Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!  The 4th of July commemorates our adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence said that Americans were no longer under British rule. Instead, the thirteen British colonies came together to become our own country.

I know it seems that we live in a country of over stimulation and unpopularity, but it is still a great country. Not by those who choose to discriminate against us, but by the people who want and know how awesome America is. There is a lot wrong with us right now, but we are still here united and determined to make this country a great one.

One of the most famous passages of the Declaration of Independence is “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

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Remember that we are all created equally. We all have rights. We give government power. We are one. Happy 4th of July America!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

I Finished

I finally caught up with the 2,000 blog posts that were in my email. Some of you new followers may not understand, but I usually send your posts to my email because I am not always good with checking on my reader. I’m getting better. Well, I took a hiatus from reading posts the last week and had to catch up.

It’s been good. Thank you for sharing your world, your photos and your wisdom. I always feel like I’ve learned things. I may be slow to reading your posts, but bear with me. This was the first week of summer camp and my new summer schedule.

Munch has been with me this week and it has been absolutely wonderful. He loves his new camp. I was worried and surprised, but when my mom picked him up the first day he said it was awesome. He doesn’t use that word often. In fact I can probably count on one hand how many times he’s said that in the last year. He uses that word sparingly.

My days are long and my nights are short and I feel like I am in a perpetual state of existing. Thankfully, my schedule returns to normal beginning tomorrow until the 12th of July. But, I don’t complain. Motherhood means that you have to make sacrifices and do the things that matter even when you don’t feel like it.

I am loving on my Munch and making plans for beach days, fairs and time spent with family. Oh and before I leave I want to share this picture of this bracelet he made me at camp. He rushed to give it to me when I came home Tuesday night. He asked “Will you wear it Mommy?” It’s tight as hell on my arm. LOL, but I will always wear what he makes.

You know why? Because my word for 2017 is gratitude. I’m grateful for it all. The good, the bad and everything in between.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

BlackFace 101

This is a detour from my normal posts, but I think it’s important that we have an open and honest conversation. I’m black. I’m a woman. I’ve made no secret of that. However, we can’t be afraid to talk about race.

I’ve been blessed to have friends of all nationalities and races. Let’s have a frank discussion about blackface. I’m entitling this BlackFace 101. I recently read an article about a white teen who dressed in blackface to ask a girl to prom. He believed he did nothing wrong.

If that is true, then his parents failed him. Why? Because as a parent, you have an obligation to teach not just tolerance, acceptance and empathy but history to your children. The school’s don’t do a good job of it anymore. They are literally omitting and changing history in the textbooks.  You need to fill in the blanks. Just like I have to do.

Our job as parents require us to encourage and educate our children every step of the way. If you are a parent in 2017, why would you think it is okay for your child to dress up in blackface? If you knew it was wrong and you don’t think it’s a big deal, then stop asking for forgiveness for your child’s ignorance. You failed them. Plain and simple.

I’m black, but I have to teach Munch about all cultures. Not just our own. Not the watered down versions that the schools are teaching now. It is my responsibility to make sure that he knows and respects everyone’s culture. That’s what we seem to be lacking…respect for other cultures.

If you don’t teach your children this, then you are ill preparing them for the real world. We are a melting pot of many cultures and nationalities and ignorance isn’t bliss. I don’t care what anyone says. Preparation for the future is key.

If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. Mahatma Gandhi

The history of blackface is not something that is ever appropriate. In short, white America’s conception of black entertainers were overly exaggerated. They were mocking us as the socially and racially inferior race. It was pure ignorance.

The fact of the matter is that if you choose to wear blackface after knowing it’s offensive history, you’re in essence telling me that you don’t give a crap about my feelings as a black woman. I’m supposed to take it as a joke. The thing is though…you can’t forget history. I can’t wipe off what happened to my ancestors like you can your painted blackface. It isn’t acceptable and if you do it, at least be man or woman enough to not ask for forgiveness over your ignorance.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

#NationalTeachersDay

Today is National Teacher’s Day and I wanted to publicly thank all you wonderful teachers out there. Today is a day where you should be honored. Honored for all the hard work that you do. The countless hours spent on lesson planning and making sure that you are providing both knowledge and life skills to the little minds you teach. I thank you.

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I thank you as a former student of some wonderful teachers. Teachers that encouraged me to go after my dreams. Teachers that stayed late after school to tutor me or came in early to make sure I understood the lesson. Teachers that made me believe that I could learn anything. You are truly appreciated.

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I thank you as a mother to a wonderful little boy that has learned the value of who he is by your continued support and encouragement in the classroom. Having no prior foreign language experience, you create an environment where he is learning French. Your wishes for him have come true and he is learning by leaps and bounds. He is both confident and fluent in French and I thank you.

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I thank you as the daughter of an educator. It is sometimes a thankless job to teach children that seem disconnected, but if you continue to encourage them and create a spark of interest you will realize that their flame of knowledge is burning. They listen. They know that the future will be brighter because you took the time to invest in them.

