🗣Alexa, homeschool my children.

For real, Alexa. The system is broken. No, I take that back. The “system” is working just as they intended it to, but it’s breaking OUR youth! This is no secret and sadly many of us learn to just tolerate it.

Alexa, may not be able to homeschool your babies, but you can. Part- time, full time, summertime…you’ve got options! But where do you begin?

It took 4 years of us eye-rolling our way through the racist classical private school for me to realize my options. We didn’t leave immediately and I didn’t have a clue where to begin!

I was making a historic decision to become a first generation homeschool mom and therefore had zero examples of what that looked like. So, I spent 10 months googling, discussing with my husband and sons, meeting with moms, joining online Facebook groups and finding mentors around the globe until I felt confident enough to take the leap. 

So what if I told you I found an incredible guide that would save you months of googling and could give you the confidence you need to embark upon your home education journey? 

‘The Makings of The Little  Indigo House’ by Kiara Diggs is the guide every parent needs whether homeschooling or not. As a Black woman, and her children’s primary caregiver, Kiara crushes the myth that homeschooling is White and only works in 2-parent households. What I love most is that each chapter is only about four pages long, begins with a powerful quote and ends with a lesson summary. 

In the first 7 chapters,  Kiara lays the foundation of what is absolutely needed to begin the homeschooling journey. (Saves you at least 4 hours on google.) The next 7 chapters she’s pretty much like “Sis, unclench your jaw relax your shoulders and breathe.” And, you do it. She’s 10 years in the game, and she thinks of every little detail so you don’t have to! #trustkiara

From chapter 15 on,  Kiara shares ways we can support our children’s educational, social and emotional journey. With beautiful quotes, true stories and years of experience  (both in and out the system) she affirms and informs parents in every stage. And while this book is about creating a great homeschool, these tips can help you become an even greater parent! 

In the final three chapters, Kiara wraps it up by empowering us and reminding us that we’re not alone on this journey, that it’s revolutionary act and it is worth it! 

It was affirming to read how similar our homeschooling styles were. And, it was humbling to read chapters that reminded me of areas where I could  improve. Reminders to be a “kid again,”  “check with yourself”, and to “use your 50,000 coaches” are reasons I’ve declared this my homeschool bible! 

All 2020 and beyond, I will continuously reflect on these 33 lessons in order to experience a successful, joyful, journey as mom/educator. 

Thinking about taking the leap? Never considered homeschooling in a million years like me? Follow @black_world_schoolers to win and enter to win an autographed copy!
Be sure to let me know your thoughts after reading my new favorite and very 1st read of the new year. ‘The Makings of The Little Indigo House; 33 Lessons I’ve Learned As A Homeschooling Mama.’ by Kiara Diggs.
IG: @the_littleindigohouse

Peace & Love,

Natalie Pipkin
#blackworldschoolers🌍
IG: @black_world_schoolers

Around the World and Black Again

Who am I and where is my place in this world? Questions that cross the minds of young people across the African Diaspora as they sit and endure another history lesson that intentionally excludes them.

I strongly believe that dismissing African World history in and out of the classroom disconnects children of African descent from themselves and from each other. We’ve been here, we’re still here, and we are still being erased from textbooks and timelines in order to diminish our humanity, uplift the myth of white supremacy and support the lie of black inferiority.

I knew when we became Black Worldschoolers™ that studying history in a disconnected, inauthentic, linear timeline was not an option. We are a global people with a unique history and great influence.

When I found Afri-Chart products I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was confirmation that our needs and concerns are valid and that everything we truly desire for this new educational journey will be provided. Afri-Chart is an integrated diagram that outlines the African origins of civilization relative to world history. After more research I also learned that the chart was created in my city, Indianapolis, just minutes from our home! Now that really blew me away.

In a world that bombards our children by the second with stereotypes, statistics, and lies about who they are, this chart is imperative. In a country that shouts equality, equity and inclusivity, yet hides our history, this chart is necessary. We try our best to purchase educational materials that support and reflect our desire for deep, meaningful, global learning. We enjoy feasting on lessons until we’re full, and this chart is enough to feast on for a lifetime.

All references are included, as well as instructions on how read the chart.

Turner Fair, the founder of Afri-Chart was a brilliant Chemist, lecturer and bibliophile. It was heartbreaking to learn that he passed away in 1992 at the young age of 53, however I have had the honor and privilege of spending great quality time with his wife Paulette Fair. She grabbed my hands, and smiled with a deep love and passion while sharing all about her husband who was known to read 2 to 3 books a week. Turner had custom book shelves in every nook and cranny of their home to support his love for reading. She also shared how he created the colorfully detailed chart using his brilliant photographic memory and an IBM Intel 8088.

There are a limited amount of prints available of both the World history and American history charts, so I am beyond grateful for Paulette for entrusting me with a few prints to share and sell at the Liberated Minds Expo in Atlanta, GA Saturday July 20th. I believe this integrated, African centered, world history chart is an invaluable, vintage masterpiece that belongs on the walls in every school and home. I hope you have the opportunity to stop by our booth and purchase your very own to cherish for years to come.

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Kwanzaa Celebration Crash Course!

