Seeing Yourself

Seeing yourself is important.  I can remember watching music videos as a child in the age of MTV when Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video blew my mind.  While the world was fascinated by the choreography and costumes, I was fascinated by “the girl” in the video. Alas, she looked like me!! (in my mind).  I can do that. The more I was fed images of brown women being boss, beautiful, bold. The more I was empowered. 

I want my boys to see themselves too — Especially before they are introduced to the negative stereotypes associated with their race in the media AND before they could become accustomed to being nonexistent in certain forums altogether.  It’s one main reason  I started @castlesandkings, my newest Instagram account where I take and post commercial and editorial photos of my 2 boys. 

Brown boys are grossly underrepresented in fashion mags and advertisements, story books and films particularly for children.  

@castlesandkings is an outlet for my sons to be the models of curiosity, adventure, beauty, class, coolness, silliness and laughter, intelligence, intrigue, mystery and mischief they naturally are and that largely goes unseen.  

Thanks to social media platforms, I don’t have to wait. I have the vision and means to create and host the images I’d love to see. 

I’ve grown up with brown kids being the face of poverty and AIDS in the US and abroad.(Think “We Are the World”.) Unless you were a celebrity of some sort there was little to no coverage of a brown kid simply playing Chess or seeing Spot run or finding an alien in his backyard which he then saves from government forces.  No. Our boys and girls were  portrayed as fatherless, impoverished, hustlers and pimps in need of saving. This and a few other 1 sided images recycled taught many of us to see ourselves through those lenses although in our communities we knew there was more to tell.

My friends and I alone were models of 1 and 2 parent homes where we ate dinner together as a family, explored our neighborhoods, won spelling bees and kept secrets from our parents just like any other kid across America. However this was rarely represented in the media.

Images matters. 

The power of an image goes deep. It reaches to the soul of a person especially a child, and creates a path for the feet to walk. 

I recognize the equation. 

External is Internalized is Physicalized. 

What we see we believe we become.

It’s God’s equation. The God Who  gave us our imaginations and encourages us to use it to create images of His beauty, love and power through the hearing of His Word.

When we do, meditate on Him, we become more like Him.

We are also made in God’s image. Now that’s something to get deep down inside of you and to capture. Internalizing that truth alone is transformative.

My sons will see themselves not only as I see them, the media portrays them but also as God sees them.

May all who view @castlesandkings see the heart of a mother, the workmanship of God and some pretty cool kids.

—————————-

In this collection of images of my oldest son, I see an artist, activist, free thinker. He gave that to me.

I was just there to capture it, to give it back to him and now to share it with you. 

What do you see when you see your self, your children? 

      WINE IN THE WILDERNESS

altesa

Want to see more? Follow @castlesandkings on Instagram.

Want customized pictures of your own? Visit http://altesa.wixsite.com/altesabakerphotog

Sweet(leftover)Inspirations 

VIDEO: Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pie Minis


My husband is in charge of making the sweet potato pies for the holidays, (boy, are they good!) while I cover pretty much everything else.  I wanted to involve the kids in the cooking fun and decided to help them make their own pumpkin pie from scratch.  I chose pumpkin for the hands on experience of cutting and cleaning out a real pumpkin. (Kids love messy stuff). 

We watched a slew of video tutorials to assist us in making the homespun pumpkin pie and got more than a few tips. Apparently my kids also got inspired. They requested we create a video for You Tube to help people make something special for the holidays too.  I am not always able or desire to oblige their requests to make random videos but this one was not only doable but simple and purposeful.  

Leftovers+Inspiration= mmmm 

Our first homemade pumpkin pie was a success. I still prefer sweet potato pie. In any case, we had leftover pumpkin pie filling but not enough to fill another pie crust. Not in the habit of throwing perfectly good hard earned filling away, we got creative and recorded it for your viewing pleasure.  Prefer sweet potato like me, we have you covered in this leftover makeover video too. 

If you are a mom or dad, babysitter or visiting auntie looking for a simple cooking project to do for the holidays with the kids, check out the video below.  While kid-friendly, it’s also a unique sweet alternative to bring to that inevitable potluck. (You’re welcome).  

VIDEO: Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pie Minis


Love to hear. What’s your holiday inspiration? 
-altesa❤️

Oh The Places You’ll Go/ Quicksand Learning


Learning how to read opens up one’s eyes to all the world.

Quite literally in this case.

As a result of my son’s newfound reading ability, we stumbled into a fun activity that turned into an interactive, educational foray around the world (while at home). Let me tell you all about it.