May your day be as wonderful and encouraging as you!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Summer Camp Struggles

Okay, the struggle is real. When you are a parent with a child too young to stay home alone during the summer, you really try to find quality child care that combines both fun times and educational learning opportunities. It’s hard. Because many of those programs are pricey. Overnight camp is so darn expensive that you would have to scrap any vacation plans for the summer to pay for one week at overnight camp. But, ya’ll know that I’m too protective and I probably wouldn’t let Munch attend anything prior to age 12. I’m just not feeling it.

That being said, I actually applied to a FREE STEM camp for the summer. Ugh, Munch didn’t get in. Why? We’re not poor enough. Economics. Munch’s grades and achievements would qualify, but because of my income he gets kicked out of FREE programs. Apparently, I have to be poor in order to send him to a FREE Camp.  Is it fair? Nope. Does it suck? Yep. But, I don’t want to lie. So, I don’t.

This year Munch asked to go to an art camp. See, Munch is this talented artist that can draw absolutely anything. He’s brilliant. I know it. I love it. I want to make it happen. He still needs to continue with swim as he needs to work on his endurance and rotary breathing. I’m hoping to let him go everyday for a week straight during the day for a couple of months. Hoping that his dad can take him during that time because he said he wants to join the swim team this fall. So, we need to help him get there by hook or by crook.

The school year ends June 9th and some summer camps aren’t starting until 2 weeks later, yep June 26th. I’m like WTH? Can I please catch a break? I’m hoping that Munch’s cousins are free to stay a week with me and keep him that week. I need childcare for 1 week. Oh, and the fact that most summer camps are starting at 9 am and ending at 3 pm blows. How am I supposed to work during those limited times?

I have all these color coded calendars printed out whereby I’m trying to figure this thing out. Ugh! How am I expected to get it all done? I have no idea.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it all, but I did book his art camp for the last two weeks before school starts. He’s going to love that.  We’re going to work on math all summer long, read a few books and take day trips to the beach and amusement park. I want him to have fun, but not forget what he’s learned this school year. He’s brilliant, but summer camp ain’t cheap. These are the real deal summer camp struggles of a single parent.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Parenting: Third Grade Blues

Munch is in the third grade and sometimes I feel like I’m struggling to make sure that my son is successful. Not just now but in the future. I’m trying to build a strong foundation with everything, especially math. Munch is a boy. Munch is lazy. Munch decides that he will answer what he feels like when he feels like it. Especially during assessments, quizzes or tests. If he’s not interested, he could care less.

Yep, this year has proven to be a difficult one. Multiple meetings with the teachers, emails and phone calls have all made me have to manage not just my employees but my son’s education and my son’s learning. Some days I think that I can’t do this. That I’m not cut out for this. That something has to give.

I experience the entire gamut of emotions from frustration to depression to joy at him doing something. It’s heartbreaking and hilarious. I just keep telling myself that I can’t give up. That I can’t stop pushing him, encouraging him and creating opportunities for growth. It’s exhausting.

Add to that Spring soccer, his birthday party and swim classes and you will see that I’m trying to keep him well rounded. The only saving grace is that I allow Munch to lead his scheduled activities. We do what he wants to do. He only wants to do soccer in the spring, guitar lessons and swim class. No more he says.

Okay.

However, third grade is tough. Although he’s made honor roll for the last two quarters and is on track to make honor roll this third quarter, it’s a continuous battle to make sure that he stays focused. Focus on school work. Focus on math. I’m constantly reminding him that every concept will build on the next. Reminding him that he knows it. His math grades have been adjusted because our district doesn’t allow children in grades 2-5 to fail math so he gets at least a 60.

Umm, I’m not sure how I feel about that. So, I spend extra time on math homework. Going over the multiplication table, giving extra work to build on what he’s learning in school. “Everything has a purpose Munch” is what I tell him. Sometimes he gets it. Other times he looks at me like I’m wasting his time.

Boys are hard is what I’m told. It doesn’t reassure me. I feel like I’m failing him. I asked him “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He said “A scientist.” I smiled. “Science and math go hand in hand Munch. You need to understand math and its concepts to fully understand and grasp math.”

It’s the third quarter – third grade blues I’m sure, but I can’t give up on him. I’m invested in his future. I’m investing in him. I signed him up for a STEM camp with NSBE this summer. It’s a 3 week camp. Not sure how we’ll get him to and from during the 8:30 am to 3:30 pm hours, but he likes STEM. It’s FREE so it needs to happen.

Sometimes it feels like we’ll never get through it. That my life until he graduates from high school and maybe when he goes to college is all about making sure he’s focused and doing what he’s supposed to do. When will he take the bulls by the horn and want to do it on his own?

He’s been asking to go to a regular school (non French Immersion school). He doesn’t want to continue in French. His grades are great. He just doesn’t want to learn French anymore. He wants to learn in English. Should I listen to him?

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

4 Things I Learned while Self-Publishing

Great tips from KE! Please read and share.

#1 Outsource your cover design; however, be mindful about how much you pay. The same person who designed the Kwoted cover also created The Unhappy Wife cover. This time around, she charged $265. Th…

Source: 4 Things I Learned while Self-Publishing