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Showing posts with label race and homechooling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label race and homechooling. Show all posts

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Racial Bias in Preschool

Is your preschooler being racially profiled?

How would you ever know?

It's not one of those things you can put a finger on, especially if you are not looking for it, but something usually nags at you that your kid might be getting a raw deal.  Pay attention, does your black kid get in a lot of trouble for things a kid their age normally does?  That might be a problem. If your kid is one of few in his class, chances are he IS getting a raw deal.

Bias Isn't Just A Police Problem, It's A Preschool Problem

New research from the Yale Child Study Center suggests that many preschool teachers look for disruptive behavior in much the same way: in just one place, waiting for it to appear.
The problem with this strategy (besides it being inefficient), is that, because of implicit bias, teachers are spending too much time watching black boys and expecting the worst.
I have become convinced that homeschooling is the answer for parents of black children who want to give their kids a fighting chance.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I've been quiet too long

This blog has been quiet too long. That's because I have struggled to maintain any modicum on decorum and composure on the subject matter that has been heave on my heart for the last couple of years, moreso the last six months. Therefore I have stuck to just personal life adventure and anecdotes.  

But. I . Just. Cannot.

One too many black people was shot this week.  Actually, one too many black person was shot a few years, ago, beginning with Trayvon Martin, but I have seriously hit a wall.  Here are some lines from my Facebook page to explain how I am feeling: 

I've been working real hard to find something positive to post today... And it was hard. Nothing but negativity, blatant racism, and dirty politics has graced my feed so far today. Then I found this beautiful video of our First Lady, making a speech to empower girls. I was so happy to find something shareable. Then I made the mistake of reading the comments. Why did someone choose to call her a man? Why? What is wrong with people lately?
 Attacks against black and brown people at an all time high since Trump.
Anyone woman who wears a sign that says "Trump That B*tch" is punching herself in the face.
I have been told that I was spoiling my kids by getting them new and late model cars with perks like OnStar. Humph. While there are some very good people, I'm not going to trust that a stalled car or etc will not be the end of them. I don't ever want them to have car trouble. I'm willing to pay for that.

I feel like we are dealing with ethnic cleansing in America. Does that seem like an over-reaction? This is typically how it starts... a few cases you can ignore. I feel like a victim of domestic terrorism.
People who know me know that I am not a racial type person. You can read my previous posts  on Being Black and Homeschooling to find out that I just want us all to get along... but.

I have come to the strong conclusion that black people just aren't safe, and it starts in the schools. Black children are conditioned to be angry, uncomfortable, and to feel unloved.  They are taught to be the class clowns and the trouble makers. By the time they are adults, they have a chip on their shoulders and an exception that people are going to consider them bad, so why not be bad.

I have a one word solution for this problem.


OK... two words.

To be continued....

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Blacks homeschooling due to racism?

Yesterday, I came across an article posted by HSLDA on Facebook. It was about the increase of black homeschoolers, and the reason mentioned for it was parents wanting to remove their children from racism.

The comments section was not pretty. People said things like:

 newsflash - at most public schools where the behavior of the students is unruly and out-of-control, teachers bark and yell. it has nothing to do with the color of the students!

So OK. I get it, we're supposed to ignore racism and micro aggressions and keep our kids in school, or say that we are homeschooling for some other reason... any other reason.

Well. what about this?

In the United States, two institutions guide teenagers on the journey to adulthood: college and prison. Sociologist Alice Goffman spent six years in a troubled Philadelphia neighborhood and saw first-hand how teenagers of African-American and Latino backgrounds are funneled down the path to prison — sometimes starting with relatively minor infractions. In an impassioned talk she asks, “Why are we offering only handcuffs and jail time?”

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Greetings from the Big Apple

I was in NYC last week, apartment hunting, as we are starting a bit of an adventure that I have been kind of talking about all year.  Hubby's job is out of NYC, but we are maintaining our Atlanta home for the meanwhile. Our kids are still in college and like to come home, plus this is hubby's dream home. In an ideal world we will pay off this home and retire to it.  In this unpredictable world, our NY adventure could be over in a couple of years, in which case we will settle back into our home full time... or, we may decide we LOVE NYC so much that we move entirely or just downsize to something much smaller here.

