Book Commentary                
ISBN# 0-9646431-0-3   


As For Me and My House
         by Paula Penn-Nabrit

cover.jpg (10645 bytes)Admittedly, homeschooling is not for everyone. Having stipulated to that, this volume illustrates why many families would do well to consider homeschooling as an educational option. Author, Paula Penn-Nabrit, reveals her family's surpris-ing rationale for choosing home-schooling. She and husband, Charles Nabrit, have merged spirit with intellect while homeschooling three sons. Their intense academic study approach is holistic, emphasizes both depth and breadth of knowledge, and values critical thinking.  It is framed around the premise that achieving equilibrium in mind, body and spirit is the ultimate educational accomplishment.

More significantly, this work removes some of the outlander stigma so often associated with homeschoolers. This is the account of an African-American family functioning holistically. The kids, judging by well-publicized statistics regarding adolescent males, are not normal. Yet, they are spiritually, intellectually, and physically strong. They are healthy and self-confident young men. Granted, this family is different, but in ways that are wonderful. The motivation for this difference stems from a desire to ensure this family's members' success, individually and collectively.



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As For Me and My House

Although not intended as a how to guide, Paula clearly chronicles the action plan they used to develop curricula, find and hire teachers, and stay on track of specific educational objectives. Their methods richly apply situational creativity and demonstrate numerous ways to have fun and grow together as a family. 

Also of note are her comparative insights about public versus private educational institutions. Paula cleverly weaves a Reality 101 lecture into this discussion by anecdotally addressing issues of classism, racism, and sexism.  The wisdom from the periphery is reason enough to read this work, even if homeschooling is not on your horizon.

Originally published in 1995, this second printing comes on the heels of tangible evidence of an unqualified pedagogic success. After six years of homeschooling, their older sons, twins, Charles and Damon, both were admitted to Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Morehouse College, and The Ohio State University's Honors College. They chose to enter Princeton.

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ISBN# 0-9646431-0-1

SANKOFA: Look to Your Past Forgotten Heritage   
by Paula Penn-Nabrit

Click Here for free download of SANKOFA         

                 An Excerpt from the book [pp. 7-9]

wpe4.jpg (47922 bytes)Step One: Articulation
The first step was our determination as parents to indelibly mark our sons' passage from childhood to young manhood. Charles and I forced ourselves to sit down and begin the arduous process of articulating precisely what we expected of our sons. Our sons, Charles and Damon, fraternal twins, were young, but rapidly maturing African-American males, and we wanted our expectations to be as clear as possible. Our hope was that our expectations would help them shape their own.

Part of the rationale for this critical first step was the desire to circumvent what we term the vortex of assumption. All too often a consensus of goals, if achieved within the family or community, is not articulated to children moving to adulthood. The existence of such a consensus of goals is not articulated, in fact the existence of goals, simple and complex is neither expressed nor implied. Without an expressed or implied articulation of positive goals, a negative space is created. Within this vacuum non-productive and unhealthy beliefs and behaviors evolve and foster.
We wanted to assure ourselves that we clearly had begun the process of life sustaining goal articulation for our sons. "Begun" is emphasized as the development and certainly the attainment of goals is an ongoing, highly personal process to be engaged in fully by our sons.

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Our job, essentially, is to create an environment conducive to their growth and development in that process. As we began this first step, we were forced  to confront both the individual and societal  assumptions of what it means to be a "man." First,  there is the general, societal assumption of the need/desire to dominate abusively other individuals  and Nature herself. 

Our goals for our sons included their focus on the  perfect union of the spiritual, intellectual, and physical components of the self. This primary goal formed the foundation for our approach to the rite of passage...

We articulated, first to one another and then to our sons, what our hopes, expectations, and goals were  for them words, yes, we want them to graduate from high school and college. A graduate degree would be nice as well. We want them to find meaningful work  at a living wage, and, of course, we want them to  marry spiritually and intellectually enlightened African or African-American women. However, we also want them to have a clear and conscious sense of commitment and responsibility to God, their community, and people of the African Diaspora, wherever they may dwell in the global village. We  knew the first set of goals would be repeated and supported by us and others involved in Charles' and Damon's lives. We wanted to articulate for ourselves,  for our sons, and for our community that we value the other goals as well.


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