Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Willow Smith

She's homeschooled, she's an entertainer, she's been all over the world and country, and she's behind on her math. as per her self-report. There are bunch of parents voicing their pissiness about it, and I wonder if they have thought it all through. Willow probably knows more than the average 15 year old, and that is because she's been exposed to so much more than the average 15 year old in her 10 years on this Earth. When it's time to take the SAT, if she even bothers to take the SAT, she will probably do better than most because studies show that kids who are exposed to more do better. There is no evidence that math drills or knowing how to factor at age 10 has any impact on your future. Let's face it, both her parents skipped college, although they are very very intelligent, and are living a life many of us will only dream of. They are teaching her about how to build an empire, by taking her to fashion shows to learn fashion. They are teaching her how to present herself to the world in humble, confident, and gracious manner. Most 10 years I know aren't nearly as poised as she is.

As I walk this homeschooling journey, with my 9 year old, I find myself truly relating to Willow's parents. My nine-year old is into fashion, and she's a heck of a designer (her parents are too). She helped me design the two earrings pictured. This semester we did photography, and she is very skilled. She took the images in this post. She is also a heck of a model, actress, and she has a head for business.

I teach her the basics of education, and allow her to read, read, read, but I find that I am tasked with a much higher calling for her education. Like Willow, she is ready for her apprenticeship in design, fashion, modeling, and and life. I keep those lessons at the top of what she needs to learn, while skillfully striking a balance in math, science, history, etc. Teaching her has been a teachable moment for me. I can't be afraid to use videos, museum classes, computer projects, youtube, music, conversation, and sometimes I have to allow her to supervise me in order for her to reach the heights of where she is to go. When she brought up middle school the other day, I had explain to her that I believe that she is too big for school. She is an Eagle and school sometimes teaches us to be pigeons. She understood and agreed that middle might be a phase that she wants to skip.

What do you think? Do you have a child that doesn't fit the mold? Tell me about your creativity in education? Is being conventional best? Can a creative education get us to college? Is college important? Does exposure count as education? Tell me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


As I mentioned in a frustrated state a few posts ago, I am back to homeschooling. Public lasted about 5 weeks. I had several complaints, but what really tore it was my daughter being attacked on the school bus. We took all the paths that they suggest for bullying, but in the end the school was detached, helpless, and powerless to do anything. So of course, we as parents girded ourselves and got back in the homeschooling game.

So far it's been just as I had originally planned it. I want this year to be one filled with expression for my 9 year old. She also has some lessons to learn in decision making, character, and behavior.

I weave expression, decision-making, choices, life-lessons, and character building into most lessons.

Yesterday we practiced making spheres and working with perspectives. We talked about the perspectives of others and how opinions are shared.

Here's our art work and her writings about it.

Spheres : what we did.
Our spheres represent perspectives. When we first started we wanted to draw exactly like the example, but daddy’s says “we had a darker paper than the example.” Later on mommy’s perspective was to have “one light section and one dark side and one in between side.”
After we finish our first sphere my perspective was that “it looked like a tuna can.” So we worked a little harder, blended it in, played with the shadow, and soon it was looking wonderful. Before we knew it we were done.

The spheres we made were based on perspectives. Perspective are light and dark, the blends, and the colors. Basically all of our perspective put
together are what made these spheres. It’s mommy’s perspective daddy’s my perspective all of our perspectives put together to make these spheres. When you put perspectives together it
works out perfectly.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In a moment of silence

My nine-year old and I have been studying Saul Williams. She's an amazing poet. She wrote the one below after reading one of Saul's pieces.

In a moment of silence

You talk in a moment of silence
think when it is time to talk
you stop and stare when it time to move
i look at you as you look at me as i work and
we think what is he thinking?
what is she thinking? ~ Masai Brimm

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not a Blame-storm or a Shame-storm, but we’ve Got Some Work Ahead

Today I promised to be a part of the No Wedding No Womb movement. On this anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, a bunch of bloggers committed to talking about the staggering statistics in the African American community where 70% of children living within a one-parent home. Below is the post I did for Love's Gumbo.com. I welcome your discussion.


