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.
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.
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,
As a part of fundraising efforts for current projects, I am running the special of a lifetime. Right now, I will write a customized story about your child or children for only $5. Check out the info below. :)
Does your daughter want to be a real storybook princess? Does your son want to be a real superhero? I can make that happen.
I will write your child into a personalized one page digitally illustrated story in the setting of your choice in 7 days or less.
A Little About Me:
I am a homeschooling mother with a BA in Creative Writing from University of Houston. Additionally, I have published two collections of poetry and short stories, contributed to major anthologies, and currently manage a blog site for African American home education resources, blackhomeschoolmom.com. Also, I have 9 years of experience in Graphic Design.
- Professional quality stories from a mother, educator, and published author.
- Affordable for all parents.
- Requests to write in friends or grandparents will be granted as well.
- With a photo of your child, his or her actual picture can be featured in the story!
- Print the story at home and frame for a lifetime memento of love.
- Makes a great birthday or holiday gift!
- Cheers sick children up instantly too.
Order your child the greatest gift of all today - a customized story!
Example without background setting or photo (both can be added at no extra cost). I wrote this story today! Thank you for your support. Visit Fiverr to order your customized story: http://www.fiverr.com/nikalaasante/write-your-child-into-a-personalized-story
If you have never heard of Black Science Month, it is no fault of yours. This special time to celebrate Africana scientists was recently established by four young African Americans: Leonce Hall, Kimberly Washington, Sydeaka Poisson, and Asar Imhotep. They are committed to “promoting the accomplishments and achievements of Blacks in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”. Currently, while Black Science Month’s website is under construction, the collective is sharing tons of valuable information on their FaceBook Page (https://www.facebook.com/BlackScienceMonth). Some of their recent posts concern free medical school for Blacks and Latinos, a link to a Black inventor online museum, and a cartoon with Black characters personifying the scientific method.
Blacks are “not good” in Math or Science is a long proclaimed myth that through self-fulfilled prophecy, is affecting many of our children each day. How many of our boys believe that they are supposed to excel in athletics and struggle with academics? How many of our girls believe that computer programming and electrical engineering is only for Whites and Asians? Projects like Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S (a hip-hop based science program) and Black Girls Code (both of which are shared on Black Science Month) are working diligently to change these myths.
Fallacies about Africans in Science are also dismantled by Black Science Month. Many students believe that Africa is one big charity case or war zone, based on images that they have seen in the media. Learning about the Nigerian who built a jet car that runs on the road and sea or the South African student who invented a waterless shower will open students’ eyes to a new reality. A reality in which their history and present is inundated with creative genius.
Asar Imhotep, a University of Houston Linguistics alum, states that he got involved with creating the page, “to encourage Black people to participate more in the various sciences, whether it be Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Mathematics, Agriculture…”. Imhotep gave us the inside scoop on what’s next for Black Science Month – exciting science experiments that children can conduct at home! Like the page on FaceBook and stay tuned throughout the year for news, history, opportunities, and much more!
I hope that your week is going well. Today, I want to talk about a super heroine of mine.
Dr. Wangari Maathai she was born in a small town in the East African country of Kenya. Even though it was hard for a girl to get an education in this area, she completed grade school, flew to the USA and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences, and a PhD in Anatomy.
She used her love for science and nature to start the Green Belt Movement in 1977. Women involved in the GBM have planted more than 10 million trees since 1977 which has helped to restore the soil in Kenya after immense deforestation.
Dr. Maathai was the first African woman to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. She earned this honor for her contribution to “sustainable development, democracy, and peace”.
She received honorary doctorate degrees from 13 universities, in Kenya, the USA, Norway, and Japan. She also received over 55 awards in her lifetime, such as the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights from South Africa and the Indira Gandhi International Award for Peace from India. Dr. Maathai was voted one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine and one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes Magazine.
Sadly, Dr. Maathai passed away in September 2011. Fortunately, her legacy continues. The Green Belt Movement has published a Community Classroom curriculum through PBS including lesson plans, handouts, and videos for grades 9-12 (or ambitious&talented younger students).
Please make use of this curriculum to expand your students’ social, environmental, and cultural awareness.
I hope that you and your family had a wonderful week. As homeschooling parents, one of our everyday responsibilities is cooking. One of the biggest challenges for the African American community (and Americans in general) is healthy eating.
We have easy access to fast food restaurants and processed foods that seem to make our lives simpler, but wreak havoc on our bodies. Not only does the food lose nutrients during processing, the additives contained in them, such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial colorings, and trans-fatty acids, cause serious damage such as migraines, diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, and much more.
There are many reasons to eat healthier and institute healthier diets for our children. We may have more energy, be in better moods, attain and maintain our ideal weights, and prevent common diseases (even those that we believed were hereditary).
Our children may be calmer and more well-balanced after we remove stimulants such as caffeine, high fructose syrup, artificial colorings, and refined sugars from their diets. Their focus may improve, so that they can concentrate on learning rather than excess fidgeting or being subject to frequent cravings throughout the day.
Implementing a healthy diet may also be an effective assistant to managing ADHD, autism, or other difficult issues. If your child has health issues, please begin a research process on the effects of diet on your child’s issue if you have not done this already. I would be interested to know what you find!
In the African American community, many of us have been raised on fried foods, refined sugars and grains, white rice, and
delicious high fat desserts. Now that we have children of our own, we can create new traditions.
As a step towards healthy living, I would like to share links to vegan/vegetarian soul food sites.
PETA Vegetarian Soul Food Recipes: PETA shares recipes for vegan meatloaf, hoppin’ john, sweet potato pie, and more. The recipes look tasty, but I tend to avoid margarine because of negative health effects. Earth Balance vegan butter is a better product. Smart Balance also manufactures a healthy vegan butter. Too much soy is not good for you, so enjoy these recipes and stay as close as you can to whole fresh foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains) in your everyday life.
West African Vegan/Vegetarian Recipes: Many of the West African recipes that we base African American soul food on are naturally vegan or vegetarian. Enjoy delicious foods such as red beans, chickpea soup, baked sweet potatoes, and banana fritters with no guilt afterwards!
Vegan/Vegetarian Caribbean Recipes: Another sister to African American soul food is Caribbean food. Islands such as Jamaica and Haiti received the same West African migrants as the American South. Try some savory tempeh patties, steamed callaloo, black bean and potato soup and coconut rice. Who said healthy vegan food had to be tofu and carrot sticks?
Enjoy cooking these scrumptious recipes! If your children are old enough, maybe they can help out in the kitchen.
Be sure to comment back and let me know which worked best for you!
Here’s to a healthy and happy new year!
I hope that you and your students have been having an awesome week. Here are six great resources for Black History Month to get February off to a great start.