(Think:  “If You Give a Mouse A Cookie” Storybook by Laura Numeroff)

My son began reading the “made in” labels on the back of his toys— because he could (Cool.  Sparks).  That lead to reading the labels of his stuffed animals (more sparks), then his clothes (more sparks).

Because most of the labels read “Made in China”, he had questions like “Why is everything made in China?!”, “Why isn’t anything made in the USA? ”

(I smell smoke).

Good questions son.

(Time for mama to fan the flame.)

I answered his questions and made a few suggestions that involved competition and counting. (Remember, I’m the fanner of the flames.)

“Let’s make a chart. How many things can you find that are made in the USA?”

“Let’s locate the places you find on the map.”

He began to expand his search around our home for “made in” labels. (Even his little brother got in on it.) They found places all over the globe. It was eye opening to find things from Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, India, El Salvador, Vietnam, Philippines… from clothes to shampoo bottles we were living internationally without having stepped outside. (By the way, there were only 2-3 “Made in USA” labels found out of  20+ labels in our home.)

Of course that lead us to locate each place on the globe,

then to write down and tally our findings,  

which lead to a comparison chart,

which has the potential to lead to probability and percentages. 

You may also dive into categorizing the items found by use or materials,

Or

You may look into the manufacturing process: the steps it takes to get into an American store. 

You can also learn the languages of each country, a day in the life, their money system, gross national product.

The possibilities for exposure and learning are non stop. It’s what I call a “quicksand learning” opportunity because it has no end.

I wasn’t fully aware of it at the time but from that one activity, we covered reading, geography, math, economy, manufacturing, mass production, social studies, research and statistics.

Not bad for a day’s work. This was a Saturday (our off day) by the way.

There’s still many places to go with this activity for beginner readers to advanced teens interested in global economy.

That’s what a child’s interest or sparks does, it takes them places.

As a homeschool mom, I’m so glad I get to be the tour guide& (fanner of the flame.)

Thanks for reading.

Where has your child’s curiosity taken him or her?

What are some ways you have taught using everyday items or simply based on your child’s interests? 

-Altesa

THE CLOSET ACTRESS:  Throwback To The Future

Welcome to the newest installment of The Closet Actress where my passion for acting and dressing up meet, kiss and have babies.

img_0678

THE BACKSTORY

I think it was my third year of grad school.  I decided to launch out and start auditioning, eager to use all that expensive technique I had gained in my three years of studying.   I auditioned to play a part of a diva Video Jockey/ TV host who was being followed as part of a faux reality show.  This was a short film written and directed by a beginner filmmaker.

I had a good audition.  In fact, the director called to tell me so. Only he did not offer me the part but asked if I would coach the actress that did get the part. Huh?!  Whaaat? She looked the part (model type) and I had the skill. Classic. It was such a mix of emotions. On the one hand, I was being acknowledged for my skill which sends me over the moon with unspeakable joy and on the other hand I was being rejected for my lack of long legs… which sucked. Feeling uneasy inside, I agreed to do it and rationalized my decision as noble, generous even godly.  But it sucked…

I know what I want. I’ve always known what I want. Somehow over the course of time I’ve second guessed and settled. It had become a part of the fabric of my decision making process.

Choose.

Second-guess.

Settle.

It happened with the sundry and big decisions–

Choose. Second guess. Settle.

I don’t know where this insane habit came from but I’d guess it’s probably from the depths of some childhood experience.

Anyhow, on that day I agreed to the filmmaker’s request to coach his choice actress when I really didn’t want to do it— I settled.

That’s why when something all too characteristic of that former time happened to me recently I responded with a big , fat, gracious…

NO THANK YOU.

It was a “throwback to the future” moment.  I had another good audition and was told so by the director.  Yet I get a call asking if I’d be willing to be “background”.  Whaaat?!  My mind raced to the time and space of that early compromise in grad school. The “sucky” feelings I had back then rushed into my “now”.  History was trying to repeat itself.  I had to stop it.

Thoughts of nobility and missed opportunity crossed my mind AGAIN.

However, unlike then, I know now I’m under no obligation to accept something just because it’s offered.  I’m also over believing the lie that I will be missing out on something if I don’t accept. These are nothing more than settling traps.

God has greater things for me than that.  He has greater things than that for all of us. I believe God has given everyone a customized vision for their lives. We see ourselves in a certain special way, doing a certain special thing by His design but often second guess those ideas, dismiss them and settle for something completely outside of that vision. It’s a subtle shift that much like that insane habit of mine becomes apart of how we wear life.   It takes courage to accept God’s personal vision for your life and even more to walk in that vision. That often means fighting for it. Everyday. Moment to moment. And when we don’t fight for it, we’re settling.