This is very hard for us to talk about. It’s so hard that we have made a tough heart-wrenching situation into one to be celebrated. We wave a banner, we shout it from the mountain tops, we sing little ditties about it, and we high five each other on Father’s Day. Single-motherhood is a hard and heavy crown to wear. However, the numbers in the African American community are just growing and growing. 72% of our children have unwedded parents. That’s just devastating.

Not devastating because of the Religious or moral values that are being violated, but more importantly because most of the serious issues in our community can be tied to the fact that our families are not together. Young men are killing young men because they aren’t being looked after and supported. As JadaKiss says ” They moms at work, they pops is gone and they livin’ with iron.” Though their mother’s try very hard, they can’t be two places at one time. They have to work to keep the lights on, and the streets offer fatherhood to these young men when their biological fathers will not or cannot.

Young women don’t know how to choose the right man to love and to make a family with because they haven’t seen a loving married couple to model. Our children are not doing well in school because there is only one parent at home, and she is so drained from overworking that checking homework takes a back seat. Our children are obese because they have been eating fried chicken and pizza after school instead of vegetables and lean meats. Why? Because momma is too tired to cook a nutritious meal at the end of the night, so many nights she finds what’s quick and cheap to feed her babies. Even if she does find the strength and time to cook, the food still may not be nutritious because it may have to be cheap and cheap food is many times bad for us.

We are dying because we are killing ourselves through violence, by becoming obese, and because we aren’t educated. I haven’t even gotten into prison and AIDS, and I won’t. Not in this article. As much as we’d like to dispute that these facts are related to single-motherhood the statistics will prove us wrong every time.

This is not a blame-storm. This is a discussion. A discussion that must be had. If you are a single-parent, don’t feel as though it’s all over and your child will be a victim. You can provide what they need with the help of God and your community. It can be done! It has been done over and over again, and it takes a lot of work. If you want to stay single and raise your child, not to worry. Just know that the job is not easy. Be sure to express to your child how hard this road is, and the importance of walking a different one for the survival of our people.

If you are a single parent and you want to raise your child within a happy married union, it’s not too late. You can still find a loving, respectful, responsible man to be your husband and a father to your child. However, you must learn how to be the best you can be, learn to choose well, and you must learn to work really hard within your love life once you find the right man.

Love’s Gumbo is a resource for you. The whole purpose of this website is to empower women who want to be in and stay in a loving relationship. Children beginning life within the surrounds of a loving relationship is a very important thing. If we don’t acknowledge that children being born into a loving and respectful marriage is the highest goal, then we will never be able to address our many issues. Of course, if after all the work has been done and it still doesn’t work out. Co-parenting is the next best option, and family blending is a viable and thriving option too! We must all stay committed to providing an environment where a child knows that both parents know & love them dearly and would do anything for their survival and success.

We are here to help change the world for our children and ourselves. Join the movement!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I had to yell UNCLE! It was around August 21st when I realized that I hadn't had my Summer break from parenting. See I usually get about a month off. I send my girls to Grandma's. Me and husband enjoy each other for a month. We eat what we want. Say what we want. Do what we want. The house stays clean. We know who broke what. It's usually a wonderful respite. Well, this year things changed a bit. First we have a new baby, so if we sent the girls away, we weren't getting a respite. Second we had a Family Reunion trip, and so we ended up seeing grandma and skipped the Kid's visit. Third we moved to a new state and spent a pretty penny doing it, so there were no real funds for the girls vacay, plus the family vacay. In addition, we didn't do Summer camp AT ALL this Summer.

Before I knew it school time was upon, and I wasn't ready for it. I realized that I was totally fried when I had a meltdown over the girls using up the evaporated milk making waffles. I made the decision right then and there that Not just one, but both girls would be going back to school. I scrambled the paperwork together, and got my nine-year old signed up.

