Read Alouds and Thank You Notes: A Toddler Shows Thankfulness and Builds Community

  From very early, Mom taught the importance and impact of gratitude. Before I could even write and talk, she guided me in how to thank others for the love they showed. She told me stories of how she would guide my hand to write my name on thank you cards. Later, she would put me on … Continue reading Read Alouds and Thank You Notes: A Toddler Shows Thankfulness and Builds Community

We Are Commissioned for Greatness (2005 and 2015)

  We were from that exhalation of Ether and ethos, Fusing and spooling Ancestral imaginings into Seedlings seeking soil, unfolding Into roots, absorbing, charged to Burrow deep into Mother Earth’s mouth, Soak in every watering word. Obliging study of the bark and Tutorials from leaf veins creating food for the body, We learn our charge. … Continue reading We Are Commissioned for Greatness (2005 and 2015)

Unpacking Motherhood

Originally posted on tmy_chronicles, phd:
The newness of being a mom, and the fullness thereof. For Carla and Tiffany. Being a mother is backbreaking work.  At the end of the day, the toys are collected and recollected, rooms cleaned and disinfected, floors swept and mopped, and the stroller unpacked of toys and books and…

Cookie Cutters on the Floor: Learning Vocabulary and Pronounciation through Objects Around the Home

From since being a crawling baby, Keith loves visiting his Godparents’ house. Specifically, he loves their kitchen. Wide floor area, slightly secluded from the rest of the house, it has become his favorite place to play. Whenever we visit, he launches straight for the kitchen, raids the bottom corner cabinet, pulling out a tub of … Continue reading Cookie Cutters on the Floor: Learning Vocabulary and Pronounciation through Objects Around the Home

Literacy Learning in the Kitchen: Building Vocabulary, Practicing Procedural Thinking, and Learning to Tell Time

        At ages 3 and 2, Keith and Maceo, respectively, have little patience for workbooks and sitting down for long lengths of time as a means to “practice” literacy skills. So at this stage, to grow their vocabulary, build skill in strategic thinking, and support their practice of various ways of learning, … Continue reading Literacy Learning in the Kitchen: Building Vocabulary, Practicing Procedural Thinking, and Learning to Tell Time

How to Find the Answer: A Crayon, an Inquiry Board, and a Pre-Schooler’s Journey

  An inquiry board helps our son to formulate and formalize creating questions and seeking answers. It’s also become a means through which we build a community invested in investigating both our interests and world.        Kids ask a lot of questions. From the abstract to concrete, their mind is always turning and … Continue reading How to Find the Answer: A Crayon, an Inquiry Board, and a Pre-Schooler’s Journey

Using Texts to Kindle Reading and Relationships  

  Have a variety of books and materials that are immediately accessible for children to touch. Use them as a means to ignite inquiry and spark dialogue.     Kids are tactile. Having an array of resources within hands’ reach sparks their curiosity and instigates exploration, spawning the beginnings of inquiry and dialogue.  So I have … Continue reading Using Texts to Kindle Reading and Relationships  

Literacy as Social Action: A Familial Practice (An Introduction)

  As a mom of two toddler boys, I am trying to balance rearing them as both citizens of a global community, as well instill within them the knowledge and skills needed to interface with it. I constantly find myself vacillating between supporting their learning and understanding of how to interact with and treat others, … Continue reading Literacy as Social Action: A Familial Practice (An Introduction)

Yesterday.   Today.  Tomorrow. Or, This is Untitled Work (A Poem about Motherhood)

  The dreams of brown mothers Murmur and hunt For the void of dark blue/the forgotten/untrue/disbelieved pocket/where their male kin and children Are snatched captive/to rehearse again/the Breaking of bones and bloom To fit Unnatural untimely graves/ Earth unearthed too early/too soon/   Too many lay assembled/in unholy work/ Becoming food for roots/hungrily groaning/ Growing/strange … Continue reading Yesterday.   Today.  Tomorrow. Or, This is Untitled Work (A Poem about Motherhood)

Building a Home Library: An Autobiographical and Intergenerational Bridge

  A fondness for reading, properly directed, must be an education in itself. –Jane Austen   Readers have been a part of my life since birth. I cannot remember a time when I was not around someone reading a newspaper, analyzing the Bible and taking notes, or curling up with a good book simply for … Continue reading Building a Home Library: An Autobiographical and Intergenerational Bridge

Changing Policy, Changing Lives: Angela Roman’s Fight for Underserved Young People

  Angela Nikki Romans works relentlessly in actualizing the promise and possibilities of historically underserved young people. She invests in proliferating pathways of success traveling from cradle to classroom to college. Dismantling policies and disrupting practices that inhibit access, opportunity and resources, she is a catalyst for change on multiple fronts, spanning classrooms, school districts, … Continue reading Changing Policy, Changing Lives: Angela Roman’s Fight for Underserved Young People

The Shepherds (Poem for Coker Cousar Family Reunion, August 2014)

Near my sleeping sons I write this poem, uninterrupted, To imagine between their breaths, conceive under their closed eyes Their humanity and holiness/within whatever world is possible/ Inside the folds of my prayers and the flesh of my petition I press/to discern and distinguish How best to serve and promote their branches, What can be … Continue reading The Shepherds (Poem for Coker Cousar Family Reunion, August 2014)

