Tag Archives: help

Fulfilling Responsibility: My Drop in the Bucket

Coaxing a small girl to take deworming medication.

Coaxing a small girl to take deworming medication

Greetings,

As I recently shared, I spent two weeks of service in Haiti in the latter half of May.  Here in the States, I often feel that I am living in false reality.  In the age of social media, talk is confused with action and acknowledgment is mistaken for participation.  When I am not actively contributing to solutions – my intelligence is only self-placating and my degree useless.  It is not enough to know.  I must do.  It is my human obligation to direct my life in a way that adds to alleviation rather than exacerbation of the ills of the world.

 It is my human obligation to direct my life in a way that adds to alleviation rather than exacerbation of the ills of the world.

Due to the United States unique and often exploitative relationship with Haiti, anytime that I buy a shirt, I may be supporting a sweatshop.  The CEOS get rich while the workers have to choose between eating and sending their children to school.  Anytime that I use my phone, I may be supporting a call center that does not allow pregnant women to breastfeed or take restroom breaks.  These are all things that I have heard personal testimonies of well-known American companies doing in Haiti.

I cannot completely eliminate my role in Haitian exploitation because imbalanced trade with developing countries is so circumferential to our economic system.  However, I can proffer alms to equity.  As a good friend recently told me, it may be only a drop in the bucket, but if no one puts any drops in the bucket, the bucket will be empty.

My “drop” is a choice to support a young girl’s education.  Elandia is in second grade. Her favorite class is reading.  Elandia, her mother, and 2 sisters live in a small tent in CAPVA since the earthquake of 2010. Someday, she wants to live in a big house and have her own bed.  She aspires to be a doctor because there are many sick people living in CAPVA that aren’t able to receive medical care.

Elandia Pierre-Louis

Elandia Pierre-Louis

I met Elandia while running a deworming station near her school.  Contrary to the norm in Haiti, Elandia’s mother does not have to pay for school.  It is funded by donor contributions.  Elandia and her classmates’ educations depend on people continuing to care enough to donate.

Whether Elandia has a uniform each semester (usually children in Capva’s only real outfit) depends on if those who begin to donate remember that children are always growing.  Some of Elandia’s friends came to school nearly naked because no one donated for uniforms for them this year.  Some boys wore only women’s blouses that hung to their knees, because that was all they had.

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 How you decide to put your drop in the global bucket is your choice.  Today, I made my first $30 monthly contribution to Elandia.  My $30 will pay for her books, uniforms, and help to keep the school running for her peers.  If you would like to do the same or find out more, please visit holdthechildren.org.

Many friends have told me that they want to contribute to an international aid group, but are afraid that the money is not really going to the children.  I visited Elandia’s school myself and can vouch for the credibility of the organization.  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  God bless you.

All Best,

Nikala Asante

How to Work and Homeschool

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Greetings!

I hope that your week has gone tremendously well.  The topic for today is how to work and homeschool.  My personal situation is a little unique.  I am a single mother, I homeschool, work 2 part-time jobs, and go to school full-time.  First, I will tell you how I am able to do this.  Then, I will present some other options that you can consider.

My hectic schedule works (and pretty well too!) because I organize with other homeschooling parents in my community to teach my son for part of the day, and in return, I teach their children for part of the day.  He also attends piano lessons with another parent and her child while I am at work.  Both of my jobs allow me the flexibility to study at the office; so, I use this time wisely to stay on top of my schoolwork.  Also, one of my jobs, which I work on the weekends with a non-profit organization, allows me to bring my son with me.  He even helps me at work.

The take-away from my set-up is that if you work together with other parents, even if they are just “sitting” for you part of the day, your child(ren) can have a rich homeschool experience.  Also, they get that fun “socialization” component in!

Now, here are some other options to think over:

  • Start a homeschool collective or co-op (while this link is for a Catholic Co-op, I think that the information is relevant for groups of any religion)
  •  Run a website with items for sale
  • Teach English online
  • Work at home as a call center rep
  • Make jewelry (or other craft items) and sell them on Etsy
  • Clean houses or offices part-time (and take your children)
  • Tutoring from home
  • Instrument lessons
  • Become a licensed childcare provider
  • Join a MLM like Avon or Mary Kay and host parties
  • Host an Exchange Student
  • Substitute Teach
  • Website or Graphic Design
  • Pet Sit
  • Make Gift Baskets or Floral Arrangements
  • Become an online educator (for an online K-12 school, for a college/university, or independently for a subject you are an expert in, i.e.: writing a blog, hosting webinars, and doing consultations for that subject)
  • Creating and teaching an online course independently with a site like schoology or coursesites and collecting payment with PayPal

What are other ideas that you have for how to work and homeschool?  Please share!