So far, so good!. I made the right decision. The girls love school. They are at the top of their classes, and they feel that homeschool prepared them for where they are right now. Of course, I reserve the right to begin homeschooling again, if I need to. However, it looks like this new school system is a great fit for our family.

I will post interesting stuff I find about homeschooling because I am a big time supporter. I will probably post family happenings too! However, for now we are officially Magnet schools kids and parents!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Vacation

We attended our family reunion this Summer in Atlantic City, NJ, so we decided to make it a trip about touring the Northeast. The girls actually go to Atlantic City every summer to stay with my mom, but this year we all went. We visited, Philadelphia, PA, New Haven CT, New York City, Wildwood, NJ, and the girls went to Allentown, PA. It was quite an awesome time.

We shopped in NYC. We paid tolls, tolls, tolls, and more tolls. Please have your cash ready if you plan on driving up there.

We visited Yale! The big girl wants to go there in 4 years, so we went and did the tour to get her mind activated and to get the guided imagery started.

We Found an African American on the wall at Yale.

Yale's campus is beautiful!

Baby's first Plane Ride!

Awesome Vegetarian Restaurant in Chinatown, Philly. The food was awesome, so we ate there twice!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Test Scores are Back!!!

I'll have to admit that test return day is always a great day at my house. I have my struggles as a parent. I sometimes feel like I am not making any headway with the girls. Sometimes it feels like a thankless job, but when tests scores come in the mail I feel on top of the world. I usually feel like I am superwoman, and I have conquered Lexi Luther:)

Anyway, younger sweetie scored well enough on Science (95th percentile) to make it into Duke's Talent Identification Program!!!! I have to say that I am breathing a sigh of relief because if she didn't make it into that program like her older sister, we were gonna have to deal with a sad 9 year-old. No matter how we steer her otherwise, she insists on competing with her older sister. She worked hard to skip a grade like older sister, but since then she has been slack. She loves her projects, poetry, art, and music, but pretty much everything else has been ho-hum. Overall she was at 75th percentile, which is pretty darn good. In her true "just under the wire fashion" she will be able to keep her "gifted" status because of her Science score, so she is more than satisfied that she is still in the league with older sis. BTW - I am not complaining at all. My younger daughter is a phenomenal poet, actress, pianist, and Biblicist.

Older sweetie, who starts high school in the Fall, has done extraordinary in the testing department as usual. She is academia's dream student. Not more gifted than younger sweetie, but a high scorer in the way that schools want you to be. She scored a total 95th percentile, and above 90th percentile on 7 tests or subtests. What more can I say. She's a great tester. We have to work on her drive though because she wants to go to Yale. I need her to take things a little more seriously. You might think that because her scores are what they are that she is taking things pretty seriously, but that's not the case. She is naturally gifted in the 3Rs, but she refuses to be organized, focused and to give it her all. She wins at most everything, so when she loses due to lack of preparation, she freaks out !!! Big time. It's sad to see.

So I'll continue to do the happy dance over because my baby girls did well on National Standardized Testing. By the way we took the California Achievement Test. Now it's time to plan for next year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I love this time of year because I have some wonderful men who love me in my life. I usually replay in my mind all the special moments spent with my father, uncles, grandfathers, step-father, brothers and husband. Although many of them have had some serious short-comings that other women who have passed them in life would love to list, I am so very appreciative of how they have loved me.

Every since I can remember my father has always treated me as a sweet treasure. He’s always listened to me and laughed with me, and for much of my life he was the only one who told me he loved me. Although my mother would say he wasn’t a stellar partner and she could rehearse some pretty horrible love experiences with him, I am very thankful to her for allowing and encouraging a relationship between the two of us after they split. Until today my father and I talk and laugh have a ball on the phone because we live many miles apart. I haven’t seen his face in about two years, but I will see him again in July.