God is good.

Surely this process is scary and confusing, but we are able to do it without going broke.  Were not rich, but our needs and desires have been provided.

I made a youtube video for the first time in ages last week.  All the editing programs are different, and I have some learning to do... this video is rough.  And in two parts.  It is mostly about the incident that happened a couple weeks ago at a "homeschool-school" graduation, and how it also involves my family.

Part 1
Part 2

till next time.

Oh, by the way, I did find an apartment in NY.  It might be just a little bigger than my bedroom in the Atlanta area.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Do Black Children Do Better with Black Teachers

New research confirms that black students excel when they are taught by black teachers. Interestingly enough, three years ago, a different study contended that the race of children doesn't matter. The way I see it, each of these statements is true... and also false.

I have observed through personal relationships, and/or just plain observation that a child will be who you set in their mind they will be.  If you tell a child he is stupid, he will act stupid. If you say a child is bad at math, she will continue to be bad at math. Children are very open to suggestion. This is just part of the problem.

I also know, just from dealing with my own kids and observing others, that children will meet the bar you set, and no more. So if you place the bar low, the child will meet it and then coast from that point.  If you keep raising the bar, children will work to meet the bar. Eventually, if you keep raising the bar, they will learn to keep excelling on their own... if you keep lowering the bar to meet

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The lone homeschooler at the party

I really want to delete the last series of blogs I wrote.  Those of the types of things I don't want to deal with. I don't want to think it, and I certainly don't want to write it.  Let's see how long it stays live.  I read a comment yesterday where it was stated that when dealing with touchy subject like this, one person chooses to always opt out, saying "I'm not having THIS conversation".  It seems so wise.

But since I am discussing all of the hard stuff right now, I might as well discuss my the difficult phenomenon of being the lone homeschooler at the party.

I feel like a party game.

I don't know a better way to explain it.  I show up at a party.  There are niceties and introductions, and then the question is asked.... "where do (did) your kids go to school"?  I answer "they are (were)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

On Being Black and Homeschooling, Part 5

This is my final word on being black and homeschooling.  For the foreseeable future.

You can catch up here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

I just don't feel like I ever got to the meat of what I wanted to say.

In all my personal struggles through the loneliness and relative isolation I felt, I have to say that I am ecstatic with the results.

Sure bad things happened:

  • Tensions around the 2008 and 2012 elections as I live in a mostly white Southern Conservative Community, and am none of these things. 
  • A few individuals making my race an issue in what they felt were personal conversations... "you know, just chatting over differences, iron sharpening iron". 
  • Not always feeling included socially, and sometimes feeling like my kids were barely included.
  • People saying dumb stuff to me that barely hid certain biases.
Meanwhile, good things happened:

Saturday, February 08, 2014

On Being Black and Homeschooling Part 4

Everything about being black and homeschooling was hard.

From my early assessment on Being Black and Homeschooling, to my thoughts on looking back Here and Here, I can see now that I have been on a journey, that took a heads down and power though approach.

Don't get me wrong.  I liked homeschooling.  I really did. I don't regret it at all, and I know it was the best thing for my kids, but the journey felt lonely... it really did.  In the beginning, the only person I felt that really supported me family-wise was my husband... after all, it was originally his idea.  As for family and friends... I was told to spank my kids, and send them back to school. Others just called me crazy. And some said I was "a mess" for homeschooling... whatever that is supposed to mean.

Very fortunately, I had some support of a couple of fellow church members who homeschooled, and they gave me guidance for a while, but that did not last long.  First, I did not feel that I fit into the homeschool groups they brought me to, especially in the early days, and secondly, our

On Being Black and Homeschooling Part 3

Before you read this, I would like you to go back and read parts 1 and 2 of this series.  Part I, On Being Black and Homeschooling written in 2005, and Part 2 Being written directly before this piece.

