Okay. I was wrong. Kinda, sorta but not really wrong. Grades, attendance and effort are at an all time low evidenced by the reports on cable news everywhere. I don’t know where YOU been but the school system is worse than the freaking pandemic right now. Everywhere, Texas, California, Washingtong, you know DAMN well Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi is struggling with remote learning, motivating students to attend online classes, educating teachers on using all the new technology, getting kids the new technology and even when all that goes right, the Wi-Fi will start jacking up on you. *duck face* Y’all know all this shit was real AF in the Spring when schools first closed. You knew it. Schools knew it. Employers feared it but come on, we knew it was ugly back then. Now? *slapping knew in laughter* Now, all the chickens of bullshitting and procrastinating have come to roost in this mug. My kids were straight A/B kids (mostly Bs but cool beans), when that first grading period hit, the Queen and I talked about doing something different. Her idea? Send the kids back to physical school, ride the bus, keep a mask and just wing it. The rest of the country was playing sandlot football with our children’s education and safety but I couldn’t do it. Not I said the blogger and dude with a new job. My idea was simple, F public school. Do the real deal, HOME-school and find the programs, electives, direction and purpose that matched our BLACK AF family. I wanted to break big bread on the fantastic private schools, small schools, niche schools, non-profits schools and independent, visionary laboratories of learning. She and I work less hours but F that public school. As a former teacher, I have horrible experiences in education. Sure, I loved the art of teaching. I respect the gift of communication. I am passionate about OVERstanding the connection between culture and learning.
I didn’t get that as a teacher. I got orders, tests, paperwork and more tests. There wasn’t an effort to bind what kids knew to what kids need to know. It was just testing, testing and more testing. There was no time for “fluff stuff”, move on to the next material to prepare for the standardized testing. I hated that as a teacher because it had made teaching into a job. I loathed that testing philosophy because it destroyed the ingenuity and independence of black and brown kids who were rarely taught anything of their own cultures except the “losses”. I was reprimanded for not following protocols and neglecting procedures. This pandemic, I knew this was the prime opportunity to justify snatching my kids’ education from the clutches of hard times.
Sooo, I asked MY QUEEN to quit nursing and take over the kids’ education. *winks* I got faith in her skills but I absolutely trust her passion for this. One income means we couldn’t do the BLACK AF programs, schools and expensive, independent stuff. *shrugs* Yes, I’m the former teacher but MY gig is a work-from-home job with the opportunity for permanent placement. The key there is “from home”. (Don’t forget. I make it look it easy but Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis has me wheelchair-bound and home-restricted.) I can work-from-home, help as needed with the HOME-schooling and still build the blog, brand and businesses. *BOOM sound* #MicDropHomie. After that, the plan took off. She quit nursing, I started working. The kids? We pulled them from public school despite their fears and concerns about missing friends and not seeing anybody.
Time4Learning.com (Yup, that is the link.)
We’re using Time4Learning as the “base” for the kids’ schooling. See, we learned quick that these programs aren’t just tied to the money aspects. There is a legit issue with the age groups. Some schools are elementary, middle, high school but then there is the age-related electives. We couldn’t just take Math from one, Science from another, yada and use the other for electives because there was always some age-related conflict AFTER we solved the money part. We considered putting them all in different schools, different programs of study but that left TOO much on the plate. Even without working her nursing job, that was entirely too much tracking. Having to track 3 kids learnings, different schools, different hours, different levels, NOTHING in common but the parents? Naaaah DAWG. We at least wanted the kids in the same school or program. We settled on Time4Learning because their basic set up was affordable AND had elements specific for our culture. The reading material and social studies had time for continuous cultural learnings. The design and structure of the classroom granted parents the ability to make taking an “exit” test necessary when class was dismissed. That’s right; the kids take a quiz every day before leaving to gauge their understanding before dismissal. Nope, I’m not a fan of OVER-testing but there has to be some assessment of the information that was taught. This practice does just that. On a daily basis, we can track the kid’s learning THAT day, THAT assignment, THAT skill or knowledge. The grade gives us (Well, HER *eye roll*) that crucial glimpse, peek into the kids’ learning and understanding of material. The material itself is okayed by the Queen when she sits on Sunday scheduling course loads and stuff. *beaming* I love it. She loves it. The kids are learning so much that they comment, “I mean, I miss my friends and stuff but I like this school waaaay better.”
IXL (Yup, that is the link.)
Is our primary tutoring methods. It is tailored to the major academic areas, Math, Science, Social Studies but includes Spanish as well. The kids work their assigned work using Time4Learning. When there is an issue with learning, assignments, quizzes, she uses IXL to print off instructions, steps, practice worksheets, guided examples and all the tutorial goodies. After a month, it is working out goooooood. Between my wife, myself and the materials in IXL, we’ve been able to handle any academic struggles.
Core Knowledge (Yup, that is the link.)
A comprehensive program in world and American history and geography, integrating topics in civics and the arts, Core Knowledge History and Geography™ (CKHG™) helps students build knowledge of the diverse civilizations, cultures, and concepts specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence.taken directly from the site!
Wow. This is coming in handy like a mug. Core Knowledge is our extra, lil’ something something on the kids’ learning. It is extrememly serious that they are learning about diversity, civics and open their eyes and minds to the different cultures around the world and contributing to our society. It. Is. A. Necessity. Using the Core Knowledge, my 2nd grader just turned in a WRITTEN project over India, Diwali and Hinduism. OMG! The energy I felt every day when she excitedly ran to tell me something brand new about the culture, food, people. I loved it. My 6th grader is reading a book about a family, doing through divorce because Dad is gay and marrying the boyfriend. *mind blown* She can’t get no shit like that in a public school. That kind of interest isn’t encouraged, recognized or anything and that is all part of why we pulled them out.
9am – 10am Breakfast and reading
10am – Language Arts
11am – Math
12pm – Lunch and old school cartoon
1pm – Science
2pm – Social Studies
3pm – P.E. & Gratitude Journals
The schedule is really better than Daddy’s Academy of Gratitude. That extra two hours of sleep makes a huuuuuuuge difference in the day. The Queen is here to prepare breakfast and lunch and it is all according to the new lifestyle of #FoodIsMedicine. Although the schedule says Language Arts and Math are 10am and 11am, respectively, the students have the autonomy to do it in any particular order. The same goes for Science and Social Studies. With school having a 9am start, there is plenty of time for IXL tutoring over breakfast to make sure yesterday is good. (I know what it’s like to move on knowing you don’t OVERstand something so that stops NOW with homeschool.)
Usually, the old school cartoon is Recess or one of the other “school” like toons from our childhood. (Y’all used to watch Magic School Bus?)
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