What is Kwanzaa? Who can celebrate it? Is it a religious holiday?Those are all questions WE ARE NOT answering in this blog today.😜 All of those questions and answers can be found on the official Kwanzaa website at the end of this blog.

Ok…real quick I will say that it is a cultural holiday, and it does not replace religious holidays.

In this blog you’ll learn how WE celebrate, along with important tips, helpful steps, and fun pics to inspire you.❤🖤💚

We created the steps below & usually follow them for of our nightly Kwanzaa celebration. Just add drumming. LOTS of drumming.🖤

We always start off asking “habari gani?”, which is swahili for “What’s the news?” The response is the principle for that day. We discuss the principle, do a fun activity, learn about someone in history who reflects that principle, read or act out a folktale, libation ceremony for our ancestors, ending each night saying HARAMBEE (pull together) 7 times. I told you it was a crash course!💯✌🏾

The following IMPORTANT information is from the founder, Maulana Karenga’s official Kwanzaa website. These tips will help you honor the holiday and celebrate successfully.

Always light the unity candle (Black candle) first.

…then alternate (red, green, red…each night) Inward outward, inward, doesn’t matter.🤷🏾‍♀️ Each night we light the candles and say the principles from the previous nights.

Again, from the official Kwanzaa site emphasizing the importance of using your creativity (Kuumba) while still honoring the purpose, meaning & principles of Kwanzaa.

We didn’t always have real candles or an official kinara, but we still celebrated! Look in your area for local celebrations or join together with family and friends.

Don’t forget the gifts (Zawadi) to give at the feast on the 7th day! Books, puzzles & handmade crafts are appropriate and appreciated. Speaking of gifts, we’re teaming up with Cali Chulo Clothing Co. for a special giveaway next week! Follow @black_world_schoolers on Instagram so you won’t miss a thing. #blackworldschoolers🌍

Please visit the official Kwanzaa website to learn more!⤵️ Follow @black_world_schoolers on Instagram!

http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/faq.shtml#11

Happy Kwanzaa!

❤🖤💚

Wide Awake

“Does slavery still exist?” -Nathan

The unexpected question I received from our 6 year old as we were exploring North Africa. “Yes… baby it does and it’s happening right here!,” pointing to the area on the map we were studying.

Their faces… The shock, disgust, sadness, and my heart in a thousand pieces.

Them: How do we stop it?

Me: I don’t know what we can do to stop it baby. Start with researching, learning more about what’s really going on. Don’t ignore it, don’t let people forget it, and shed light as much light on the issue as you can.

From there we’ve been able to discuss colorism, racism, and antiblackness, stereotypes and so on. Not all at once, just as much as they want to whenever they want to. They care so deeply about the issues of the world.

They were so irritated by the nonchalant way Native American history, slavery, and civil rights was discussed at their previous school. My oldest would come home saying “They talk about our history like they don’t even care. Sometimes the children laugh. I hate it.”

Now they are able to have conversations with someone who cares and gives them time, space to feel. If schools aren’t teaching history with truth and passion it’s pointless. And, if they continully ignore current issues our children are doomed. Doomed to a typical, heartless, individualistic western mentality that got us in this mess.

These conversations don’t come in a pre-packaged curriculum. They come randomly with each new day, each new experience, and we all agree it’s one of the best parts of our home education journey.

There are so many lessons to grasp from these tough conversations. One takeaway, NEVER be afraid or ashamed to love yourself outloud in a world that puts so much effort into hating you and tries to teach you to hate yourself. Also, anti-blackness is global, and white supremacy just isn’t for white people.

Poem⬇️⬇️⬇️

People of Color by Natalie Pipkin

Simple solidarity
Having a shared enemy
Coming together conveniently
While ignoring issues currently & historically.

“Do the work” isn’t a just phrase to say to white women.
It’s for every NON-BLACK POC with an ounce of anti-blackness in ’em.

Whose got a racial slur resting on their toungue in their native language
Who sees black bodies drop and feels not a bit of anguish.

Check your momma & your grandma
Shake your family tree
And don’t forget , “do the work” internally.

Follow @black_world_schoolers on Instagram! #blackworldschoolers🌍

No part of this blog may be reproduced in any manner without permission in writing from the author.

To Be Honest…

Homeschool has been EXCITING, LIBERATING, life giving and at moments CHALLENGING. Reversing my oldest child’s occasional cant’s to can’s makes me teary-eyed. When he shares the negative words that have hurt him during his time at school anger and regret overcome me. He was an honor roll student, perfect to a fault, a teacher’s dream. You know what though, recieving honor roll doesn’t matter if they steal your confidence. A piece of paper means nothing if you aren’t whole.

Who we allow to stand before children, who has their ear can change their mind and shake their confidence. Plus the images he saw on a regular basis. His black peers flooding the halls & missing the lesson for minor issues like not raising their hand before answering. The words, the treatment, the disgust teachers showed when parents weren’t around. He saw it all. He spoke up too.