My step-father was also a huge blessing in my life. When he married my mother there were 4 of us children living at home. I was eight years old. He never disciplined us. He left up to my mother. He would quietly acknowledge that he knew we were doing wrong, but never offered a judgement one way or another. He has influenced my political views and my worldview, and I chose a husband a lot like him. He was hard-working, loving toward my mother, respectful toward us kids, and very intelligent. He and my mother split once all of us kids were out of the house, so I don’t talk to him much. Although, I have a lot of respect for him. One year I found his number and called him to say Happy Birthday after about 15 years of not speaking to him at all. I think it really floored him.

My Uncles have always been Wonderful to me everyday of my life. They have always guided me and protected me, and I am thankful.

Finally, the man I married is a culmination of all the best that I’ve known in the men around me. He shares many of their characteristics and most of all he loves me and my children dearly. I can’t think of a better example of a Father.

Thanks Haki for being a wonderful father. Happy Father’s Day!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beach Days

We moved to Florida to start our new life. We've been unpacking and trying to get the house in order. The first day we got here the girls set first things first and got a new library card. They love the library here because there is a new treasure trove of different books. We went to the thrift store to pick up some throw rugs and scored a mid-century buffet for the dining room.

The oldest daughter found some Manga Magazines, so we are loving life right now.

We take evening dips in the Gulf of Mexico. I love the beach after 6 or 7 pm at night. We watch the sunset while we swim in the water. Pretty awesome. Little baby is pretty crafty about eating sand. We really have to watch him. He loves, loves, loves sand.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Finished Testing & School is out

School was scheduled to end June 4th, but since we skipped a Spring break we are calling it quits a bit early. We tested for two days on Monday and Tuesday. We used a meeting room in the library since our house is filled with boxes. We are moving to Florida in about two days. We pick up the truck tomorrow and drive off on Friday! We are super excited and with any luck we will be on the beach on Sunday.

This year was filled with many activities and a plethora of learning experiences. I can't believe it's over. I really don't want it to end. We have voted to continue throughout the Summer. We'll do mostly projects and read some Shakespeare. Nothing too heavy. We will start a book series too as a family. We have finished the Harry Potter Series and I am going through major withdrawal. We listen to it on CD. Anyone have any suggestions on what we should read next? I am thinking the Percy Jackson Series.

My eighth grader is finishing middle school this year, so we really want to send her to a performing arts camp at Georgetown University as a graduation gift. The camp is really expensive. We are spending a lot to move, plus we have a family reunion to attend this summer, so we are using our faith to provide what she needs to go.

Baby girl went to Stone Mountain Park to for a Girl Scouts Camping trip. I can tell she had an absolute blast because every so often she just blurts out how this thing or that thing at Stone Mountain was great, and that she wants to visit there again when we visit Atlanta.

I went on a mommy retreat with another homeschooling mommy and a public schooling mommy. We went to Jeju Korean Spa. It was pure heaven. The place is filled with saunas, whirlpools, and cool pools, jeweled relaxation rooms and just a wonderful environment for relaxing. I really noticed that my face tightened up a bit. I didn't get special facial or anything. I just paid the $25.00 and got the normal sauna and pool spa time. You can stay all day if you want to, but since I'm nursing I had to come home after a few hours.

I guess that's it. Oh I joined a Facebook group called the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. I love it because it provides so much helpful info.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Field Trip to A Special Place

We've been a member of a Yahoo Group called The Cabin Path. I would receive updates from the group about homeschool visits. Since we are leaving Atlanta, I put going there on my list of things to do. We went on Earth day, and it was amazing! This place is less than 5 miles from my house and it is 52 acres of nature's goodness. The owner, Sara was extremely welcoming, and she hosts homeschoolers every Thursday. She hosts several other groups as well. The Cabin Path Has a lake, horses, tadpoles, a labyrinth, many many trails, an ancient American Indian Mound, and many native trees, shrubs and plants of Georgia. It is a lovely place, and I truly hope to go back there every week until we leave.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I get Frustrated at the End of the Year

It's a good thing I have this blog or else I would think we have accomplished nothing all year. I am burned out. Sigh...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Owl Barn, The FCAT, The Presidents

I love, love, love homeschooling!!!! I hate to admit it, but it's sorta of a selfish endeavor for me. Educating my children, plus taking the time to learn new things for myself is exhilarating.