We are the guardians of God’s vision for our individual lives. 

Settling is a personal decision. Only you and God knows what that looks and feels like. Our battlefields will each look different. What was offered to me by the young filmmaker then and what was offered most recently were not awful things in themselves. It’s when I accept someone else’s idea of me against my “knowing” heart that it shifts to settle mode.

How could anyone successfully follow their dreams following someone else’s idea of them?

IMG_8311

I’ve never met a box I could fit in.

THE WARDROBE

If you remember, the last episode of The Closet Actress featured several forgotten pieces from my closet inspired by classic films or stage plays.

Well, the outfits featured in this new episode are a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s.  I chose these items solely because they perfectly complimented one thing:  My Shell Toe Adidas.  I have wanted these classic Shell Toes for years but never bought them.  They were too expensive. I didn’t really need them. Those were my 2 common excuses. But I finally got them for my birthday. (thanks hubby). Something I’ve always wanted!

Getting them was half the battle.  Although my husband bought the right size they were too big which meant I had to return them.  The store didn’t have the size I needed. So they suggested a boys’ size alternative but when I tried them on they just weren’t quite right. One sales guy told me something was wrong with me, not the shoes. Ha! That was my cue to go elsewhere which I did until I found a place that would order the woman’s size shoe I wanted.   I had to wait another week but I got the shoe I wanted. This is a minor event that serves as major reminder how the opportunity to settle presents itself anywhere, anytime, and with anything— you’ve decided you want. But alongside the opportunity to settle is the opportunity to fight for it. We get to choose.

I’m fighting. How about you?

How has God’s vision for your life been challenged?

       IMG_8256IMG_8265IMG_8281img_0926img_0715img_0675img_0750img_0835

Feeling a bit nostalgic, click the links below to scratch that itch.

WARDROBE IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:

Grey and black tunic sweatshirt dress, Paraphrase

Baja-inspired pullover hoodie, Paper Crane  

Black knit leggings, Poof

Superstar “Shell Toe” , Adidas

80’S AND 90’S INSPIRATIONS:

“Walk this Way” video 

“My Adidas” video

Lisa Bonet

Molly Ringwald

Thanks for stopping by.  

-altesa

 

 

… to me.

As a child, my birthday happiness was dependent on the reaction and response of others.  I (was forced to) realize, as I got older, that dependence is unhealthy.

IMG_8055

It’s empowering to know your value and worth runs deeper than people’s memory, financial situation or Facebook alerts.

Your birthday’s special and valuable simply because YOU ARE HERE.  God saw it fit to grace you with the gift of life and all it’s treasures.  That’s enough.  Stop waiting and start celebrating… throw your own party even if you are the only one invited!  If folks show up, let that be the icing on the cake.

How do you take responsibility for your happiness on your birthday?

IMG_8106

 

 

Mommy Playdate

What started out as an idea for a cute Instagram picture turned into a full blown wedding photo shoot and what I am predicting a movement amongst mommies to relieve stress.  
Inspired by my friend’s Instagram post where she described a way cooler pretend play time with her boys after adding a doll that looks a lot like her to the mix of their testosterone-centric superheroes, I pulled my doll from the closet.  Bridal Barbie was given to me by my sister eight years ago as a wedding gift.  My husband owned a Tuskegee Airmen G.I. Joe that we picked up from a Goodwill nine years ago.   It was only natural for them to get married.  They have been living together for so long now, yeah, it was about time.

Boy did I have fun.

Along with my two boys, I pretended for a few hours while arranging these two love birds.  I hadn’t played like that in a very long time, not with dolls.  It was amazing how quickly my brain connected to the little girl.  Only now I was a little girl with a camera.  This simple act brought such joy to my heart.  This short lived moment will live for ever in my mind and in pictures. It not only lifted my spirits but reminded me of the power of images and play. When you place them together. Whoa Baby!  I foresee a lot more mommy play dates in my future.

There was a natural progression between set ups.  They became like real people with real personalities.  I was in full throttle play y’all.

I began to think of all the standard “wedding day” poses between bride and groom, like the “before” shots where couples each stand unseen on either side of a door holding hands to share an intimate prayer prior to the ceremony.  Or the “eavesdrop” shots where the couple’s private moments are captured.  Or the “reception” where bride and groom let their hair down in full celebration mode.  The ideas were endless.  If my boys had not begun complaining about food and something of the other, I would probably have a 1,000 pics instead of 250!  Don’t worry, I only shared a few on this post.

