History is a tricky thing. On the one hand, we’ve got the well-known, “front burner” historical facts and figures that most of us learn growing up. But then there’s all the less-well-known aspects of history that are just as true, just as valuable, yet often hidden from most people as they learn about all the things that brought us to the place we are today.
When I started Enrichment Studies many years ago, right away I noticed the lack of women and people of color in the arts, and that put me on a path of questioning and discovery. Were there any women or non-white people creating music and art through the ages? I learned that the answer was yes! But why don’t we hear more about them? Why haven’t their contributions earned a spot in the history books? If we only look at the surface, it would be easy to think that so many things have come to us solely through the talents and innovations of white men. Indeed, due to the social structures and conquests of the past, white men have often been in the best position to create and innovate, but they are not the only ones that have. Home educators and involved, mindful parents can reclaim the fullness of history for ourselves and our children by digging deeper and learning more than just the surface level with helpful resources like the ones Tamara Shiloh has created in her Just Imagine….What If There Were No Black People In the World book series. Affiliate links are used in this post.
This book caught my attention one day, because the topic matches two we focus on at Enrichment Studies: Inventors and Scientists. I also liked it because this fits in with my desire to help bring about a broader awareness of our diverse history to the homeschool community. I have had the privilege of speaking to Mrs. Shiloh on the phone a few times, and was so excited when she agreed to have me review these books for you. She is also generously sponsoring a giveaway, so be sure to enter at the bottom of this post!
In this sweet story, a young boy named Jaxon is taken on a magical adventure, thanks to his grandmother’s necklace and his curious mind. When he asks himself one day, “What if there were no Black people in the world?” he is taken on a journey of discovery about how his everyday life would be impacted without the many inventions and scientific advancements that were created by the men and women of color that came before him. As I kept learning about these remarkable people, I was filled with gratitude for being able to learn about them, and also filled with a desire to make sure other families get to learn about this too. This isn’t just a book for Black families, although certainly people of color will want to add this delightful book to their collection. But this is a book for every family that truly values history and wants their children to grow up with a broader awareness of our collective human story, and wants to be purposeful in fostering a curious mindset and appreciation for the diversity that is woven into our everyday lives. In the book, one of the inventors says to Jaxon, “We’re your history, and history never goes away.” We have an opportunity to make sure the history and accomplishments of all people is not swept aside and hidden from our awareness, if we are willing to. Change starts at home, and every family has the power to foster greater awareness, compassion, and appreciation for our fellow humans.
In addition to the main storybook, there are three wonderful companion books in the series, so far. Jaxon’s Journal reinforces the information from the main book, while also inspiring kids to create their own journals about things they have learned. Jaxon’s Black History Coloring Book includes the many inventions and scientific advancements from the main book, plus many more. It’s a perfect addition to the book, and provides an activity for younger siblings and students who love to get out their crayons and colored pencils! Jaxon’s Black History Activity Book includes word scrambles, crossword puzzles, word puzzles and games, reading and writing activities about the inventors and scientists, and more. All together this set will provide a lot of fun, historical richness, and reinforcement for your children. It is perfect for a unit study for homeschoolers, or a starting point for research projects. Due to the nice range of materials included in this bundle, I think children from K-high school could certainly appreciate the content, with the elementary and middle school ages probably being most ideal. These books are available at TamaraShiloh.com as well as through Amazon Prime, so you can have them in time for Christmas gift giving.
Author Tamara Shiloh is on a mission to educate about Black History year-round, and has many other books in this series coming soon! You can look forward to sharing with your children about Black women that were instrumental in science and inventions, Black cowboys, Black people involved in aviation and astronomy at NASA and beyond, and more.
This week we are giving away 5 bundle sets of this terrific book collection! Winners must have a US mailing address. All entrants will receive a free gift as well. When you share about this giveaway on social media, you’ll get extra entries in the giveaway, and your friends will get the free gift for entering the giveaway, too.
Last month I was able to attend a wonderful gathering for homeschooling moms that are also bloggers and business owners. One of the many fun things about this event is that I came home with lots of SWAG goodies that I will be giving away to you, my darlings, over the next several months. (Woot! Woot! You should see the huge stash of wonderful homeschooling stuff I have waiting here for you!)
This week I’ve decided to give away some fun stuff from one of my favorite sites that I’m an affiliate for. One lucky winner will get this cute zippered tote bag from Schoolhouse Teachers, along with two print editions of The Old Schoolhouse magazine. For those of you that remember the good old days when TOS was in print regularly, you know that to get your hands on an actual print edition these days is pretty special since they now mostly produce the magazine digitally. I’m happy to report that I’ve got the Summer 2017 edition as well as the 2017 Annual Print Book here to send to one lucky winner, along with the tote bag!
I decided to do this giveaway right now to celebrate the awesome sale that’s going on right now at Schoolhouse Teachers!
