A Kid Focused Resource to Learn about Racism

I am looking forward to watching this video from Nickelodeon hosted by Alicia Keys. It is for kids 6+ so I would recommend previewing if possible so you can see if there is anything you want to talk about with your child ahead of time, or anything you want to make sure to process with them at the end. I would recommend watching with your child and having an open ended discussion afterward. Many kids may need to watch the video in shorter chunks, and many will need time to think about what they learned before they talk about it.

Happy learning!

Juneteenth History and Ideas for Parents and Teachers

Image Credit: National Juneteenth Observance Foundation.

Juneteenth is celebrated in many states on June 19th each year. The first Juneteenth was on June 19th, 1865. Juneteenth is primarily celebrated in African American communities and commemorates the oldest known celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation which signified the beginning of the process of slavery becoming illegal in the United States which culminated with the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution. The fight for full freedom and equality continues to this day. Here is a video for kids from PBS that gives an overview of the history of Juneteenth. This video lacks nuance but is a good place to start.

A lot of us, myself included, do not know a lot about the history of the enslavement of Africans. I would recommend this article from Teaching Tolerance to get a general overview. I would recommend reading Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi for a more thorough education. I am in the middle of listening to it on the library’s Hoopla app and it is compelling!

Juneteenth is now a day to celebrate African American culture and heritage as well as acknowledge and reflect on the history of slavery, racism, and the resilience of African Americans in the past and today. Here is a video from PBS of a Juneteenth celebration in Colorado.

Here is a great article from Indy’s Child with ideas for families or teachers to get started learning about and celebrating Juneteenth. There are easy activity ideas, suggested children’s books and links to virtual Juneteenth celebrations. I love their ideas for making a Juneteenth flag, enjoying music, and having red foods as simple ways to celebrate!

Here is the official Juneteenth website as well.

Some things to consider when talking to your child about slavery and racism. A lot of this information I learned from The Conscious Kid.

  • DO- Use the terms “enslaved Africans” and “en-slavers”.
  • DON’T- Use the terms “slaves”, “slave owners”, “slave masters”, or vague terms like “people who were slaves”, or “people who had slaves”.
  • DO- Tell kids that many enslaved Africans freed themselves by escaping and running away from their enslavers. They became “self-emancipated” or “self-liberated”.  Enslaved Africans also found ways to resist enslavement like breaking tools or pretending to be sick. Make sure to emphasize the humanity and bravery of enslaved Africans.
  • DON’T- Tell your children untrue facts like “Abe Lincoln freed all the slaves”, or “everyone celebrated the end of slavery.” Avoid making a happy ending or making enslavement and enslavers sound better than they were.  It is hard to tell kids painful and ugly truths but perpetuating myths is very harmful.
  • DO- Brush up on your own knowledge of history so you can be accurate with your children and say you don’t know when you don’t know. This is a slow process of learning and unlearning. Start where you are and feel good about moving forward.
  • DON’T- Avoid talking about the subjects of slavery and racism with your children because it is hard, or because they are too young. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to share all the gruesome details. You can be factual and empowering!

I hope everyone has a great Juneteenth!


Talking to Your Kids about Race and Racism

Photo Credit: John Cameron from Unsplash.com

Those of us lucky enough to have kids in our lives have a constant source of inspiration. Kids are naturally curious, question asking, loving, open-hearted, emotional, and deeply concerned with what is fair and what is just.

It can be really hard to look these lovely tiny humans in the eyes and talk to them about race and racism. We don’t want them to know how the world may treat them if they have black or brown skin. If they are white, we don’t want them to know the atrocities that are part of the legacy of white supremacy. We don’t want them to know about our own issues, bias, and limitations.

I cannot overemphasize how important to do your own work and grow as an individual if you are a parent or teacher guiding children in how to be a human and how to be anti racist. So if you are reading, listening, feeling your feelings, donating, following/joining organizations, writing, protesting, or thinking, you are doing the work! Each person’s work will look different. Do what feels right and keep trying!

Here is a video for parents about talking about racism with their kids. This also is helpful for my fellow teachers to watch. To follow up, I would recommend following The Conscious Kid, Ibram Kendi, and Diverse Reads. I would also recommend reading the chapter on how racism in NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. The rest of the book is also fascinating!

I would also recommend watching this video from The Tutu Teacher that she made for her kinders defining racism, how kids can help, and reading a kid friendly story, Let’s Talk about Race by Julius Lester.  Watch it with your child and see what they think!

Wishing you well as always!

Summer Fun

  • We will have a couple Zoom get togethers over the summer for a fun and safe way for your child to see friends in our class. I will email details closer to time.
  • Let’s be pen pals! Have your child write/draw a note or story. Text or email a photo of it and I will write back!
  • Check the blog for fun ideas throughout the summer.
  • Feel free to let me know if your child would like a Zoom, FaceTime, or phone call. I am happy to chat with them!
  • Tutoring: I will email the options in the next couple of weeks. I have a plan but want to get all the information from our district meetings next week before I share in case I need to make changes.

Class Awards!

We celebrated each child on Zoom with a class award! Each kid brings so many amazing qualities to our school family and it was fun to take a few minutes to acknowledge each child. Here are the awards so you can print/save your child’s as well as scroll through to see all the awesome learners we have in our class.