Then there’s my doing. The many years I felt I had to “break” him just to be sure he wouldn’t break their rules. Just so he could fit into their world 8 hours a day. He knew he could release at home and be himself, but in the morning he had to recall one of the many speeches I’d given about “what you dont do around white folks”, and how one mistake can stick with you for all your years in school. Basically “you’re a black boy, and you don’t get to mess up outside this house!” He listened. Every single day for 4 years . He never gave me a reason to believe he wasn’t at his best at school already, but I had to MAKE SURE he didn’t get labeled. Anomalies. That’s what my sons were believed to be. You know what though, that’s still a label. That too is racism.

I saw him gasping for air this last year. Perfection is too heavy of a weight to carry. The youngest only spent Kindergarten in the school so he didn’t have the same load. Even in his near perfection the school didn’t listen to his thoughts or concerns, he wasn’t allowed to express his feelings, his hurt was minimized, and his concerns were diminished or ignored as if they weren’t real. So he saved his tears, his questions, his rage for home.

Listen. All the prepping and breaking black mothers do to prepare our children from white spaces will not protect them from stereotypes, labels, racism. They will still have to prove with each encounter, and every inch they grow that they are one of the “good ones” Their pefection, obedience, and emmaculate emotional maturity may allow them to assimilate, but it won’t set them free.

Bringing them home allows me the time and space to admire my children as the beautiful, loving, compassionate, justice seekers they already are instead of fussing out of fear what they “better not be.”

They love God, themselves, their family, and their history. I don’t have to break them or prep them just for white supremacy to finish them off. I will just let them be the amazing individuals God created them to be. The world will have to adjust.

Peace & Love,

Black Worldschoolers™️

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Stereotypes and Circle Time: Overt Racism in Primary School

Image from Jim Crow Museum

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can get me killed. Specifically words and images that headline news papers, flash across tv screens, and show up in educational resources in the classroom.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner. However, racist stereotypes made Eric a target to begin with.

Systemic racism effects what we are taught, how we are taught, and who teaches.Do your educational tools double as tools of oppression?

Racist Phonics Placemat

4 years ago I purchased this phonics place mat for my oldest who was 5 at the time. We got home and began going through the blends until we reached the word THUG accompanied by the image below.

“THUG” on primary school learning tool!

The caricature scared him. I internalized my fury, gave a quick explanation and tucked it away. A few months ago I brought it out again for my youngest forgetting ALL ABOUT the negative imagery. Nathan, (5 and ready for phonics) saw the image said “Why do they make everyone who is black bad.” Mind you he just called out a local daycare mural we passed that had a brown boy with an angry face.

Words hurt and stereotypes kill. Today as I reflect on the tragic, senseless death of Eric Garner, I wonder how many educators have taught the subtle message over and over, year after year, that “black equals bad”

I wonder how many of you believe #thug is an appropriate vocabulary term for a primary student.

I am sick at the thought of how many homes, stores, and schools carry this violent placemat.

Many of you are stuck wondering, “How can I dismantle systemic racism?” Today you can do it one placemat at a time.

Please contact Painless Learning Placemats who creates this resource.

http://www.painlesslearning.com

Also contact Amazon, United Art & Education, and any other known distributors until they are ALL removed!

I’m saving and dating my placemat as an artifact of the times. 2018 and the “black brute” stereotype still lives. We have work to do.

To learn more about racial stereotypes over the years please visit the Jim Crow Museum link below.

https://ferris.edu/jimcrow/mammies/#

Peace & Love,
Black Worldschoolers™️
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Lies The Author Told You

Look. I wanted to love this book. In fact I didn’t even finish it before I began raving about it. However, pages 181 and 302 are a problem! While the title of the book and hype around the author declare him a truth teller, there are still lies within the pages.

The author’s suppressed, undealt with #whitesupremacy reared it’s ugly head on page 181. This is where James Loewen wants to persuade readers that Lincoln was “a good guy who loved black people” and that black nationalist are purposely leaving out the last line of Lincoln’s 1862 letter to Horace Greenly ruin Lincoln’s legacy.

Well, while we were visiting the Lincoln Memorial in April we saw this…

(Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley August 22, 1862)

…in the museum underneath the Lincoln Memorial

Even the NATION’S CAPITAL left out the last sentence! Maybe because it doesn’t matter. He said what he said and one more sentence doesn’t change a thing. In fact the History Channel has WAY BETTER facts! Link below⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.history.com/news/5-things-you-may-not-know-about-lincoln-slavery-and-emancipation

⬆️⬆️⬆️

Then there is p. 302 where he disses Afrocentricity and NEVER defines it.

This is a gross prejudicial assumption that seeks to define & demonize African intellectual history. The author was comfortable sharing quotes from those who denounce Afrocentricity, but failed to seek a true definition from African scholars who have spent decades researching, teaching and even starting PHD programs in the growing field.

Afrocentricity, Africology, African American Studies, etc. all seek to tell the WHOLE STORY; Centering the marginalized and sharing the truth, beauty, wisdom, experiences, shortcomings, accomplishments, and yes, even the downfalls of our history.

James Loewen’s views are one of many reasons why African scholars are important. Superiority likes to define who you are, decide what you should do and discourage any further research.

Peace & Love,

Black Worldschoolers™️

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