Normally I love June – beaches, lakes, and pools. Puffy and fluffly clouds sitting on blue skies. Glowing fireflies, campfires, and friends. June is a wonderful month.
This year, I have loved being outside in June, but I don’t feel joyful. There is so much work to do regarding anti-racism, and we absolutely, must must must as parents be a part of this work if you aren’t already. So, while I have a list of some typical things that we do this month, I want to encourage you this month to
#vote- this may have already happened in your state, but primaries in my state are being held today.
For Homeschoolers (or any other parent wanting to add to their child’s learning): Back Post tracing Africa through the curriculum: This is how I extended Africa through every grade in the curriculum (from 2017, so not up to date for recent events, but still good . Hope to write an updated post soon.) Don’t forget I also have lists like this for Indigenous Studies and for Latin American Studies. All on this blog.
Our African American literature block for high schoolers: Tenth Grade Literature. One of our biggest reads for high school, which we read in both 9th grade and then again in 12th grade was “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Some of our other favorites for middle school/high school:
- “Fundamentalism” – Naomi Shihab Nye
- “Still I Rise” -Maya Angelou
- “We Real Cool” – Gwendolyn Brooks
- “Eventide” – Gwendolyn Brooks
- “Georgia Dusk” – Jean Toomer
- “Dream Deferred” -Langston Hughes
- “Haiku” – Sonia Sanchez
- Music Lyrics as Poetry: “Get It Together” by India Arie and “The Evil That Men Do” by Queen Latifah; “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” by Tupac Shakur
- “Ego Tripping” -Nikki Giovanni
- “American Hero” – Essex Hemphill
- “To Some Supposed Brothers” -Essex Hemphill
- “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation” – Toni Morrison (essay)
- “The Sky Is Grey” -Ernest Gaines (short story)
- “The Burden of Race” – Arthur Ashe (nonfiction excerpt)
Nonfiction, tied into American Government
- “Just Mercy” – Bryan Stephenson
Assigned Reading between 10th and 11th Grades:
- “Beloved” – Toni Morrison
- “Invisible Man” – Ralph Ellison (probably will end up doing together as first book in fall)
- “Dear Martin” – Nic Stone
- “All American Boys” – Jason Reynolds
- “Piecing Me Together” – Watson
Also, if you look at the back posts for seventh and eighth grade, you can see how I personally traced African American history in our country. There are so many posts I can’t link them all here.
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Stamped both the kid and adult version and How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi
- I’m Still Here by Austin Channing
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
#talktoyourkids – start early and often. I think this can be a lot harder if you live in an area with little diversity. We have a very multicultural group of friends, neighborhood, and city, so I personally found these conversations easy to initiate, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone. Start simple. If you have a school aged child and you have never addressed these issues, I think you can always start with the idea that we stand up for what is right, we stand up for people who are being “picked on” – something every child can identify with, and then move into how sometimes people are not liked or hated just because of the color of their skin, and then you can talk further about where we are here and now and then how we got here and why it is so important to stand up for what is right. I don’t know if that helps. Just an idea.
#donate – Black Mamas Matter Alliance,
What we actually will be celebrating this month:
14- Flag Day
20 – Summer Solstice
21- Father’s Day
24 – The Nativity of St. John the Baptist/ St. John’s Tide (see this back post for festival help!)
How to Celebrate:
- I am enjoying decluttering many homeschool books.
- Blueberry Picking
- Kayaking, boating, going to the lake
- Enjoying time on the farm with horses; my big kids picked up polo through a friend that has a bunch of polo ponies at her house so they have been going there to play
- Being together – game nights; movie nights with our older teens
- Slip and slide for our rising fifth grader
- No pool this summer due to #covid19
The teaching fun:
- Last year, I was teaching a group of teachers at a local Waldorf homeschooling enrichment program this month. That was fun! There is a lot of uncertainty about school in the fall, so I will be waiting to see what is needed!
- I finished my pelvic floor health certification and launched a business! Flourish Pelvic PT, Lactation, and Wellness LLC on FB and @flourishwellnesspt on IG.
- And, I have homeschool planning to do for fifth grade. Our senior graduated and will be off to out of state university in the fall, and our tenth grader is at our local hybrid high school that runs four days a week. I have been posting about homeschool planning on FB and IG, so go on over and check out all the photos and ideas there!
- Prayer and lots of it!
- Exercising daily and walking over 10,000 steps daily because that helps focus my mind.
I would love to hear what you are up to and how you are coping during these sad and often overwhelming times.