It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Homeschool: February Literature

February is Black History Month
We read according to what we are studying in Science, Art, Timeline,and History along with anything else that is going on in our lives such as places we are going to travel. February is Black History month so it was a good time to be intentional about this topic.

This month we read a few books that led to some really thought provoking discussion between Nan and I. (These are books she read in addition to her science, art, history, ect. books. I just want to clarify for anyone trying to find fault with my homeschooling! Haters gonna hate. :) )

Nan read back through the American Girl Addy series. We also included all the extra books they now have for the characters. I have to admit that I did not re-read these with her. I can still remember the first time that I read "Meet Addy" aloud to Nan. I cried so much that she would have to take over reading. For me reading books like these and the Little House series as an adult is almost like reading them for the first time. I am relating to and thinking about the mom instead of the main character, the child. Anyone else do that?

Add caption
Nan and I started reading this one aloud together but life happened. She ended up crying her way through it by herself, and then wanting me to hold her while she caught me up on the details. Great book but the dialogue makes it tricky in the beginning. I have read his other book, The Watson's Go to Birmingham - 1963. I didn't realize it was the same author until later but now have that book requested from the Library. If you haven't already, you should check them both out, even if you are an adult!

We re-read this book at least once a year since Nan was in 1st grade. It is a series of very short biographies of influential African Americans. (It has an excellent glossary that is great practice for her to use.) In addition, it brings up where people were born, grew up, educated, worked, and died. When she was younger, Nan would work on her US puzzle pointing out locations while I read aloud to her. This was the first year, she "saw" the geography as being "North" or "South" and was able to really "get" why people moved around like they did. Like I said, we had lots of good conversations.

The inside of the Journals from the Past book.
I really like this book because it has a picture of each person on one page and their biography on the other. This year, we did not read the book cover to cover. Instead, sometimes we would concentrate on a person for a while. We would look look up things like their colleges and the organizations they started. We would look for videos of their performances or pictures of their art. It is not my personality to not finish something like a book but in this case, I feel like we learned to much more by leaving the book.

I am guilty of sticking so much to the topics we are studying in CC that I sometimes forget to cover other things. For me, literature is the time to bring everything together or, like in this case, to be intentional about a topic, I don't know how else to fit into our curriculum.

So if you homeschool, how do you work into your curriculum topics like Black History month, holidays, or the seasons?  If your kids are in public/private school, how do you bring these things up with your kiddos?

Race is such a complicated subject in our country, is it not?  I know in our rural community, we  have to be intentional about culture and race because we are so homogeneous...okay, I can say it plainer than that, we are soooo white.  Our viewpoint was forever changed when Sweet Girl joined our family for 6 months. Although we thought we were, we were not prepared to be a multi-racial family. (Seriously, there are more insensitive and rude people in the world than I could have imagined.) One book that challenged me to be intentional about the way I talked (or didn't talk!) about it with my kids is Nuture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. I am due to reread it...want to join me? I would love to be able to discuss it!

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to look up that bio book and the last one. We parent in a direct way about those that are "not exactly like us" and that's my next blog post :-)