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Ultimate Homeschool Blogroll

Ultimate Homeschool Blogroll

Hip Homeschool Moms Button

Greetings,

Do you ever wish you could connect with other homeschooling parents and see what is (and what is not) working for them?  Well, hiphomeschoolmoms has compiled that blogroll and here it is!

Thank you, hiphomeschoolmoms, for your awesome work.  

To everyone else, enjoy!  And if you are a homeschool blogger, be sure to add yourself to the listing.

All Best,

Nikala

Herbs: Indoor Container Gardening Part 2

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Greetings,

As I begin to collect items for our indoor container garden, I am finding some very helpful printables and lesson plans. 

Herbs in the Classroom: Begin a small herb garden with an egg carton or Dixie cups.

Herb Identification Worksheet: Identify summer herbs with this neat free printable.  Some included are dill, rosemary, and basil.

Start a Pizza Herb Garden: plant herbs that your children will use to make a pizza!

Herbs for Kids: What’s Safe, What’s Not: From WebMD. St. John’s Wort, for instance, is not okay for kids.  Many herbs are.  Lemon balm for instance, calms anxiety.  (Use herbs for medicinal purposes at your own risk/benefit.)

Sensory Herb Garden Handout: Which herbs have the strongest smells and tastes that children can enjoy?  Use this handout to better understand the sensory aspect of your herb garden.

I hope you find these helpful.  Also, here are some generally helpful kids’ gardening printables:

Plant Parts: Parts of a plant.

Plant Growth: How a seed grows.

Plant Measurement: Track plant growth with this free printable.

Enjoy!

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Awesome Resource Alert: What to Teach

Logo_Time4Learning

Awesome Resource Alert: What to Teach

Greetings,

I hope the week has been treating you and your family well.  Mothers often tell me, “I would homeschool, but I wouldn’t know what to teach”.

There are several ways to solve this problem including using existing systems printed or online, researching to develop a curriculum, joining a Collective, or having your child to attend an online public, private, or charter school from home such as K12, Connections Academy, or Aya Educational Institute.

One system that includes everything that you “need to teach”, the idea being that national standards are met in core areas, is Time4Learning.  I personally use Time4Learning to supplement what I teach and know several parents that use it for their full home school curriculum.  It is a paid site, $19.95 per child and $14.95 for each additional child.  The main subjects included are Math, Science, English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Art.

I like Time4Learning because the lessons are entertaining and effective.  The site tracks attendance and grades which is a great help for my home school portfolio.  I can see where my son might have struggled in an area and later made major improvements.  For parents who use Time4Learning for their full curriculum, the grading tool is invaluable.  I highly recommend the site for new home schoolers.  You can boldly teach culturally attuned lessons and take your children on relevant field trips while knowing that all the “basics” are covered.  I hope this helps!

All Best,

Nikala Asante

P.S.: I am not being paid by Time4Learning for this post, but if they want to send me a check, I will cash it! ;) Have a great week.

Teaching Ancient African Civilizations During Black History Month

Teaching Ancient African Civilizations During Black History Month

Greetings,

One consistent major issue of American education has been the lack of Black History set before Africans were enslaved in America.  Ask an average child what Africans were doing before before slavery and they will most likely have no idea.  Worse yet, they may believe that Africans were “savages” and had no civilizations before America.

One site that I enjoy for teaching Ancient African History is Mr. Donn.  As a scholar, I do not agree with every detail about every civilization that he covers, but he provides an adequate amount of balanced history.  The civilizations of Egypt, Kush, Ghana, Mali, and Songhay are covered with outlines of their daily lives, entertaining stories, powerpoints, maps, free clip art, and activities.

I do not agree with the accuracy of all the images included because none of the ancient Egyptian images are Black.  It has been proven by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop that the early Egyptian dynasties were ruled by Black Africans (read: The African Origin of Civilization by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop).  He even did melanin tests to validate these claims.  There were also Egyptians who appeared as Caucasian or Middle Easterners do today, both of African descent and from migration of foreign peoples.  I believe that Egyptians of all skin tones should be portrayed, for sake of accuracy.

Thus, I would encourage you to use the histories, enjoy the activities, and not to take the images at face value.  Have a wonderful Black History Month.  May our education on the histories of Black people around the world truly advance!

All Best,

Nikala Asante