Please check out this great article by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, PhD, about why many African American parents are choosing to homeschool (http://theatlantavoice.com/news/2013/sep/27/more-100000-african-american-parents-are-now-homes/).
Dr. Kunjufu lectures, trains teachers, and has written many books about improving academic achievement for African American children and the importance of African Centered Education. One book by him that we personally use in our homeschool is Lessons From History, Elementary Edition. Each chapter presents a stage of Black history, beginning with ancient African civilization. Also, there is a vocabulary list, questions, and exercises for each topic.
I respect Dr. Kunjufu’s work and would recommend it to any parent to use for a Black history component of their homeschool. There are only two criticism that I have of Lessons From History. One: Sometimes Kunjufu makes broad statements without fully explaining them, and you will have to do the research yourself to justify his statements to your child. This is less of an issue in the Middle School and Advanced editions because the length of the text allows the author space to detail each idea introduced. The Elementary Edition is simplified. Depending on the comprehension level of your elementary student, you may just want to skip straight to one of the more advanced editions and make adjustments as necessary.
Enjoy the article via the link, and tell me, why did you choose to homeschool?
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!
Every February in grade school, I learned and re-learned the limited histories of a handful of key figures. Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Garrett Morgan, Harriet Tubman, and Dr. George Washington Carver. It was rare that we heard about anyone else and if we did, we received trivia rather than histories.
“Who was the first Black major league baseball player?” (Jackie Robinson)
“Who was the first Black millionaire?” (Madame CJ Walker)
(For a more extensive famous firsts lists, click here)
The answers to these trivia questions have become embedded into my adult memory. Rosa Parks sat on the front of bus. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched for rights. Harriet Tubman freed slaves. Garret Morgan invented the traffic light and so on. However, these men and women did much more than that. Their extended biographies are not discussed until collegiate level African American studies, if at all.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. organized and spoke for both Labor and Civil Rights. The Poor People’s Campaign, planned near the end of Dr. King’s life, was intended to advocate for good jobs, healthcare, and housing for all Americans.
Each of the leaders mentioned have a deeper history than what is touched upon in common education.
For instance, Dr. George Washington Carver was a great scientist and inventor, but many people only associate him with the invention of peanut butter. Though Dr. Carver has done many great things, inventing peanut butter was not one of them.
Peanut butter is recorded as having existed as far back as 3000 years ago.
However, Dr. George Washington Carver did change (read: save) American agriculture by introducing crop rotation.
He did invent over 300 products using the peanut and over 115 products using the sweet potato.
These inventions included printer ink, synthetic rubber, material for paving highways, insulation board, and:
From the Peanut:
- 19 types of leather dyes
- 18 types of insulating boards
- 11 types of wall boards
- 17 types of wood stains
- 11 types of peanut flours
- 30 types of cloth dyes
- 50 types of food products
From the Sweet Potato:
- 73 types of dye
- 17 types of wood fillers
- 14 types of candy
- 5 types of library paste
- 5 types of breakfast foods
- 4 types of starches
- 4 types of flour
- 3 types of molasses
Dr. Carver also created over 500 different shades of paint, using extracts from the earth as well as research in manufacturing “paints and stains from soybeans”.
Dr. Carver is a perfect example of why we as parents and teachers should conduct further research on celebrated African American figures before we select our curriculum. I, too, am guilty of long associating Dr. Carver with peanut butter and could have easily passed down this unfairly abbreviated history to my son. It is our job as educators to dig deeper because we want our students to know full histories.
Also, we want our students to do the same, right? If we are going to continue teaching about the same central figures that were introduced to us in grade school, let us expand the lesson by adding a research dynamic. Let us challenge our students to teach us something that we did not know.
Our goal in this is to raise well-rounded scholars, not trivia champions on traffic lights and peanut butter.