CONVERSATING ABOUT WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND!
FOOD 4 THOUGHT
By: Isra, Cultural Editor
With summer rapidly approaching many families are planning vacations and children are anxiously looking forward to the much-anticipated hiatus from school. However, the curiosity and development of the ever-learning adolescent mind never takes a recess from learning. So, knowing this, I pose this question, “What do you have on the menu to feed your child’s intellectual appetite this summer?”.
I understand that most of us are experiencing the effects of the recession, and it’s a struggle just to provide basic necessities for our families, let alone planning extra-curricular activities for our children. Trust me, I understand! But, our financial situation should not interfere with our parental duty of stimulating our children’s intellectual horizons that they can evolve into their fullest potential. Although most of you will be preoccupied with financial issues, all it takes is a little time to write out an appropriate educational plan for your child this summer.
For all of the Internet savvy parents out there, there are a number of summer programs in your area to enroll your children into that cost little or no money. The diversity of these programs range from sports camps, creative writing classes, fine arts, to all sorts of other fun activities that may spark your child s interest. A less expensive way to sustain your child’s desire for learning is to plan family trips to the local library wherein they can check out exciting books on a variety of subjects that pricks their interests. And in order to test their comprehension, require them to write a book report. To reinforce this learning environment, it is also a goad idea to purchase intellectual board games such as Scrabble, LIFE, Monopoly, and many other of your childhood favorites that you can enjoy playing with your child. I highly recommend a game called Cashflow, invented by Robert T. Kiowsaki (author of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series), that’s fun for the entire family and also teaches basic accounting and investment strategies. For those children exhibiting entrepreneurial propensities help them start often overlooked small businesses in the local neighborhood such as lawn services, penny candy or ice cream stands, or even car washes. All of these promising businesses takes very little resources to start-up; yet they will teach children key entrepreneurial skills it takes to prosper in a capitalistic economy. It also will reduce the amount of money they’ll ask you for, and perhaps enable them to help purchase some of their fall school clothes.
As you can see, there is an array of options available for your child to receive an extended education this summer which will build essential skills that will help them navigate successfully through life.
I personally believe it is extremely important to teach them about their culture and heritage, as well as that of others. The school system should not be the source for your child’s primary education-it should be your child’s secondary education. Your child’s primary education starts at home and it is absurd to believe that school alone will equip your child to live a successful, balanced and healthy life. I’m not anti-school, I’m just pro-parenting. How many of you actually have a relationship with your child’s teachers? Do you even know if they’re actually qualified to teach the subjects they’re teaching? Or do you just take the school’s word on face value? Get to know your children’s teachers this fall and take a proactive role in their education. You don’t want your children starting the next school year barely
Specifically, I was ashamed that I allowed myself to get caught up in the cycle that so many of us brothers seem to be unable to avoid. Instead of influencing the world I allowed the world to influence me. As Nas says in his song “Project Window”: “If we don’t get in control fast/We might as well be laughing’ with Malcolm X’s assassin/As we die slow perishing”
If we allow the vision to die, El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz sacrificed his life for, then we’re inadvertently contributing to the assassination of his message. When are we going to seriously take social, financial, and political responsibility for our communities? When will we start to love ourselves as much as El Hajj Malik ElShabazz loved us? It is time for us to not only clean up our image, but for us to live up to the greatness in which we all possess. We’re more than what the media depicts us as and it’s time to bring our potential into fruition. Let’s El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz’s 87th birthday mark the rebirth of his beloved nation. P.E.A.C.E.
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