It’s not easy being a Black athlete in a Trump-supporting county with a KKK group

Photo by Keith Johnston on Pixabay

With two games left to play, my Brown-skinned son’s final high school lacrosse season is winding down. But they haven’t yet played against the school with known and vocal racists.

That’s next week. The very last regular season game before the state playoffs.

Latif and his teammates were off-the-wall thrilled to learn that since our state’s governor had “reopened” the state recently, the state championship lacrosse tournament was back on the table. Especially since they are — as we speak — 6–0. And heavily favored to end 8–0.

That’s phenomenal!! This lax mom is mighty proud. :)

They have a…

Bid good riddance to a year of stress and tragic loss with new life and healthy food you grow yourself.

Image by Phichit Wongsunthi from Pixabay

Looking for a non-Zoom or non-Google Classroom activity to wind down the pandemic school year of distance or hybrid learning? Maybe you and your kids are as sick of staring at computer screens for hours on end as we are.

Try gardening. There’s nothing quite like digging in the soil and getting all muddy. Read on to discover why gardening is the answer to schoolwork doldrums and pent-up frustrations. And, find out our gardening strategy made for a climate crisis.

No child left inside

During my 12 years as a homeschooling mom, I prided myself on turning G.W.’s policy on its head.

Even when…

Activity ideas for all ages inspired by Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman

Image by Esther Merbt from Pixabay

Could poetry be what’s missing in STEM education?

Since April is National Poetry Month, now’s the perfect time to explore this literary form in STEM. Then watch creativity blossom.

Here are ways to meld poetry with STEM across all ages.

Why poetry in STEM?

Traditionally, anything resembling art — like poetry — has been thought to be so unlike STEM that they could never even be said in the same breath, let alone done together. You’re either into one or the other. You can excel at one, but never both.

This notion has got to change.

A perfect example is the computer wizard and…

Tips for parents and teachers when there’s no “Beware: Racism Inside” label on the front

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

This past week, Captain Underpants joined Dr. Seuss for content deemed inappropriate for their impressionable young readers.

A few drawings in several books were characterized as exhibiting “passive racism” or “hurtful” images toward Blacks and Asian Americans. Those responsible for publishing the volumes apologized for the content and vowed to take them off the market immediately.

As a white mom of three Brown kids and a former educator, I propose three reasons why the targeted books — and many others like them — should be kept on the stacks.

But not just to fill your bookshelves all by themselves. …

Ways to cope with child and teen depression and suicidal ideation

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

My 19-year-old daughter’s question stunned me, but I struggled not to show it.

Navigating only online college classes during a pandemic was far from the dream of “the college experience” she had longed for since graduating from high school. That was in 2019. Looking back wistfully, she realizes how lucky she was to have had the chance to walk across the stage in a cap and gown.

Just a year later, her friends in the class of 2020 weren’t so lucky.

Living in a dorm on a college campus, experiencing “freedom” away from her parents’ watchful eyes for the first…

Discussion starters and activities for families and schools

Photo by Catherine Hammond on Unsplash

It must have been the musical rhyming of fantastical words that appealed to their ears and elicited loads of giggles time after time. Or maybe it was the funny, elaborate drawings that delighted their imaginations and kept them entranced for hours.

Probably it was the combination of the two.

Whatever it was, when my children were learning to read, Dr. Seuss books were their favorites.

I recall reading them for hours on end to my little ones. Soon, my oldest followed in my footsteps and “read” to her brothers. …

How I answered my son + 10 ideas for what teachers and parents must do to eliminate the need for this question

Photo by Jonathan Portillo from Pexels

As a white mom, my Brown son’s question made me ashamed of my country even more than the Capitol coup did.

The question came the day after I had heard about the Utah families that recently made national headlines when they requested to opt-out of Black History Month.

Apparently, the school offered the opt-out and some families liked the choice. After backlash, the school rescinded the offer. But what does that mean?

I guess that means their children “participated” in learning about famous Black Americans in the predominantly white Montessori school because this is traditionally how Black History Month is…

Anti-racist and diversity activities for kids and teens

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Curls to die for.

I remember when my now 16-year-old Brown son, Jamil, was born.

He emerged with his eyes tightly shut and the sweetest smile on his face. Not a murmur. When he eventually opened his eyes — no rush mind you, just as he is today — his fuzzy glance landed directly on my face beaming down at him.

His head was covered with dark brown-black, long, luxurious curls of the softest, finest type that ever existed. (I know. I’m biased.). A combination of my natural wave and his father’s Afro.

When he was young, I’d always let…

Anti-racism tips for parents and teachers

Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash

Two paragraphs. That’s it.

Way back in 1984, in my 11th grade U.S. history class, that’s all that was relegated to slavery. No person, not my teacher, parents, or school administrators, found this unusual.

I wonder if Joyce Ross, the sole African-American in our entire junior class of 200 students in a parochial, all-female school in Baltimore City, thought the same.

I don’t think anyone cared to ask.

So, this year, I was very curious about what my youngest child, Jamil, was learning about slavery in his 10th grade AP U.S. History class. I wondered if the ongoing Black Lives…

Microaggressions that parents and teachers should look for and stop

Image by F. Muhammad at Pixabay

It seemed so innocent.

Latif, my Brown-skinned 12th grader, casually commented one day during dinner that a classmate had changed his screen name in their Google classroom over the holiday break.

Always one for a laugh, Latif smiled and chuckled a bit then said “Golliwogg.” He continued: “Remember all those books we read about Golliwogg when we were little?”

Thinking back to our homeschooling years, of course I remembered Florence Upton’s children’s books starring the black doll, Golliwogg, and his adventures with two white Dutch dolls.

Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

Veteran homeschooler. Public school teacher. Single mom to 3 teens. Writing on parenting and learning at home. Let’s talk:

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