Check out the photo shoot. Do you think I can add wedding photographer to my list of skills?

The Before:

The After:

img_7534-1img_7551IMG_7590IMG_7607IMG_7609

The reception:


IMG_7696

The eavesdrop:

IMG_7708IMG_7700IMG_7712IMG_7720

and of course no event is complete pretend or real life without…

The selfie:

Hope you are smiling and inspired as I was to create these images and this post.

IG: @altesabaker

love,

altesa

The Kitchen Table: Farmhouse Dreams on an Apartment Budget

Bringing my farmhouse dreams on an apartment budget to life one DIY project at a time.

First up, the kitchen table.

OUT WITH THE OLD.  IN WITH THE OLD?

( I forgot to take an official “before” photo of the table, so I dug this up. The spiders at our home are unusually big but harmless.  They even pose for pictures.)

IMG_3849

We were given this kitchen table set for a wedding gift 8 years ago. Perfect then, not so much now.  The once desired espresso finish turned into a scratched up nightmare. The rich color no longer stood out against the dark brown flooring that was recently added and it all became a very undesirable blah!

Yes, I was itching for a brand new table.  However, budgetary constraints forced me to redefine new.  Isn’t it great how budgetary and space limitations force creative adjustments?  I would get my new table, by way of a DIY refinish job.   So I gathered my materials:

Citristrip Stripping Gel, goggles, gloves, industrial garbage bags, 4 aluminum foil pie  pans, paint brush, sponge brush, drop cloths, steel wool #0000, scrapers, sander with 220 grit sandpaper…

and went to work.

AM I DONE YET?

I had to apply several applications of the Citristrip.  Since using another chemical, like mineral spirits, to help remove the residue was not an option for me, I used the steel wool pads with soapy warm water mixture (dish detergent) to scrub down the excess stain before finally sanding.   I also experimented with vinegar, isopropyl alcohol and bleach on three separate occasions to test their success with removing residue. They made some progress but nothing worked better than the Citristrip, a steel wool pad and some muscle with the exception of sanding of course.  It was around this time that I discovered my table is not wood but actually laminate.  You know the stuff that most kitchen cabinets are made from.  I didn’t let the disappointment stop me.

It took me about a week to complete this project because it turns out there are also 4 legs with 4 sides each to them plus 4 apron sides to the table as well that needed the exact same attention as the top.  Let’s not talk about the chairs. Yeah…no return.  Remember to prepare yourself for some pretty long days applying, scraping and cleaning when you embark on your table and chair refinish project.

Although very messy and time consuming -all the nooks and crannies between the table and chairs left me worn out- it is very satisfying to have persevered and to get to see everyday the results I once imagined.

IMG_3049
I like the washed out look but need protection on a kitchen table where two boys grub out.
DELIBERATELY IMPERFECT

I thought I’d need to re-stain, well, paint the table (It’s laminate!) in order to get the rustic, worn look I wanted. But it turned out just fine after stripping and sanding.  Yay! (Plus I was tired.)

Finally, I used Minwax One Coat Clear Satin to finish off the job.

IMG_3351
Laminate kitchen table with mismatched seating.
FullSizeRender-1
The beauty of a rustic look is it’s imperfections

Next on the list to farmhouse dreams on an apartment budget:  Simple bar stools and upholstered seating.

Thanks for reading,

altesa

My DIY Epiphany:  Don’t give up. Take a break. Get perspective,  but don’t give-up.

 

 

Keep Calm, It’s First Grade: My First Attempt at a 1st Grade Curriculum

keep-calm-it-s-first-grade-1

What if this year I allowed my 6 year old son to  choose his own curriculum?  What would it look like? Well I asked him and this is what he said.

α  I would like to learn how to draw.

β  How to do cool moves on my bike.

γ  Learn to swim and go swimming.

δ  Build stuff with my tools like a little barn or using things around the house to build my    brother a toy car for his birthday.

ε  Do science experiments that will explode.

ζ  Visit the science center more often.

Now what if I incorporated reading, writing and arithmetic into his 6 year old interests?  It’s an idea experiment I am willing to try, I am looking forward to trying, I am actually excited and thrilled about trying—next year.

