Monday, 17 September 2012
Is it me or are pencil manufacturers not doing a good enough job at producing pencils that last? The same goes for sharpeners that get dull quicker than I remember as a child. We have at least 100 sharpeners in the house, but only one that works! In the case of pencils, we use at least 3 pencils a week/per child. Each sharpen reduce the pencil down by a third.
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Looking back on my life and the standard of education I received, I can honestly compare myself to a raisin in the sun. I was left to desiccate in the sun without protection and aide. Like most immigrant children, I was left to maneuver and manage the new US system on my own. I went to school and instead of my parents helping me with school work; I ended up having to help them translate letters sent from the school. I knew I had a quick mind for math, but Mr. Hade ( or Hayde from Elmwood Elementary School in Monsey, NY) thought I was a Haitian girl who was probably good enough to clean his house one day…if well trained. The truth being that I had more social and financial capital in my country than Mr. Hade in his, but as an immigrant in his country; he seemed right. So when he told me in plain language that as a Haitian girl (I was the only girl in his math class) that I was not good in math, I did not know who could tell him otherwise. My parents worked 2 jobs each. And besides, they did not speak English and nor were they empowered enough to tell the teacher that he was wrong. I was still an honors level student. My classes were mostly honors and AP level, but when it came to math I was average. Mr. Hade’s ugly mind had stained my image of myself in math. But my 6 year old son has proved him wrong! Fast forward a Ph.D. and three children; I am now a home schooling mom with a 6 year old doing three-digit division and algebra. How did an average math student train a 6 year old math genius? I’m beginning to realize that I was much smarter in math than I was made to believe. I’m also realizing that I am capable of doing many things that I did not know I could.
Thursday, 6 September 2012
There is nothing more frustrating to a parent than not being able to help their children. I meet parents all the time asking me to teach their child or just simply asking me how they can do what I do. Parents have been so disempowered that they think that someone else educating their children is more productive than they. I hear “I just cannot do it,” “he won’t listen to me,” and “I’m not smart enough.” And I think wow! Parents need more help than the children. This is why we are hosting a one day workshop on home schooling. We will touch on how to get started, where to get materials, motivation, testing and more. This workshop has been in the works for a while. Ever since appearing on Ghana television, parents approach me all the time about helping. That is why I started a list serve and a support network. I send links for good cites, worksheets, crafts ideas and I host weekly extracurricular activities to solve the socialization quagmire. However, I soon realized that was not enough. We have been planning this workshop for a long time. I thought it was sufficed to provide parents cites where they could find materials for their children. I did not realize that many parents feel overwhelmed not only with teaching, but with having to find materials as well. Others are further frustrated not knowing which materials, what levels, which subjects and which curriculum to use. I do not know why the Spirits have moved me to Ghana. Could home schooling be my calling? If so, I am more than willing to take on the badge of service. Our workshop will be held either at the end of September or early October; depending on space. We are looking for support from the community. Want to help? Just spread the word that help is on the way.