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Morning by Morning

Posted by nechc on July 10, 2007

This is an author I wish I found earlier in my homeschooling experience. Paula Penn-Nabrit and her husband C. Madison Nabrit homeschooled their 3 African-American sons, when homeschooling was still new. All were accepted at Ivy League schools as was their goal. Her writing is clear, and enjoyable while being a challenge.
Her plan for her sons’ education is the most completely thought out and intelligent plan I have ever seen. In Morning by Morning: How We Homeschooled our African-American Sons to Ivy League she tells how they were at odds with most African Americans at the time because achieving access to higher quality public education was hard-earned. At odds with their family who had sacrificed so they would have education at an Ivy League school and because C. Madison’s great uncle helped argue Brown vs. Board of Education with Thurgood Marshall. At odds with the home school community because they worked with tutors for several classes every year. At odds with their sons who never did admit to liking homeschooling and made their dislike well known to any who would listen.
Unfortunately the book has been pigeon-holed as a book for African-American’s making it hard to find. Having homeschooled for over a decade now, though not at the High School level, I believe she speaks to all mothers. Every decision she and her husband made was base on their commitment to these 3 young men, given to them by God. They were brutally honest with themselves about their, and their sons’, strengths and weaknesses. For example, while she appreciates the strength of un-schooling, its emphasis on interest-led learning, she knew it was not possible for her sons.
The title is linked to her current website and the book jacket lists the site, still operating, where they first spoke of their experience. www.nabrit.com
This will challenge all educators to look for holistic ways to grow each child to their fullest potential. It will also challenge all white Americans to look more closely at the things they say and do that are racist. I certainly have never thought of myself that way and yet now I see ways I have been separate, insensitive. While not racist I have not been as inviting, open and sensitive as I need to be.

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