In case you aren’t familiar, Schoolhouse Teachers is a membership site that offers over 300 full courses for preK-12, PLUS classes for parents as well! Not only that, but members also get access to World Book Tools, too. You can enjoy core classes like math, science, history, and foreign languages, PLUS get to add on fun electives like art, music, public speaking, drama, and more, all for one low cost for your entire family! It’s a terrific deal for homeschool families.
Right now you can get a new two year membership for the price of one, PLUS lock in that half price rate after your two years is done! The sale is going from now through Friday 11/17/17, so jump on over there to check that out.
Everybody that takes advantage of this awesome BOGO sale will also get a free tote from Schoolhouse Teachers, so if you don’t win the one I’m giving away, all is not lost. 🙂 But hey–it never hurts to have another tote bag when you’re headed to the library or Aldi, amiright?
THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED and the winner has been contacted. Thank you!
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the most famous Post-Impressionist painters during the late 1800s. He lived in Paris, and his art often depicts the social life of bohemian Parisians during this era.
This collection of ten printable pieces of art provides a nice variety of subject matter and materials, and will be enjoyed by boys and girls alike.
For the month of November you can get this collection completely FREE! Simply enter your email address in the form on the right.———–>>>>>>
Field trips can be one of the most exciting and memorable learning events for our children, but there’s a limit to how many places we can go. Between the obvious geographical challenges, there are also financial considerations, logistical issues, and your time and energy!
Streamable Learning is a site that offers an awesome solution to this for homeschool families! They provide live, interactive streaming educational events that you and your children can attend and participate in right from the comfort of your own home. Their modern, easy-to-use platform makes it simple to see what events are coming up, and to schedule your family to join in the fun. Since these are LIVE events, you and your kiddos get to be a part of the learning in real time, including getting to ask questions and learn from what other participants had to say.
Many of the programs offer pre and post-event materials, so you can really get the most of out preparing for the event and taking advantage of learning opportunities that came up from being a part of the event. Most events include multiple time slots, so you can easily find a time that will work with your schedule. Recordings for most programs are available, too, so if for some reason you end up not being able to attend live, you can still enjoy the opportunity when it’s convenient for you.
Topics included at Streamable Learning include science, technology, engineering, math, culture, reading, literature, health and wellness, art, history, careers, essential skills, and more!
There are events geared toward all levels K-12, so there is plenty for all of your children. I am very excited to start using Streamable Learning with my high school boys. Here are the events for October and November that I scheduled us for. Look at the variety!
- The Team it Takes to Build a Video Game: What teen boys can’t appreciate this?
- An event discussing the themes in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (we are going on a road trip now, so we’ll listen to this book on our way)
- Charleston Jazz presenting a Live Jazz for Kids and a History of Jazz event (which are both geared toward grades 3-6, but I’m thinking jazz is great for everybody, so we will attend even though my guys are older)
- A program about volunteering to help Sea Turtles that looks really cool
- A presentation on Women’s Suffrage from the National Women’s History Museum
When I think about even the free or inexpensive field trips I’ve done with my children over the years, by the time I’ve put gas in the van and bought snacks or lunch (or both), it typically would cost us $40+, plus the loss of an entire school day. And if I had to buy tickets to an event, well….those are an investment, to be sure! (and well worth it, but not always easy on the family budget) I just love that Streamable Learning makes it possible to have so many cool educational experiences for all ages in such a convenient way, at a price that is so affordable. Here’s a link to go check them out.
You can also connect with Streamable Learning on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Our sponsor for this giveaway is Virtual Sheet Music
With so many homeschool families having children that play musical instruments, I know the need for sheet music is never-ending! So I was excited to hear from Virtual Sheet Music and get to learn about what they have to offer.
This terrific site offers access to sheet music for over 2,000 classical and traditional songs, from composers like Mozart, Bach, Debussy, Beethoven, Chopin, as well as music in the jazz, pop, rock, and many other genres!
I was excited to see that the sheet music here isn’t just for piano and guitar–they’ve got pretty much every single instrument included, from the accordion to the banjo, piccolo, harpsichord, and tuba, there are a TON of instruments included! (Check out the list here)
With their membership access you can download and print all of their titles for one low membership price. Additionally, there are tons of MIDI and Mp3 files available, and many accompaniment files available as well. They even offer interactive music via Scorch, which gives you the ability to play, change the tempo, transpose, and change instruments all within your web browser!
They also offer access to over 100,000 popular music titles by other publishers like Alfred, Hal Leonard, Schott Music, and others, at a deep discount.
All of the sheet music titles at Virtual Sheet Music are completely legal and are suitable for competitions, examinations, and are recognized by major music schools and institutions all around the world.
If you or your children just love to learn new pieces of music, you will love the variety and selection at Virtual Sheet Music!
Just to recap what Virtual Sheet Music has to offer:
1. Free access to over 2,000 classical & traditional titles
2. Up to 70% off on over 100,000 popular titles
3. Play along with unique Mp3 accompaniments (on selected titles).
4. Transpose music to print it for any instrument (on selected titles).