Now continues part 3:

Over time, the conversations surrounding the 2008 election faded, and I came back to center, leaving behind the edge I felt for being singled out as a misfit black Democrat trying to homeschool my kids among people who were neither of these things.  I never fully felt completely in sync with my previous group of homeschoolers again, but felt comfortable enough to be me, and allow my kids to

On Being Black and Homeschooling Part 2

After 8 years and 3 months, I think it is finally time to revisit one of my most popular blog posts On Being Black and Homeschooling.  Looking back, I can see that I was a bit naive in some of my points such as I did not see the point or need to join a black homeschooling group, and at the same time I may have been too sensitive to whether or not my children and I were welcome in a homeschool community where WE WERE THE DIVERSITY.

But a funny thing happens when you turn 40... as I did 5 years ago... or at least in my case... you stop caring what people think of you.  You stop asking permission to move forward or to be included. You just do you... and so I did. This made the last 5 years of my homeschooling journey a little easier, as I just focussed on what was best for my kids, and did not let race or attitudes affect any of it.

It wasn't easy though.

As much as I wanted to just be a homeschooler first, and leave all ethnicity out of it, I was hit with a

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On being black and homeschooling.

If you didn't know my race previously, you do now. I am black. (african american, brown, non-white... whatever)

There has been a great stir in the news lately because the number of black homeschooling has suddenly increased. As a black person, homeschooling is not a decision to be made lightly.

"for the black community, teaching at home was frowned on because of the civil rights battle to get into public schools in the first place. Mike Smith with the Home School Legal Defense Association says the times are changing."

But just as those first pioneers forced thier way into public schools to get quality educations for thier children, many people like myself are now fleeing.

Why so late in the game? Easy... we didn't feel welcome, at first. Here's my personal story: I first looked into homeschooling when I lived in New Orleans. I called the local homeschool association and had a very pleasant conversation in length. Finally, I was invited to come to a homeschool meeting, and the place was set, but the woman did not know the date. However, she did ask for my description so she would know me when I arrived at the park. Unon giving my description, her tone seemed to change (now I could be paranoid, but....) and she told me she would call me back with the rest of the information... it never happened. (of course I will balance that by saying, she was one person, and I was living in a city where David Duke was currently running for senate, but that was my experience)

Fast forward a few years later and a few states over, and I explored homeschooling more agressively and had a homeschooling friend bring me to a meeting. While I was the only black person there, I received a warm reception but also had that weird feeling I get sometimes of feeling like a science experiment.

Me being the only one there, did not last long. Over the next two years, the number of black homeschoolers I bumped into went from 1% to about 15 percent. And everyone seems comfortable in thier own skin and with people who are in different skins.

The major difference between the struggle for African Americans to break into homeschooling vs integrated schools was the very subtle resistance in the beginning, but the joy in it is as homeschoolers teaching thier kids to be individuals, they were more easily able to accept individuals different from them. One person at a time, one new friend at a time, few *homeschooling black children that I know of, have ever been made to feel that they were different or not worthy because of the color of thier skin. (*one African American teen that I know of has felt excluded from social activities)

Now on the other hand, I do see many African Americans continue to isolate themselves from non-black homeschoolers. I have belonged to a couple of email groups, where whites have been called awful things and white parents of black children have been mistreated.

update: It has been 4 years since I wrote this and I have already seen a culture change where while there are African American homeschool groups, there is less of a culture issue, and the groups are generally loving and inclusive of all. This is probably due to the extreme growth of the black population in homeschooling including more people who are more friendly to other races.

I am very greatful to the homeschooling community for thier ease of acceptance of the black community into their ranks. I am even more thankful to homeschooling parents for keeping any negative race views they may have had to themselves and not passing them on to thier kids. ...

And I call on African American homeschooler to be less exclusive and separate from homeschoolers as a whole. Because I have a dream that one day, at a crowded homeschooling activity, no black mother will make a rushed bee-line for me with a relieved and grateful look to find another "one of us" there. But that they will walk by and say "hi" just like everyone else.