My daughters did a Presidents project that took longer than I expected. However, it was a great learning tool and experience. Once they turned the project in to me, I facilitated a discuss about every interesting fact in the Presentation. We pulled out the globe and looked at the Philippines and how it was from America. Why because of a treaty between the U.S. and Spain over the ownership of the small South Pacific country. We talked about how long the slavery issue in America droned on, and how many Presidents had to consider it before Lincoln actual ended it.

We talked about Bill Clinton's impeachment, the 4 assassinations of our Presidents, the continental congress, and just a bunch of American history. It was an interesting conversation.

Homeschooling allows for some deep and meaningful educational conversations. The kids are genuinely excited to learn new things. That's why I am a little sad to send my 13 year old back to school next year. I am super proud that she got accepted into a performing arts high school, but I am sad that I won't be her teacher anymore. Well, not primarily.

In other news, We have become totally enthralled with the Owl Barn. It's a live streaming of an owl who moved into an owl box after two years of it being built. She's about to hatch 5 eggs and she has a partner too. She has no idea we are watching. Wouldn't it be strange if people from another planet were watching everything we did with such interest.

Anyway, there's my update. I'll post again real soon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Homeschool Student, 13 years old Now at Morehouse College

Check out this child prodigy. Regular school didn't recognize him as being gifted and now he is just 13 and a student in college!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gotta Hit the Books Hard

Lately we have had a bunch of special things to come up, and they have moved our school schedule around. First, it was the new baby. Then a couple visits from my mother, then studying for the spelling bee, which btw oldest loss at the next level due to nerves. Next it was a couple of trips to Florida to prepare oldest for entry into Performing Arts high School, mingled in were a few trips to the Zoo homeschool academy and lastly the girls went to Shakespeare Camp for Homeschoolers last week. They have learned a lot about the Bard of Avon, Marsupials, Camouflage, Greek words, etymology, but sadly book knowledge in Spanish, Science, American History, and parts of speech has taken a back seat. Now it's time to hit the books hard again.

March is approaching and I've been getting emails about National Testing dates. All of the sudden I am like Yikes!!! Did they get enough book learning to be able to make the scores on their national testing. Does knowing what words Shakespeare created contribute to doing well on the Iowa Basic Skills Testing? How will learning about extreme adaptation translate into knowledge expressed through those blackened circles? Well, I don't know. However, we will be hitting the books until testing time, and maybe longer so long as we get through the work.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scripps Spelling Bee and Other News

My Eighth Grader won the Local Homeschool Scripps Spelling Bee!!!!!! Yea!!!!! Now we're on the Homeschool Spell-off in two weeks. It was a nail biter, she went to war with very smart 10-year old. I knew she would win, but I didn't know it would be that hard. Before going in, I thought my sweetie could spell anything that came her way. I was wrong. Now we are practicing Greek, Latin, Arabic, Scientific terms, etc. to win the next round.

This spelling bee is great because we are going over spellings and meanings, so she (and the rest of us) are learning a lot along the way. Like we discovered this guy, a Fennec Fox from Africa.

In other news, my little artist (4th grader) is doing a wonderful President presentation in keynote (mac's version of PowerPoint). She is actually computer designing an American Flag. Did I mention that my husband is a Graphic Designer, so she's got it honest. She also loves to listen to stories on CD. I am learning to go with the flow with her. I read somewhere and not sure where, that I needed to get the book Discover Your Child's Learning Style. I ordered it on ebay right away, and it has helped me immensely. I have changed my teaching tools and style when it pertains to her. I am seeing a difference already. It really really helps to know how your child learns.