At the start of this year, I had a goal of getting into an Early College program so I can graduate high school early and have a head start on college. I didn’t have many options when looking for such a program in Arizona, especially since we live in a city that is like an island. I narrowed it down to two programs, the Move On When Ready program and a local community college’s First Step program.
The Move On When Ready program focuses on you graduating from high school when you’re ready. After your sophomore year in high school, you can take a test to see if you can graduate from high school. If you pass, you receive the Grand Canyon Diploma that says you have met the requirement for high school. The First Step program is where a high school student can take classes for the summer semester, and still attend high school. In the end, I decided I would do the First Step program. Mostly because going to school always seemed like a fantasy, rather than a reality. I really wanted to get the school experience and find out what my friends say I miss not going to school.
So I started to gather as much information that I could about the program, then I told my parents and they were fine with the idea. The process of getting started wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be overall. I filled out the First Step form, then went to the campus to take my placement test. The placement test was what I was worried about mostly. Even though you cannot fail the placement test, I thought I might get a low enough score that I would not be able to join. I cannot speak of what was on the test, but I did do well. I then met with an advisor and he told me all about college and what classes I should take. So now I’m taking three classes for the summer to start my college adventure in late May.
In part one, I shared our 2016-2017 world history textbook is Robin Walker’s When We Ruled and a little about why I made the decision to use this text. Today, I’d like to share a bit more on why and how we are using his amazing work.
Why We Are Using: Is Black History Slave History?
This photo summarizes how history is taught to African-Americans:
Now, it is bad enough that this is the opening act in U.S. History, but World History? So many questions remain like:
What were “slaves” doing in Africa before slavery?
If they were in Africa, were they really slaves?
If they were not slaves, what were they doing?
If Africa had so many people with dark skin in the country, how did they become slaves and why are “white” people there now?
When did people with lighter skin come to Africa?
If darker skin people were in Africa and the bible we read seemed to take place just “above Africa”, how did Jesus and the others become “white”?
Were people in Egypt “white” or “black”?
If “white”, how did they get that way, evolution?
What did that make Moses?
What color were the people when the Hebrews, Joseph, Jacob, and Abraham went to Egypt?
What happened and who built those pyramids?
As you could see, working backward from where we are today generates many questions that need to be answered. Just working from slavery in America to today only provides one narrative, and that’s HIS-story. Needless-to-say, HIS-story usually goes like this:
African’s were savage people that were running around uncivilized in Africa, so Europeans started off with good intentions by giving them Christianity and brought them here to America like immigrants.
The early immigration plan went too far, and some evil people misused and mistreated those Africans, and made them slaves and treated them really bad.
Remember, they were savages. Therefore, the “bad treatment” they received in the “New World” was still probably better than their lives in Africa because after all, their own African people sold them to the Europeans anyway.
It was all God’s plan for without slavery, Black people would not know Christ.
Overall, without coming to America, African’s would still be running through the jungle with spears and no clothes because they never advanced to be civilized like other “races”.
Glory, Glory, Halleluiah, his untruth keeps marching on…school year after school year.
How We Are Using
As I stated previously, we are using the study guide as to set the pace for our lessons. Each day, my 15 and 12-year-olds have a portion to read and in some cases, write an essay on. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to go too deep into this as we will soon be giving an example! As their midterm final, they are to:
Choose any book in the bible.
Find a bible map that (if accurate and true) shows who inhabited that region when the book was written.
What nation was in charge?
How did they get there?
Based on what has been found and what Robin Walker states about that area, describe the people and their culture?
Now previously, one of the more interesting books in our library was written in 1881. What do you think that book said and what was the prevailing thought of “the negro” in 1881? Well, take a look:
Now to have in the library, fine, as it’s an interesting piece of work. But to teach, no thanks (at least not for the purposes generally recommended).
Robin Walker opens up When We Ruled by asking in chapter one, “What is Black History?” He goes on to quote the aforementioned Professor William Hansberry along with Professor Cheikh Anta Diop, the great Senegalese scholar to narrow our focus and begin to break of the hardened ground in our minds. Then the chapter flies over North Africa, West Africa, Ethiopia, Southern Africa and the East African Coast, proving that pyramids, royal palaces, and many other great massive structures were built on the continent that remain to this day but is rarely seen. Why are they not seen and why are they not tourists attractions like the structures in Rome, Paris, and Greece?
Photo Source: By Wufei07 – Own work, Public Domain,
When We Ruled is filled with many different diagrams, maps and photos throughout the 700+pages. So can find many various avenues to turn down to begin exploration on other historical events and places.
Now the next semester is soon upon us in a couple of weeks. If you do not have your copy (feel free to order from our affiliate link below) and want to join us on this journey, now is the time! But more importantly, now is the time to for us to know the truth about our past than we know about European history. After all, the knowledge contained in When We Ruled will do me and my children far more benefit, than knowing all about Zeus, Aphrodite, and Medusa, to name just a few myths that are forever etched in my brain taking up space.
One question that most homeschoolers face is whether or not to test their student. Standardized testing can have its benefits and its drawbacks, but the decision is often based on the learning style of the student. For some students, taking a test can determine where the knowledge of the student is and therefore help to focus on weaknesses later on. For other students, however, taking a standardized test will not capture their whole knowledge, such as those with dyslexia.
So here are the pros and cons to standardized testing, based on my own experiences. I’ll let you be the judge on what the right decision is, whether or not to homeschool.