Sunday, August 29, 2010

Unit Studies and Currclick

This is just a quick update. I am trying yet another approach. I am doing a relaxed version of unit studies. I asked both children what they wanted to do. Mari, wanted the continent of Africa and next we will study individual countries. David wanted dinosaurs and next we will study them by continent. I have also learned a lot so far. I have always been interested in Africa and all of it's countries, but I never thought I would find dinosaurs so interesting. This is keeping up relatively busy, especially since our stupid printer is broken. UGH! I'll let you all know how things go.
P.S. I am also helping Mari do a lapbook. YAY!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Morning Appointment

I had to leave a little early to take Mari to camp because I had to get gas. I took my own advice and did it with a good attitude although I didn't want to have to stop. As we pulled into the gas station Mari and I were talking and laughing when I saw a familiar face. He came walking up to the car with a warm smile and I remember the many times our paths had crossed. We'd even shared a meal once. Who was he? He was a homeless man that used to be on the corner of a very busy intersection in Charlotte. When did we share a meal? Well, here's the short version:

One Sunday morning I woke up thinking about what I wanted to eat from Bojangle's. I thought about it all through church service. After church I was finally able to get the food and my mouth was watering. I didn't even eat any fries out of the bag on the way home, because I wanted this to be perfect. Afterall, I'd been thinking about it all day. As I sat at the light, I heard God tell me to give this man my food. Of course this must be the devil speaking, because I really wanted this food. LOL Of course I gave it to him. As I drove away I looked in my rear view mirror to see him literally devouring the meal.

Anyway, this morning I greeted him as I did on numerous occasions. As usual he didn't seem to remember me and as usual it didn't matter. I'd already decided to do what I could which wasn't a lot, because I ain't balling this week either. This time, however, he asked for gas. He said that he and his fiance were riding around on "E". I said I would help. I paid for his gas and mine, luckily their car was small. When I returned to my truck he came over to thank me with a handshake. He told me that he was trying to do better and was looking for a job. I just smiled knowing that he didn't owe me any explanation for being in a rough spot. He talked about his fiance and how he had hit the jackpot by meeting her. I congratulated him with true happiness. He moved in to hug me and I must admit that I did have thoughts of lice and such being that I am a germaphobe and bugaphobe. I hugged him, because I've been in a similar situation as his and didn't want to be so arrogant as to forget what it's like. He has no teeth, wild hair, but somehow the happiest eyes.

I had a morning appointment and it was with an old friend whose name I do not know.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Seedlings and Randomness...

Pics of our seedlings. We (read "I") forgot to label them so we will have to wait until the mature to figure out what's what. LOL Anyway, here are the pics.

Here are a couple of random bonus pictures for your viewing pleasure...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Picture Updates

Planting seeds. The kids planted the first batch, but of course we forgot to take pictures in all the excitement. The first batch was veggies and herbs. The set above is flowers and herbs. I'm so excited. I hope they come up!

 Those big worms are the wrong worms. They are called nightcrawlers. The reason they may not work is because the dig tunnels that are so big that they may cause the dirt in a small bin like our to collapse and kill them. Then you are stuck with a stinky mess, not to mention the poor worms being buried alive. They are in our yard where we have the best soil anyway, making the contribution. We didn't waste our money on the wrong worms, we simply changed the fate of some very helpful creatures. :)

Okay, so here we they are with the correct worms. Red wigglers. They are small and, from what they lady at the Reedy Creek Nature Museum said, very veracious eaters. She had what used to be a bin of newspaper that had been converter into lovely aromatic worm poop--I mean castings. The worms and paper mites have a symbiotic relationship and it helps move the process along a lot faster apparently.

Sunshine looking like sunshine. Beautiful, natural, and free! Gotta love it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

African American Homeschool Mamas

I gotta tell ya, being a minority within a minority is really hard. Why? Only a person that is, or at least thinks they are, part of the majority would ask such a question. When it is "Black History Month", I want to go with other people that understand the looks of pity, that some people give when the tour guide mentions slavery. I want to be around people that share the same history and background as I do so that we can teach our children accurate history rather than the same 3 famous African Americans (Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Harriet Tubman) and slavery. I don't want you child hair molesting my child because my child's hair is the polar opposite of your child's hair. It is also hard to be a minority within a minority that is within yet another minority because I am what is considered to be a African American secular homeschooler. I have experienced firsthand that not all groups that say "all are welcome" mean it. I can't honestly say if it was my skin or that I didn't belong to the church that apparently they all belonged to, but I drove 30 minutes to a park day where the people wouldn't talk to me and their kids totally ignored my children. For the record, my children are very hard to ignore. All that to say, I found one homeschool Mama online in a group that lives here and I met another at a birthday party. Although my children attended school with the second Mama's children, we had never formally met. Anyhoo, apparently I needed to vent and express my joy in finding other Afrikan Mamas in the area. Now, I hope that we actually have something in common.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little update...

Sorry, I've been absent but I am actually been really busy. This homeschool thing is really going well. I am excited that I might actually be doing what works for us. What is that you ask? Depends on the day and what is going on around us. I have stopped stressing every little thing, but I also have not gone completely over to unschooling like I thought I would. My children at this point are not autodidactic enough for me to feel comfortable just turning them loose. I can say, however, that we all seem to be enjoying ourselves. What does our day look like? Well, here is the intention of the day, although it never really happens in the way it's written, but I just use it as a guide.

