.

9. Start a valuable campaign.

People independently start inspirational or problem-solving campaigns all the time, such as Alicia Keys’ No Makeup Movement to support natural beauty and self-love or Dr. Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement to plant tree and support women’s economic empowerment.  Can your children start a valuable campaign in your area, nationally, or globally, such as a Drink Water campaign, Eat Fruit Daily campaign, Change Your Oil Every Three Months campaign, Bike to Work campaign or other beneficial movement?  Brainstorm, create a slogan, design a flyer, and then push that movement!

10. Write and publish your first book.

Do your children love to write poetry, fiction, or non-fiction? Do you have a natural artist, fact-finder, imaginative dreamer, or creative genius in your household?  Now, with the power of self-publishing tools such as CreateSpace or Smashwords, your little superstar(s) can become published authors!  Keep in mind that you can utilize public domain images to simplify the internal image(s)/cover design process.  Research the self-publishing process and get started today! Make history!

Thank you for reading.  Please comment on which step your student(s) will take this month to make history.  Love and light from my family to yours.

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Update, New Book, and a Scavenger Hunt CONTEST

Greetings,

I pray that you and your families are doing well.  My son and I are doing well, getting ready to visit Houston for Kwanzaa.  In a little over a week, we will have been in Belize for 3 months.  Wow, time flies!  Over this time, I have been blessed with more inner space to allow the Divine to flow through me.  In the past 90 days, I’ve written more than I have written all year.  Also, we have been homeschooling and I’ve been knocking out graduate school assignments online for my Master’s in Education.  Some parents have been messaging me and asking me “how?”.  My concise answer is “simplify”.  We don’t need as much as we think we need.  When we decide to consume less, own less, and take up less space, we can educe and produce more.  When you want to do something that seems BIG, ask yourself, what is the easiest way that I can do this?  Then, do it that way.  It will still be hard/challenging, lol.  Focus on the experience and not on having all of the pieces figured out each day.  Be flexible and patient with yourself.  If you need help, ask for help.  That is my advice for braving any new venture in creating the lives we want.

With that update given — exciting news!    I have a new book available for your family!

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Getting High is a mental, physical, and spiritual guide for melanated teens who are ready to become their best selves. Many teenagers fall into traps in this vulnerable stage of their lives that affect them negatively for years to come. Avoid the traps and empower your life with Getting High. No matter if you are a teen, a parent, or simply a person seeking guidance, once you apply the principles in this book, you will never be the same.

I am so excited about what this book will provide for our youth!  If you have teenagers (or would like to read it for yourself), I would like for you to have a copy, so I am going to run a CONTEST!  This contest is a SCAVENGER HUNT.

The first seven people to comment with a chapter title from Getting High will receive a free e-copy of the book.  You will have to visit the Amazon page, click Look Inside, and view the Table of Contents to name a chapter.  You can’t name a chapter that someone on the thread has already named.  Readddddyyyyyy… go!

See you in the comments!  Message me if you have any questions about our semester, travels, or experiences.

Love and Light,

 

Nikala Asante

 

Seven Principles of Ma’at for Children

Truth – Always tell the truth.

Justice – Always stand up for what is right. If you see someone doing something wrong, stop them or tell an adult.

Harmony – We breathe because trees give us oxygen. Everything on earth is in harmony. Take care of nature.
Never litter.

Balance – Don’t eat too much or watch too much TV. Always have balance.

Order – Respect your parents. Respect your elders. One day, you will be an adult and you will want to be respected too.

Reciprocity – Be nice to people and make friends with people who are also nice to you.

Propriety – If you are at school, know that it is time to learn, not play. Be on your best behavior everywhere you go.

- Nikala Asante, Character Building for African Centered Scholars, Grades 1 – 4

Available in Black Homeschool Mom store (instant download) or on Amazon (print copy)