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Three Weeks In!

So after three weeks of ups and downs we have successfully completed three weeks of home school. These three weeks have been a series of ups and downs as well as success! The  first week I was so excited about starting out that I could not sleep the night before.  After three days of home school, brother student (my son) and I were doing exceptionally well! However my worked suffered big time! I am a virtual employee however I have work obligations outside the home and it’s very important those appointments and meetings are met! Although my son is in an after school program I was not sure how to juggle it all. One day we even missed a lesson as my car broke down. I was so upset with myself I started feeling like I was cheating him and maybe this was not going to work out. By the end of the first week I called the home school office as well as the local public school to enroll my son back to school! I let my husband know my thoughts and he told me to think about it over the weekend as it was a long weekend with Labor Day that following Monday. My husband reviewed my portfolio that weekend and was amazed  with the amount of work that was completed in our short week. My husband raved that my one week looked like at least one month of traditional school. He then stated that he did not want me to send our son to school. I spoke with my son about going to the neighborhood school, where he also went for summer camp  and he was totally against it. I said “son, how do you feel about going back to school”? My son replied “mommy you are better than a teacher when you explain things I understand, I guess it’s because your mom”. That statement sealed the deal. Once my husband and son voiced their opinions there was no way I could give up! Week (2) I looked at my schedule and attempted to refine it so I can get my work completed and my son’s work completed! I first scaled our calendar and activities back. The first week my son was going to karate (5) days a week plus field trips. This was way too much! I refined our schedule to having karate (3) days a week and one field trip every other week. These little changes in our schedule helped greatly.  I researched what other working moms did to keep it all together. The trend I found was classes and mommy helpers. I first conducted research on classes, I found that many of the classes were geared to older children and included strong parent involvement. Parent involvement, means lots of time which I do not have. I then searched for a Mommy helper, I asked different home school mom’s for suggestions or recommendations. While searching for a mommy helper I received a phone call from a local retired teacher turned babysitter. What’s ironic is that she was calling me for something totally unrelated.  After telling her my situation she was willing to provide lessons to my son as well as childcare during the times of my meetings(My meetings are usually once a month.). Week (2) was amazing my son was really doing well particularly in Math and Reading comprehension. Now for week (3). Week three has been the best thus far I am really getting in my groove and so is my son! I was even able to get my work completed! I have found so many resources for my son including the E-library which has been an awesome tool! My son has really excelled using Singapore Math. I would recommend this Math curriculum to all homeschoolers.  This Sunday we will embark on week (4)! I am excited to see where our journey will take us!FullSizeRender (31)

FullSizeRender (31) This is one of our Science projects during our first week! The lesson describes the physical difference between Humans. The lesson concluded with the similarities of Humans.

FullSizeRender (30)Brother student developing a satellite at the children’s museum. The class was taught by NASA instructors.

FullSizeRender (32) Brother student experimenting with a water cycle exhibit.

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Curriculum and First Day Jitters

So I have purchased all of my materials and have begun preparing my lesson plans. I have to admit I am so nervous and a bit anxious. I have been keeping my choice to home school to myself and only sharing with a select few as I am not confident enough yet to share with all my friends and family! However I am excited to share, all of the new things that I have for my home school!  Also all the new supports I have found! I have found various homeschooling boards and e-mailing groups in my area. This has helped tremendously as there has been a wealth of resources and ideas that are shared daily! I have also located a home school friendly after school program ! This program includes Karate, Home Work help and socialization. I am super excited about this as my son will be able to hang out with other children daily. Lastly, I have found a science program and a group that takes weekly field trips. I am learning that home-school does not necessarily mean staying at home. So on to the curriculum review. Here are a few of my core books!

