Friday, June 5, 2020

Anti-bias/Anti Racism

This week has been overwhelming. May was brought with additional knowledge that more innocent Black lives were taken with no investigation, arrests, or conviction. After years, decades, centuries of the senseless, racially motivated murders, people can only take so much.

With protests happening all over the country and world, which brought out counter-protests from White Supremacy groups, tension has boiled over.

Many people want to be educated, taught, and put their love forward into action and don't know the best way how. After talking to neighbors, friends, and co-workers, I asked a few simple things.

1. When you are invited to a Black event (or any culture), show up. SUPPORT. Be there. Learn and grow. If you can't make that particular event, watch the video later and promise yourself to attend something else in the future.
2. Put your love into action. VOTE for candidates that have anti-racist/anti-bias bills. Check out their pages. Have they mentioned anything about police reform or simply speak to how "violence is never the answer?" Vote, not just because of your party, but for change.
3. TEACH your children, grand-children, or any grandchildren in your life about what it means to be an ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACISM family. There are so many resources at your google fingertips. Here is just one: Books on the racism that you can read with your kids. Make it apart of your daily reading.
4. Put books, dolls, and PEOPLE in your lives. Find authors by Black and African-American. Find books with black characters. Watch movies with Black Actors.
Don't have any black friends? See #1.
5. Support Black owned businesses.
6. Push for an anti-bias/anti-racist curriculum in schools and Universities. We may bot be able to model what happens in the home, but we can reach students in our schools. Teachers must take the training like they take child abuse training. And not everyone will be able to teach the curriculum.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Summer plans!?

We finished Emergency Homeschool at the Lovely Day Academy Friday, May 22. It was a great day. Their school is going to do some virtual activities next week that we will log on, but I’m ready for independent learning. Usually, during the summer, the kids have some camps to attend. That is not the case this year. So...... what are we gonna do!? I still have to work, I am a 12 month educator. Usually, they can go to camps near my place of employment. I did learn that a few activities will be virtual. That’s awesome! Maybe pools will open back up?

This summer, I decided that we will do 2 miles of activity together each day. Skating, biking, walking, or running. It reminded me of a summer when we did the “summer of 100 miles.” An activity I found on Pinterest.

Whatever we do, you can guarantee that Kiwi Co is gonna be right by our side. That is a Christmas gift that keeps on giving. And of course, reading and memorizing math facts will be in full effect. The rest, I’ve gotta plan. I’ll keep you posted on Lovely Day Camp.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Poetry is healing

I mentioned in an earlier blog that April was National Poetry Month. We did a few good ones and enjoyed sharing them with family. We wrote about our current season and our favorite season.

And thanks to inspiration of the book the 5th grader is reading, "The Secret Garden, " we have a poem about one of the characters.

Of course with anything, lessons spill over and I was able to sit in a conference with the Utah Division of Arts, Mountain West Conference. I went for the first time last year and I was met with two of my favorite things. Art and Equity Education.

After applying, getting on the waitlist, and by a small miracle, being accepted, I attended the Change Leader Workshops where I learned how to facilitate change in my community, especially surrounding the Arts. But that is not what this post is about.

It's about the virtual conference that was brought to us since the full day one had to be canceled.


She shared her story. She began in education and due to health, had to leave the school counseling section early. So she begin writing poetry again. She shared many poems and I will be buying her books. Her poetry was healing for me. On a week where so much is happening in the world and stress is high. It reminds me to take the writing I have my girls doing in their Gratitude Journals and turn that into poetry. 

Ellen Weist wrote an amazing article on Ms. Redmond and it is true, "poetry is accessible, healing, and immediate." 

May we all continue writing and integrating literacy. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Change of Scenery

We have 4 more weeks of homeschooling. My daughter said last week everyday feels like Monday. The days of the week go like this for her:
Monday #1
Monday #2
Monday #3
Monday #4
Monday #5 
Not Monday- no school

Pre-Monday and virtual church 

I could relate. Our days are the same with no where to go. We are fortunate that we can still go on the bike trials and take walks in our neighborhoods. We don’t take that for granted. So this week, I decided that we would make the most of these last 4 weeks. I haven’t been to my office in a while. When we get started, we will go there first. And if the weather permits, after lunch, we will sit outside to finish our learning. I’m so glad this Monday was different than the others. And the girls were so excited! I was too! 

Don’t mind the face, I haven’t put on make-up in a while. Natural is the Covid-19 look. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2020

April is National Poetry Month

A celebration of poetry was introduced in 1996. The Academy of American Poets wanted to remind everyone the important aspect that poetry brings to life. The website has so many virtual ideas to try and do as we extend in to our new #Covid19 lifestyle.

One of my favorite poets that I introduced my children to is Maya Angelou. I shared a story on youtube with them and for our Easter weekend, they are going to work on a poem to share with the family.

Teaching Tolerance has a good article in their Spring Issue about her life, what teachers can do, and a question and answer with her grandson.

Another one of my favorite video demonstrations of her Poem, Still I rise, can be found here.

I hope you can write a poem and learn about the many poets that create thought, feeling, and expression. Now would be a good time to capture our emotions. Happy Writing!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Don't feel the pressure

Hi all! I hope you made it through this second week. I at least hope some of you did. I thought about posting on here, but I was focused on getting into a good rhythm with the family.

We start each learning day around 9 a.m. We follow the schedule and not putting times on things has proven to be helpful because while my 2nd grader might need 30 minutes on Math, my 5th grader might need 1.5 hours. As we take an hour break for lunch and PE, we finish up the "school day" around 2 p.m.

But here is what I cannot stress enough---- please don't worry about getting everything accomplished that the teacher has sent home! A regular school day looks different than a COVID day and I shared that with my child's teacher. I also suggested that Friday she doesn't assign anything so that that day can be our catch up day and she loved the idea.

There is education in everything you do as a family: cooking, taking walks, playing board games. But the learning that takes place is new for everyone. Please give teachers a moment to figure out what that looks like but be in contact with them. I found this website site that talked about what continuous learning should look like.

As an educator myself, I didn't do every assignment given to my children daily and I didn't feel bad about it. We are about 3 days behind and I am ok with that. It will get accomplished. We are learning.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Chalk Your Walk

What a great family activity. We even checked out the Chalk Your Walk Facebook page. I can’t wait to get out tomorrow after our virtual church service and see more art from our neighbors.