Inspiration

Books To Help You Talk About Race and Discrimination with Your Children

We live in a discriminatory culture. Despite laws and movements, we've still got stereotypes and biases and preconceived notions about how people might look, act, speak, work, believe. In an effort to confront my own biases and raise children that stand up for justice, fight against discrimination and openly confront and dialogue about it, I've rounded up a list of books for you.  It is my hope that this booklist will help you begin to talk with your child(ren) about race and discrimination, equality and our part in it as we work to change it. 

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As Sarah Mackenzie says in her new book The Read Aloud Family, stories are what shape us. Stories are what change us. Story allows us to step into another person's shoes, to learn about their life.  Stories create empathy, compassion, courage to change in ways that we can't predict.

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I've created a booklist to help start the conversation with your kids. Here are just a few books for littles that made it on to the list:  Lila and the Crow, Let's Talk About Race, Whoever You Are, Separate Is Never Equal.

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And for mamas and other parents? Here are a few options for you: A Different Mirror, The Hate U Give, Half The Sky, This Will Be My Undoing. These will be coming soon on a separate booklist.

The conversation has to start right now. Studies show that little babies and children as young as 3 or 5 can have be biased.  Don't think you're very biased? Take this test, it is quite convicting!

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It is up to us as adults to begin an open, caring, respectful dialogue with our child(ren) about race, gender, identity, wealth, language, power, status. Is it hard? Is it awkward? Is it uncomfortable? YES! But without us modeling it for our kids, they won't have a safe space to learn. 

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This article and this one too may be helpful to help you identify your own biases and learn more about discrimination. Want a list of books to help you start the conversation? We've rounded up a list for both adults AND kids to change your thinking, open a dialogue and begin the conversation. These books include authors, subject matter by and about women, men, children, white people, people of color, humans of different socioeconomic status, backgrounds and more.

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10 Living Books for Thanksgiving

There are SO MANY good books to read during the holidays.  One of my favorite things each year is unpacking some of holiday books that have been hidden away during the warmer months. 

 

1. Sarah Morton's Day This book tells the story of Sarah Morton as she goes throughout getting dressed, her chores, and other aspects of daily life.

2.Samuel Eaton's Day Similar to Sarah Morton's Day, this book tells the story of Samuel Eaton, a pilgrim boy in 1627.  Samuel is old enough to help with the difficult task of the rye harvest. 

3. Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims This book is geared towards slightly older children or younger kids on a more mature reading (listening) level.

3.A Thanksgiving Turkey Join the hunt for an old tom turkey as a grandfather and grandson determine to find a bird for Thanksgiving.

4. Cranberry Thanksgiving Ahhh, Mr. Whiskers and Grandmother. The characters of Cranberryport are so likeable. Be sure to make the recipe on the back! (If you ever find any of this series at a book sale, be sure to grab it up!)

 

5.Sharing the Bread I love the syncopation as we read through this book. This story tells how a family works together to create a feast for Thanksgiving.

7. The Pilgrims of Plimouth This picture book is fascinating for all ages!

8. The Thanksgiving Story Written by the same person who wrote The Courage of Sarah Noble, The 4th of July Story, The Columbus Story and other amazing living books, this book tells the story of a brother and sister aboard the Mayflower and their first year in America. 

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9. North American Indians Another fascinating picture book!

10. Draw and Write Through History: Pilgrims, Patriots and Pirates This isn't necessarily a living book, but an awesome resource for your read alouds.  It's helpful for keeping tiny hands busy.

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 Journey through Advent with A Modern Charlotte Mason.  Our Advent e-book provides daily poetry, hymns and scripture for a rich season reflecting on the birth of Christ. Learn more here. For a limited time,  take 10% off  our Advent ebook with code ADVENT.

Journey through Advent with A Modern Charlotte Mason.  Our Advent e-book provides daily poetry, hymns and scripture for a rich season reflecting on the birth of Christ. Learn more here. For a limited time, take 10% off our Advent ebook with code ADVENT.

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF NARRATION THROUGH PLAY

My kids could spend 30 minutes (oy vey!)if they wanted to narrating a story we read together, it comes naturally to them at this age. Cultivating this habit so it can be parlayed later into written or oral narration is a skill I'm trying to develop in both my children and myself. 

Charlotte Mason says this about narration: “She [the mother] may read two or three pages, enough to include an episode; after that, let her call upon the children to narrate, — in turns, if there be several of them” (Vol. 1, p. 233). In the preface of Volume 6, she expounds on narration: "“As knowledge is not assimilated until it is reproduced, children should ‘tell back’ after a single reading or hearing . . . A single reading is insisted on, because children have naturally great power of attention; but this force is dissipated by the re-reading of passages” 

There are so many ways to have your child "narrate" at this age. We've listed three below to help you get started. Use your own imagination to help your child learn the foundations of narration. Be sure to leave a comment about your experience!

Three Ways To Teach Narration Through Play

1. Dress up- A beloved time of play, dress up can also be used as a narration tool. Have your child be a specific character and act out the story. 

2. Building- Using legos, duplos, Lincoln logs, playdough and clay, or even sticks and rocks from the backyard, create a scene from the story you just read together.

3. Puppets-Line up your favorite stuffed animals and describe a favorite scene or retell the story in your own words to them.

Do you have your kids narrate through play? What narration techniques do you use in your family?

 

The Early Years Curriculum is Here!

It's been so hard to keep this secret from you, but I'm thrilled to announce that the Early Years has partnered with A Modern Charlotte Mason to bring you a rich early years curriculum! Geared towards kids age six and under whose state laws and regulations necessitate following a curriculum, the Early Years is Charlotte Mason inspired feast of living books and ideas and a gentle introduction to learning. Learn more here or checkout the Q&A here.

Homeschool Bullet Journal Inspiration

I love a good notebook and as an art major, visual layouts appeal to me.  I also love to create beauty within my home, especially in mundane tasks.  To that end, I am working on a bullet journal for our upcoming year. Nothing formal, just lists and ideas and noting what works/what doesn't as we prepare to formally school at home in 2018-2019. These are some of my favorite bullet journal inspiration on Pinterest.

Do you use a planner or visual layout of some sort for homeschooling?  Have you seen amazing bullet journal layouts and wanted to get started?  I LOVE bullet journaling, and there are SO many options to make it your own. For more bullet journal and homeschool inspiration, check out my Pinterest board here.