This New Home

This new home began in old faith thinning the present walls, trimming them down, hollering, then hollowing. Word by word, year by year, we sow the crossing of momentous sea from provision to provision, abyss to oasis, oasis to sanctuary, from apartment to house speak what is yet undone to become. Three years, we are … Continue reading This New Home

Finding Fela: Music is the Weapon (Movie Review)

  Fela Kuti is a musical marauder, hallowed hedonist, and political phoenix, living a life rife with controversy, contradictions, chaos, conflict and curiosity. But between the beats and bruises we behold the brilliance and benevolence of a man.   In the biopic, Finding Fela, the finery and flaws of the iconic Afrobeat composer, multi-instrumentalist and activist … Continue reading Finding Fela: Music is the Weapon (Movie Review)

NaPoWriMo, Day 29, “Unchained Descant”

  Sirens can animate deserts, even in their throats. Unflowing blood heaves songs, harboring Chanting chattering ancestors/salt water and lemon juice assault then squint untamed tongue. Blues river down from tabernacles of mountains. The pastel of past faults Saunter down to valleys of black swan song.  Awaiting. Hands blister and char hovering over the lingering … Continue reading NaPoWriMo, Day 29, “Unchained Descant”

NaPoWriMo, Day 26, Bible: The Book of Bread and of the Dead

  In turn of page and century, we are walked through lives as lessons, Chronicles weave consequences of compliance, conviction, conflict, and concession. By ancient flooding tide, grace was denied. Primal disobedience razes God’s ire Though later crimson wave betide descendants/Son’s pouring blood reclaims. In between fruited and fruitless birth of choice/and return to Heaven, … Continue reading NaPoWriMo, Day 26, Bible: The Book of Bread and of the Dead

NaPoWriMo, Day 25, “He is/and/They Show” (An Anaphora for Mothers)

  He is my first born, with steady eyes, aiming, armed with piercing interrogations He is my second born, unafraid face that mimics every memory my face confesses He is my husband, committed in breath and body, so that the family might not know demise He is the toddler whose hands labor puzzles, embraces deliberation … Continue reading NaPoWriMo, Day 25, “He is/and/They Show” (An Anaphora for Mothers)

NaPoWriMo Day 18, “A Collage for My Father (Ruba’i)”

  In old photo on railroad tracks he sits humble, Legs askew, denim dirty, eyes on horizon. The rumble Of child persists. Paternal instinct Grinds in his bones’ marrow a gray beautiful rumble.   No greater work he chooses to know Than his daughter. Her evolving mind forging new questions, grows His own curiosity. He … Continue reading NaPoWriMo Day 18, “A Collage for My Father (Ruba’i)”

NaPoWriMo, Day 9, “Every Child Commences Cosmic”

      Every child commences cosmic. Is Cloistered, churned into galaxy, finally clothed in skin.  Sovereign And sworded, each Accepts theme from the dialogue of stars.  As parents, Accept you choosing us as temporary guardians, Solemn in knowing that To breathe your name Is to change the world.   Here are song titles used: Change … Continue reading NaPoWriMo, Day 9, “Every Child Commences Cosmic”

NaPoWriMo, Day 8, “Mother’s Marrow”

    Both sons were born wintered, planned predictions, One whose breath absorbed morning, the other clasped midnight. New moons. Unhurried beginnings. Untrammeled.  But, They will expire, someday, from a choice (hoped). Intentioned. Perhaps of blessed blues, promises kept, savored years choosing sonorous surrender.   It will be for motives no one else chooses, because … Continue reading NaPoWriMo, Day 8, “Mother’s Marrow”

Parents are the Frontline of Their Children’s Academic Achievement: A Book Review of I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother by Suzette Clarke

              Class is in session. In her self-published book, I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother, Suzette Clarke ignites a controversial conversation about the “true source” of student failure. While finger-pointing has typically designated teachers, schools, standardized tests, and standards as the source of fault, Clarke turns the finger to … Continue reading Parents are the Frontline of Their Children’s Academic Achievement: A Book Review of I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Mother by Suzette Clarke

NaPoWriMo 2014, In Tribute to My Sons

In tribute to my sons…poems inspired by NaPoWriMo, Day 4, written as lunes.   1) Green leaf fluttering, inviting Son’s hand to ponder     2) Browning leaf corpses, Siren song Entreat for last rites          3) Maceo’s Eyes The pierce/puncture of ancestors diving, tomorrow.  

“A Girl and a Gun”: Facts, Fictions and Fascination with Firearms

“A Girl and a Gun” instigates a discomfiting albeit necessary conversation about firearms, illuminating the fantasies, frights and fascination associated with them.  Filmmaker Cathryne Czubek gains access to the chambers (literally and figuratively) of women’s personal experiences with firearms, and with surgical precision unfolds their revelations.  Intersecting issues around gender, identity, history, politics, and culture, … Continue reading “A Girl and a Gun”: Facts, Fictions and Fascination with Firearms