Curriculum

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History Book

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Grammar Book

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Reading Book

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Spelling Books /Math BooksFullSizeRender (13) FullSizeRender (14)

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Penmanship

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Science

FullSizeRender (27)    I am really loving the math books from the Kamali Academy! If you have any questions feel free to ask.   I will post another review with supplies and incentives on a later date! Peace for now! Sistah Teacher

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My first day of Frustration and Doubts

So everyone told me there would be days like this! I have been tirelessly working with my son to teach him how to read. This has been by far the most challenging and rewarding experience thus far! We have been doing some practice work for the summer just to get our feet wet! I have utilized hooked on phonics, for my reading curriculum! This program really works well and I have seen lots of improvements in short-periods of time. We have taken a couple of days off the program! My son and I were recently on our last lesson before he moved on to his new books. During the lesson he begin making careless mistakes on things I knew for sure he knew. I become agitated then out right mean. I noticed this behavior and apologize to my son and stated that maybe we needed a break and to try again tomorrow. I immediately starting having doubts and feelings of not being able to home school. As I thought about it later and replayed the events in my head, I thought about the time. It was nearly 8:30pm my son goes to bed at 9:00pm how is it fair to present new information when your brain is settling down and preparing for rest. My second thoughts were he is still learning all these new concepts. It’s like someone who speaks Spanish only but now your trying to read the language. Learning a new language is difficult! So I can only imagine how he feels. My patience is one of my biggest character flaws . I want everything and everything now. Blame it on being apart of the microwave generation. I’m learning this process is like cooking a turkey it’s all day and night low heat. But if you keep checking the turkey and ensuring no dryness you will have a wonderful product! That’s the goal for my son for him to be a strong reader! Hooked on phonics is absolutely amazing! They have workbooks and little reading books. Your child will be reading after the first lesson! I will show the pictures below! This set goes from pre-k through 2nd grade. I’m saving it for my 1 year old. The program suggest that you start your reader at pre-k no matter there grade. Use this at your own discretion I started with the Kindergarten level with my son and he is going to the 1st it was a perfect match we are now one lesson away from 1st grade level. Let me know if you have any questions!

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Black Home Schooler

So, I have officially decided that I will be home schooling my African-American son this school year! Just a little background my son is 5 and will be     turning 6 in one week! He will be officially a 1st grader this coming fall! No, I didn’t pull him because he was a problem child or had behavior issues! No, he was not pulled for religious reasons! Although  there are some major concerns on a morality front! I pulled my child because the public and private fool system is a complete sham and joke! My son has always been pretty advance knowing all his alphabets by 1, all colors and shapes at 2 and reading small words at 3. Last spring I read Dr. Umar Johnson’s book “Psycho-Academic Holocaust:The Special Education &Adhd War against Black Boys”.  Also read Amos Wilson “Awakening the Natural Genius of Black Children”. Upon the conclusion of these books I knew I could not send my son to a public school .After searching all over Maryland and DC for independent black schools! I finally placed my child in a small private black school! I paid a nominal fee of $700 a month tuition ! The tuition payments were tough for my husband and I but we knew it was all worth it! Until one day towards the middle of the school year I noticed my son regressing with regards to his reading and so call “sight words “. Immediately had a meeting with all teachers and principal and was told he was fine and on grade level. The school told me he was actually reading , reading books . I let it go but monitored we continued to do homework together but many of the assignments were not challenging . Then it dawned on me, even though this was a so called black school, he was still being taught in a Eurocentric manner! So at the end of the year my son was right on grade level with reading and writing and advance in math. So you ask what’s the problem? The problem is he could have been so much further but the school never challenged him or pushed him further but just allowed him to be on grade level!!! Grade level in this country is very low, I strive to have my children at least two grades a head. It is also important to me that my son has pride and loves it blackness and greatness .  To be unashamed of being Afrikan!  I am the only one that can teach him as it starts with me! 
 I’m starting this blog to document our experience . There are little supports, where I live for black home schoolers so this will be my outlet! I just completed a book from a brother from the Kamali Academy . Excellent starting tool! I will attach a photo. Peace for Now!