Full disclosure: I never had a real plan of how I was going to talk about race with my kids. It wasn’t intentional; I just got so wrapped up in all of the other details – teaching them how to use the toilet and put on socks and say please and thank you – that I realized I had never even thought of how to couch the subject. It wasn’t until last summer, when the BLM protests reached a fever pitch, that I realized I was doing them a massive disservice. I grew up in a Black neighborhood, so my parents never quite had to broach the topic the same way, but Alex and Nathan live in a diverse community and go to school with kids that both do and do not look like them. I realized that even though they’re only four, it’s never too soon to begin to instill knowledge of, and pride in, their rich Black heritage. But it’s hard to know where to begin. There’s so much to cover, and so much of it comes with the challenge of explaining it to a preschooler.
When Urban Intellectuals, a Black-owned company and the brand behind the Sankofa Club, reached out to me, it seemed like fate. Sankofa Club provides a monthly set of Black History related exercises, activities, and projects and more to inspire youth, teaching history while addressing basic math, writing, and cognitive skills. I was super excited to see how I could integrate their curriculum into what my boys already enjoy. I was a little skeptical at first – my boys are still in preschool and I’ve never been the biggest “homeschool mom,” so I was afraid the material might be too high for them, but I was pleasantly surprised! Sankofa Club actually offers material appropriate for kiddos starting at age 3, and my boys were super excited when they saw the activity books with their names on them. It was a really easy way to access Black history curriculum in a way they enjoyed – they’re at the age now where they love drawing, coloring, and connecting the dots. The material practically taught itself. Anyone with a four-year-old knows they ask a million questions about everything, so with each page they colored, they did just that – “Who’s that?” “What did they do?” It completely opened the door for discussion in a way that felt seamless and natural. I could quickly see why it was such an awesome educational tool for kids even as young as mine. I never thought it would be so easy to have the twins ask me more about Garrett Morgan, Bessie Coleman, or any of the other hundreds of Black history icons that the programs feature – but it was perfect for us. They had already done all the work and research for us!
I also loved that the programs integrated key skills I wanted my kids to master in school. They start Pre-K in the fall (I know, can’t believe it either) and I want them to go in with some pre-existing knowledge and ability that will serve them in every aspect of school. Sankofa Club’s activities allow them to practice handwriting, shape recognition, memory and matching, counting, and the alphabet – all things I want them to have a strong grasp on before they set foot in a Pre-K class this August. This program is not only great for homeschooling families, it’s also awesome for the working parent who wants to integrate some educational tasks in their family’s day without it becoming a huge, time-consuming thing. They even include virtual lessons five days a week for when you want to delve a little more in-depth.
There is soooo much to choose from when you join Sankofa Club! It’s so worth it to be able to expose the twins to Black history early in ways that are easy and fun. A monthly membership is $29.99, and right now, there’s a one-month trial for just 99 cents. I’m so excited to see how much we learn together in the next few months, and I’m even more excited to know that I can raise young Black men who are knowledgeable and, above all, proud.