You see it didn’t occur to me to think of his interests when planning his 1st grade curriculum.  I thought only of what I must do based upon my own upbringing and experience in traditional school.  I forgot I was now a homeschooler and that I had options; crazy, cool, creative options to teach, explore, discover, wonder and learn with my sons.  I forgot that I didn’t have to follow the boiler plate grade-level workbooks my gracious mother in law sent to (help).  I forgot I am not trapped by standardized tests and common core.  I forgot I live in  America where making a living doing what you love is not only possible but proven.  I want to teach my children they can do what they love and make a living from it; They were born with gifts and talents that are meant to be their contribution to perhaps solving some world problem, however large or small instead of set aside as extra curricular, elective or 2nd fiddle to a “box education”.  I want to provide environments where they grow in their confidence, dismiss the status quo, and acknowledge and encourage others. Beginning with their interests in mind just may be the launch this mission needs.

IMG_5049

It didn’t occur to me to consider my son’s opinion.

Why would I?  I am the parent/ educator here.  It’s my husband and I job to adequately prepare and guide our sons. They’re kids-blank palates waiting for paint- which is rendered through the experiences and exposure we allow, in part, as parents. By nature, I am not that parent that allows my child to dictate his day and much more his education.  That’s hard for me to do which is why I called this interest-led  idea an experiment. By no means,  is it a new idea.  Many in the homeschool world use this approach for their schooling.  However, it’s an alternative approach I am definitely game to try especially after doing “school” my semi-formal way for 1st grade.   Below you will find a short description of what I planned for 1st grade.  

After much toiling, researching and soul searching,  I arrived at a 1st grade curriculum based on what I deemed as important for my son to learn. Hopefully you are inspired by it in the development of your own curriculum.  It’s just I felt like I was planning college courses, hence the title, “Keep calm, it’s just 1st grade”.  Just like all parents, I want the best for both my sons and homeschooling makes room for that in so many crazy, cool, creative ways.   Education can be customized. On the other hand, it can also become very consuming.

Would you like one choice to make or 1,000,000,000 choices to make?  Welcome to my brain.

There are non-negotiables in life like wearing a seat belt, maintaining good hygiene (depending on who you are), telling the truth (okay, depending on who you are, too). I agree that in education there are non-negotiables as well, such as reading, writing and math but how we arrive at those non-negotiables, I am learning,  are up for experimentation.  Outside of reading, writing and math, education is quite subjective. Since I am committed to carrying out these basics, I give myself permission to allow the subjective to actually come from the subject, himself…next year.

 

As you browse my 1st Grade Fall and Spring curriculum know this:  My son took to some parts and not so much to others.  Our schedule was flexible and not everything was tackled consistently, exactly as described nor perfectly.  Some of this list became more of a wish list. (Regardless, I believe in always writing down my plans whether I follow it to a T or not because things written live to see another day.) Tweet that.

Interestingly, our real challenge has been with the non-negotiables.

The more I think about it, it seems a natural strategy to use he and his 4 year old brother’s interests in these early stages as a stealth way to master the basics.  

We shall see— next year!

 

 

as of this year…

MY FIRST GRADE CURRICULUM

BIBLE STUDY:  I create my own lesson plans around the book of Genesis and Exodus. It’s a daily study that includes games, reading, writing, video, narration and suspense.

READING:  Early Learner Readers from the library are read daily, aloud with me -*after we completed Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons which he started in kindergarten.

MATH: Life of Fred: Elementary Series plus living math books from the local library with a focus on the history of counting, numbers, money, etc.

BLACK HISTORY:  Read elementary age biographies of African American explorers, inventors and scientists weekly.

GEOGRAPHY: Explore the continent of Africa with a focus on North Africa and it’s countries through digital puzzles, art, video and hands-on map games.

DEVOTIONAL: I created an interactive devotional which involves physical activity, art exercises and journaling to introduce the design and purpose of God’s masterpiece—the human body.

SCIENCE:  A store bought science kit (which was given to me by a neighbor) with everything you need to conduct @20 experiments.

PIANO:  Weekly lessons.

CODING:  Hour of Code program plus various other apps such as Hopscotch, A.L.E.X. done weekly.

FILMMAKING:  Plan, shoot and edit his own movies using the iPhone and iPad. Involves storyboarding, voice over, sound and visual effects and filmmaking vernacular.

ENTREPRENEURIAL WORKSHOP:  Learn about kids who have started their own businesses via internet news.  Create entrepreneurial opportunities of our own. Every time he shows an interest in something, say, “Somebody came up with that idea” and proceed to research that person and thing.

COMMUNITY:  Connected to the entrepreneurial workshops, the goal is to expose him to the behind the scenes by touring local businesses in addition to other community places like firehouse, postoffice, police station, college campus,etc.

