I'm Aiesha and this space is all about my adventures in homeschooling my daughter Tiny Smalls. We've named our homeschool the Awesome Fabulous Academy, because we are pretty much both of those, all of the time.

I began homeschooling her in February, 2011--2/3 of the way through her first-grade year--but had been pondering it after she completed her amazing preschool. It's a choice that empowers both of us and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Here, you'll find what we do, how we do, an occasional rant, and resources too.
Recent Tweets @missturman
If we actually started calling bullying what it is and address it as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fat phobia and classism it would actually give children a better way to deal with the very same power dynamics they will face as adults, while also giving adults more responsibility to challenge the intolerance that is rooted within our society overall.

- Amanda Levitt at Fat Body Politics (October 5th, 2012)

Hey! That’s me!

(via fatbodypolitics)

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If [Teach For America] really wants to do a favor for poor inner city kids, they ought to send the two year volunteers to teach in the best white schools in New York City to free up veteran teachers to teach the children of the poor, because they’re the ones who need teachers who know what they’re doing and aren’t just practicing on them.
Jonathan Kozo (via basedbrezhnev)

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Happy 2013! Here’s to another year of homeschooling awesomeness.

When public schools are judged by how much art and music they have, by how many science experiments their students perform, by how much time they leave for recess and play, and by how much food they grow rather than how many tests they administer, then I will be confident that we are preparing our students for a future where they will be creative participants and makers of history rather than obedient drones for the ruling economic elite.
Mark Naison, Fordham professor and social justice activist (via socialismartnature)

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“Willow Smith, you’re 11 years old. Nobody needs advice about ‘being themselves’ from you. Call us back when you get your period” was tweeted and retweeted hundreds of times last night and Monday morning.

Considering what black children learn about blackness, subtly and openly, in the media and in American culture, don’t we want them to have the strength and resilience to say, “I am not your stereotype, but I am me”? Don’t we want them to feel comfortable in their skin? Don’t we want black children to be as free as other children? Don’t we want to inoculate little girls against the onslaught of shitty messages about black femaleness?Perhaps we don’t.

I can’t help but set reaction to Willow Smith next to the plethora of young male performers who brag about swag and girls and money without raising so much as an eyebrow. But a little black girl sings “your validation is not that important to me,” and all hell breaks loose.

Much reaction to Willow Smith also confirms the way women are expected to perform femininity. One person live tweeting the BET Awards offered that Willow Smith was “turning into a little lesbian,” and that wasn’t the only message speculating on the 11-year-old’s sexuality or questioning her gender. Another tweeter snarked that rapper Tyga and Willow are one in the same.

There would be nothing wrong If Willow were to identify as a lesbian or a boy, but what narrow parameters are we placing on girls and women if simply wearing our hair short, sporting a button down over skinny jeans, and daring to mount a skateboard dictates all anyone needs to know about who we are and who we love?

What’s the problem? If I had a little girl, I would be excited as all get out if she were like Willow Smith. I wish I had been more like Willow at 11. (But then, I don’t have multimillionaire parents, which makes some difference, yes?) We lament the presence of strong role models for our children. They could certainly do a lot worse than idolizing a seemingly smart, engaging, self-assured, quirky black girl. That so many of us don’t recognize that says a lot about our society — none of it good. | The Willow Text: What the Reaction to Willow Smith Says About Us (x)

I will reblog this every time I see it. Tiny Smalls is still giving herself whiplash from Whip My Hair.

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It never fails that I’m asked this question — how is Tiny Smalls with people? I wonder if people think that I keep Tiny Smalls locked in a room doing worksheets with little to no contact with other children. She’s not an alien or a side-show curiosity. She’s around people ALL the time.

As a parent, I’ve had her out and about since she was itty bitty. Her first trip to the mall was @ 8 days old. It was more or less a ploy to get me out of the house and she slept the whole time, but she was still out. Her first subway ride was at 6 weeks — she was wide-eyed and alert for that — and we began baby Spanish group before she was a year old. All that hand clapping, story listening and maraca playing probably helped her with people skills in some way.

But here’s the deal, if you raise your child to know how to behave appropriately in different situations AND model that behavior for them, then they’ll be alright regardless if they are home schooled, attend public or private school. Tiny Smalls is around other people all the time — from her after school program, to her dance, choir, piano and art classes to her physical and occupational therapists — mo’ people, mo’ people. And let’s not forget, we live in NY. We have to negotiate public transportation and crowded sidewalks on the daily and this gives Tiny Smalls an added layer of literacy. She is also skilled at busting out the subway map and showing me where we are, where we need to go and how to get there.

I really think the “socialization” question is really a couched “Who do you think you are trying to educate your child outside of the system” question. By nature of being humans, we are social creatures and anyone who has met Tiny Smalls knows that her abilities to navigate the world around her and exchange with the folks in it are on point. Do I think it’s a fair question? Not really. But do I answer nicely? All the time.

Ebony Jr. is Digitized!

I grew up reading this — fiending for it to come in the mail every month. I’m not saying that Tiny Smalls is going to be inundated with it (*cough, cough*), but we WILL be using during Awesome Fabulous downtime.

Click the link to go the issue.

How We Spent Our Summer…In Photos

Summer ‘12 was full. FULL. And while we don’t stop with academics during the summer (we ease up a little bit), we do make sure that we take advantage of all the warmer months have to offer!

As we begin third grade, our second full year of the Awesome Fabulous Academy, I promise to work hard at posting weekly, but forgive me if I miss a post here or there.

Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.
Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society (via bog-king)

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When you live in a poor neighborhood, you are living in an area where you have poor schools. When you have poor schools, you have poor teachers. When you have poor teachers, you get a poor education. When you get a poor education, you can only work in a poor-paying job. And that poor-paying job enables you to live again in a poor neighborhood. So, it’s a very vicious cycle.

Malcolm X   (via warriorsrise)


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He breaks it down SO SIMPLY.

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