The first thing a parent must remember when they are homeschooling their children is that their child must pass Common Core State Standards test to progress in grade levels.  These tests measure a child’s comprehension of academic skills. Today, it is necessary for children to develop their reading, writing, and use of language skills.

As many of you know, we African/Black Americans speak two dialects of English: Modern English and Ebonics, ( I am bringing that term back because I believe it is applicable).

E·bon·ics /ēˈbäniks/ noun
American black English regarded as a language in its own right rather than as a dialect of standard English.

For instance, when discussing information with friends versus the language used to obtain a job.

At this point in time, it is necessary for children to learn proper Modern English and possibly a second language.

I will describe proper modern English as the dialect spoken on the news.

Children will have to master the following skills to succeed in their academic careers:

  1. Increased complexity of the information being learned
  2. Increased amount of reading material
  3. Children will have to comprehend text and make arguments discussing the information they have read
  4. Increase vocabulary
  5. Improve verbal and written communication.

The first goal a homeschooler should do is to develop a stellar vocabulary for their child.  Depending on the age group, vocabulary development should be interactive with the parent.  (Malcom X was a proponent of vocabulary development and the use of dictionaries to improve vocabulary.  A major goal of Malcolm X was to educate our community.)

One method for parents to increase their child’s vocabulary is reading.

One successful method I have used with children is sharing the reading load and games.  For example, choose a book they child is interested in.  I like to use the serendipity method of walking around a bookstore and let the child find a book they want to read or hear you read to them.

As parents, it would benefit your teaching endeavor to read the book thoroughly and find key terms in the story for your child to learn.  While you and your child are taking turns reading the material, ask them to explain words in the text and concept.  This is an “understanding moment” or teaching moment, where you explain information that the child does not understand.  [Do not baby talk to your child while teaching lessons].