If you are interested in more information about any of the subjects above, let me know in comments and I will gladly create a post describing a more detailed account of our experience with each.

Also, I am working on making the bible study and devotional curriculums accessible to those who may be interested.  For a short time, all I would want in return is your feedback.

-altesa

 

 

 

THE CLOSET ACTRESS: Waiting to Exhale

THE BACKSTORY

You know how birthdays have a funny way of inciting reflection and possible depression.    Well, It’s about 2 weeks shy of my **th birthday and I had been reflecting and depressing, cleaning and shopping when I came across clothes in my closet l had not seen since before I had become a wife and mother to two– 8 years ago.  Naturally, I want to try them on. Of course to see if this aging lady has really changed.  Because if they still fit then that would mean, in my world,  I haven’t really aged or changed “physically” at all. (oh yeah!)  After praying and slowly slipping on the first dress, memories of a slimmer waistline flooded my mind.  If. I. could. just. hold. my. sto. mach. in… I could fit it.  (exhale). It worked.  I have to capture this moment.  Honey take a picture!

…and The Closet Actress Series was born.

I’m in the closet too. Me, the actress. Much like my forgotten but favorite digs, Me, the actress has been tucked away for so long for reasons I am not prepared to explore in this post. Perhaps the stills below would help to express the frustration behind that story. In any case, this series premiere of The Closet Actress is about rediscovering the forgotten.

It was my birthday and I needed a way to celebrate. Dinners and lunch with friends were on the list but I wanted something more. Purposefully more.  

THE WARDROBE

The clothes I am wearing in this episode of The Closet Actress are dresses and skirts I haven’t worn in 10 years.  I am proud to say they fit! not perfectly as in pre-kids perfectly but they never the less fit at least for an at-home birthday photo shoot with my husband.

I am glad to have created an occasion to take both the clothes and the gift out of the closet.

May you be inspired to rediscover what’s been tucked away and forgotten in your life.

Are you a closet actress, photographer, artist, writer, knitter? Do tell.IMG_5898

IMG_5920IMG_5872IMG_5973IMG_5668IMG_5674

 

Wardrobe in order of  appearance:

Green Circle Dress with Belt, MICA   

Floral Halter, Mario Balthazar   

Black Sleeveless, Rubi Rox  

Pleated Skirt, Mohji Kohji   

Film and Theater Inspirations:

The Birds, 1963  Imitation of Life, 1959

Raisin in the Sun, 1961  Grease, 1978

The Elephant In The Homeschool Room

I came across this interesting article, “Confessions of an Unsocialized Public Schooled Child”,  by Eliza De La Portillia, via HuffPost Parents at thee perfect time. For weeks, I have planned (in my head) the words to write for a post of my own on it’s very subject…

Socialization.

ny_119.24

For the first time in my homeschool journey, (a whopping 7 months now), I was asked about socialization. It was by a well-meaning, dear friend, who I have known since grade school. City girls, she and I watched our single moms work 2 or more jobs to provide for us outside of the home.  School/Career/ Work was our immersion program.

Getting married and having children were rarely apart of our childhood or young adult conversations, although we both are married with kids now.  Much less, staying home with our kids.  Much, much less, (like never) HOMESCHOOLING!  Who?! is going to do What?!  The tradition of school and friendships are ingrained in us.  After all it was through school that we met and remained friends these many years. So I understood her reaction to “homeschool” with a question about socialization.

Yet, I felt unprepared and offended.

Feelings of defensiveness rose.  I replied to her query in my best matter-of-fact, nonchalant way.  The truth is socialization never really played apart in my husband and I decision to or not to homeschool.  It is a non factor.  It is something I read about on other homeschooler’s blogs but never concerned myself with personally.

This direct question about socialization and the timely HuffPost Parent article was my call to action.  Not as you may suspect.  It woke me up to the need to educate myself on this subject further for the sake of those who are allowing it to be the elephant in their homeschool rooms or on their long distance phone conversations, as it related to me.  It’s probably the #1 question any given homeschooler is asked by a new, non or anti-homeschooler.  It’s time to demystify this reactive argument that is often bait for anxiety and worry.

There’s a popular saying: “The way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time”.  While I work on cutting up that elephant, why don’t you take a gander at Confessions of an Un-Socialized Public Schooled Child originally posted on www.TheTattooed Homestead.com. Perhaps you will be inspired by her perspective on socialization as I am.

Thanks for reading.

altesa