I try to do all this stuff in the morning when they are fresh. We tried doing work at night when the little ones are gone, but it didn't work out so we decided to do it throughout the day. I don't really care what order they do their work in as long as most of it gets done. If we have been working longer than expected we might decide not to do an assignment like we did today. I will also things off to take advantage of nice weather like today. Imho, vitamin D and fresh air are just as important as education in some regards. It's called balance.

  • Morning ritual-Sankofa Learning Academy Pledge, Virtues of Ma'at, Nguzo Saba
  • Swahili Cards
  • Mama Read
  • Assignments
  • Black History Cards
Playing Card Algebra
Swahili-Rosetta Stone
DSI word game
Spelling words

Math- 3 worksheets and 25 flash cards
Read- 3 books and 25 flash cards
Penmanship-3 sentences from flashcards
Days of the week and months of the year-English and Swahili

Some random pics, but here is a little explanation on some of them. I can't figure out how to add comments after the pictures have been posted. I learn that later I guess. Enjoy!

Playing in the mirror at the museum. Sunshine did a tattoo on my neck that I thought was really cute. The fireplace is ablaze with candles, because this is what we do for meditation. Spike's birthday treats, thanks to Grandma. Sunshine's new hair, the picture at the end is the same thing. The pics where there are a bunch of women in red (and me in the kitchen chopping) are from Sunshine's red party. She started her moon cycle and to celebrate we did a rite of passage. We received a Flat Stanley or in our case a Flat Isaiah, and Sunshine and Spike decided to make a Flat Family. Cool, right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Virtues of Ma'at

I found call and response that we use every morning at this site

The Virtues of MA'AT
(Call and Response at Morning Ritual)
Ma'at ("That which is straight.") was the systematized sacred-spiritual ideal of ancient Kemet. It was the underlying current that intricately connected all things including human behavior. It was the universal ethical principle of ancient Egyptian religion, denoting 'justice', 'order', and 'truth.' Ma'at was connected to the entire existence of the universe, and was not limited to ethics for human beings alone. Ma'at was the perfect order, toward which man should strive. It was, therefore, considered essential to live according to the principles of Ma'at so as not to disturb the very fabric of creation. Since the ancient Kemetic society believed that the universe was an ordered and rational place, Ma'at became the embodiment of the seven principles: Truth, Justice, Righteousness, Order, Balance, Harmony and Reciprocity. The whole of the Kemetic society hinged on the furtherance of these principles. At Woodlawn Community School, we believe that these principles are essential to the development of the whole child. It is for this reason, that we remind ourselves of these virtues at our daily morning rituals.

Teacher: The Virtue of TRUTH
Students: We believe in TRUTH!
We will always seek to know what is correct, and we will not lie or speak falsely of ourselves, our family, or our race.

Teacher: The Virtue of JUSTICE
Students: We believe in JUSTICE!
We will always be fair in what we do and we will not cheat ourselves, our family, or our Race.

Teacher: The Virtue of RIGHTEOUSNESS
Students: We believe in RIGHTEOUSNESS!
We will always be correct in what we do and we will not allow others to influence us to do wrong to ourselves, our family or our race.

Teacher: The Virtue of ORDER
Students: We believe in ORDER!
We will respect the Natural order of the universe and we will not separate ourselves from that which gives order to ourselves, our family or our race.

Teacher: The Virtue of BALANCE
Students: We believe in BALANCE!
We will strive to understand and respect the need to be complementary and we will not be in conflict with ourselves, our family or our race.

Teacher: The Virtue of HARMONY
Students: We believe in HARMONY!
We will always be in rhythm with what is good and we will never be in opposition to what is good for ourselves, our family, or our race.

Teacher: The Virtue of RECIPROCITY
Students: We believe in RECIPROCITY!
We will always strive to do the proper thing at the proper time and we will not bring shame to ourselves, our family, or our race.

Kwanzaa Year Round

The Nguzo Saba 
Umoja - Unity
To strive for a principled and harmonious togetherness in the family, community, nation, and the global African community.
Kujichagulia - Self-Determination
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves, instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others.
Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility
To build and maintain our community together and make our sisters' and brothers' problems our problems and solve them together.
Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics
To build our own businesses, control the economics of our own community and share in all its work and wealth.
Nia - Purpose
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba - Creativity
To do always as much as we can in the way we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than when we inherited it.
Imani - Faith
To believe with all our hearts in our Creator, our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Our Pledge

I just thought that I would share our pledge that we say in the morning. The reason that I wrote this is so that we can have a pledge the reflects who we are and what we believe and strive for culturally.

In reverence we dedicate our hearts, minds, and spirits humbly to the Creator. We pledge our undying love and allegiance to Mama Africa from whom all life sprang. We pay respect and acknowledge our ancestors, elders, our Babas and Mamas, our teachers, and sisters and brothers. We will always do good and help to others. We will honor our bodies as creations of the Most High, and feed them good things so we can be an asset to the rebuilding of our African community and not a liability. We will ask lots of questions and study the true history of time, both ancient and modern; to know ourselves and reawaken our minds. We are African watoto of the Diaspora and Maafa with our fists held high as a sign that we won’t stop until we reach the sky.

Baba- Father
Watoto- Children
Maafa-the African Holocaust
Holocaust- A mass slaughter of people
Mass-a large amount (in this case at least 100,000,000)
Diaspora-scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Titled: Untitled

I don't have anything to write about, because I wish it was spring. I hate the cold and I am ready for it to be warm outside and I am pouting about it. *arms folded, bottom lip protruding*