Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's Time to Employ the Principle of Kujichagulia In Our Homeschool

 For the past several months I've been going back and forth between the Sonlight curriculum and Moving Beyond the Page curriculum.  As King Man approaches middle school I thought it time to take the leap into literature-based learning.  I really like Core F in Sonlight and I really like the 10-12 unit of Moving Beyond the Page, but neither is exactly what I want.  Core F does not include enough about Africa and Moving Beyond the page starts with slavery.  This has been a big pet peeve of mine about most curriculums.  But I didn't think I had the time to create my own curriculum until yesterday.  I was standing in Sankofa Bookstore with a friend and I saw  Haile Gerima, esteemed professor of film at Howard Universty and filmmaker of such classics as Sankofa and his recent work Teza, about his native homeland Ethiopia.  Who better to pose my question to? So I went up to him and explained that I was a homeschooler and wanted to create my own literature-based history curriculum for my son.  I told him that I did not want to start with the Underground Railroad, but I wanted to start with the glories of Africa.  He smiled knowingly and started leading me all over the bookstore pulling classic works off of the shelves.  I felt so honored.  Many of the books were above King Man's level or they were not narratives, stories in the tradition of Story of the World or the Sonlight booklist choices.  But at least I got a start.  Professor Gerima referred me to his wife who is more familiar with titles for younger children so I plan to return to Sankofa Bookstore to continue work on this project.  Why am I always creating more work for myself?! Why can't I just be satisfied with the packaged curriculums that are already out there? The first thing that comes to mind is the Kwanzaa principle of Kujichagulia:  to define ourselves, name ourselves and create for ourselves.  At that moment in the bookstore God said it was time for me to stop complaining and start doing.  So I'll be spending the rest of the summer contacting every scholar of African and African American history and literature that I can reach to create my own African/African American History based literature curriculum. The first book on our list is Desta and King Solomon's Coin of Magic and Fortune.  It was recommended by Professor Gerima.  It's the story of an Ethiopian Sheperd boy in search of his ancestral family's twin sister Solomonic gold coin.  I'm so excited for my son because we'll be learning together!

1 comment:

  1. I have found Blessed Heritage to be a great lit based history curriculum.