Five Stay at Home/Quarantine Tips

Since stay at home/quarantine has become our new normal, we are forced to acquire new adaptation skills. And just in case you think I’m writing this blog because I have mastered this, that’s nowhere close to reality. Like everyone else I have had to come up with some new adaptation skills to cope with our new normal. Hence, I decided to share some that have been working. Although we have been quarantined for a while now I still decided to publish this for those who might still be struggling with keeping their kids engaged at home. In fact, this will be a good resource for future reference as well. Who knows what September has in store for us?

  1. Create an Inclusive Schedule

When I realized that we were at home/quarantined, I immediately jumped into “Type- A mommy mode”. I immediately thought I had to be in control. I needed a schedule, I needed to jump on things right away. I needed to make sure things would not fall apart. After all, I am ‘super mommy’ and everyone needed me to take charge. Boy, was I wrong about this? I quickly came to the realization that a more practical and workable approach would be creating a more ‘Inclusive’ schedule with my family. So, I quickly shifted my expectations and began the process of creating a schedule. To my surprise, one of my then ten-year old twins texted our family group a schedule on the first day of our quarantine, suggesting that we could use it. This was a win for us all, as all 3 of my kids were in! They liked the schedule. Now it was time to revise and go. So, I sat with my twin boys and came up with a workable schedule. Then I sat with my 15-year daughter -who obviously is in a different word from 10-year old elementary school boys. Now, the result is a schedule that was mutually created. This approach allows for accountability from all parties. Although it’s summer we still have a modified summer schedule (more fun with some academics). This allows them to maintain some sense of accountability. This is a good habit to practice as it allows your child to ease back into a school schedule with less resistance.

  • Be More Lenient

With quarantine in full effect, I realized that my strict routine of no electronics or television during the week had to go out the window. With all the intensity and difference in structure of learning I began to understand that anxiety and frustration would become more common. So, we made the decision to allow our kids to use electronics or watch television with a little more lenience in this time. It is important to note that when you make this decision, do so within the parameters of what works best for your family. With that said there were some non negotiables.

  • Electronics or television could only be enjoyed if work was completed.
  • There was limitation on time allotted and days that electronics could be used. eg.  Our kids would get a specific amount of time for selected days of the week. Weekends they were given more lenience of course!

I can assure you that when this decision was made I was a bit nervous as I know the impact that too much screen time can have, but we seem to be handling it pretty well. Whenever there is pushback we always refer to the agreements we made and the importance of accountability.

  • Be Creative- Family Fun

We have always had a busy schedule and just somehow made it work. Our kids have become so accustomed to this. We however, always find time for family and fun. But the level of connection made and quality time we have spent together since quarantine is unimaginable. From playing games, engaging in deep conversations, exploring new talents, doing activities together and trying out social media challenges we have been having a “ball.” These connections and this time spent together is invaluable. I encourage you to take advantage of this time. Carve out a time to spend with family as often as you can per week and make it worth your while. One thing that work well for us was that we make these decisions as family, which allows us to hold each other accountable. Trust me our kids hold us accountable and run that guilt trip if we dare to beg for a rain check. This keeps us all true to our word. Of course, there are a few instances where we have to make changes or reschedule activities, but because we have created that sense of accountability it makes it less difficult. In essence, despite all the odds of the time we are granted the opportunity to spend true quality time with our family. So, why not? This is an unusual gem that we should relish in.

  • Find or Revive your Passion

Now everyone has a passion that they want to live out, but not everyone has to the time to do so. It’s amazing what you can do with commute time and extra time that would be spent at work or out with friends. Don’t get me wrong I value all of these for what they are worth, but as we speak we are limited to the four walls of our home. So, let’s work with what we have. Take time to work on or revive something you did not have the chance to take on in a long time because of lack of time.

  • Pray Together

“The family that prays together stays together.”

We have always impressed the importance of prayer to our kids. They fully understand that we pray when all is going well, and we pray when we need help. Always pray. In this time, we have gotten the opportunity to see firsthand the power of prayer. We pray individually, and we pray together as a family for the world at large. Talk to you family/kids about praying and the importance of praying. Make it a habit and allow it to become a normal part of your daily routine and not something you do only in times of trouble.

5 Reasons to Fear Not

“Be brave, keep strong. The world needs you: WOMAN.”

Charlia moulton-Campbell

Fear of taking that next step, that leap, that jump as they say can become overwhelming. I was very comfortable with what I did best in my head – teaching, motherhood, the usual. For me it was more about failing and then dwelling on what people would say, rather than just thinking about the process. I always had thoughts to share, people to inspire and moves to make, but many of these actions were written down somewhere and just lived there. I didn’t want to see or face any possibility of failure.

According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary fear is an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. Fear of unknown situations usually leads to anxiety and discomfort. I never wanted to face discomfort. My life would then appear to be in disarray and would deviate from the notion that I had it all together. We need to understand that fear is a concept and once we overcome our fears we can take on any challenge.

Below are 5 reasons I believe we should not fear…

  1. God’s got you- Psalm 46:1 states:
    “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” This bible verse has been my guide for as long as I know, but I must confess that I still struggled with fear. Fear has been my greatest enemy for a long time. Today, I know that once God is a part of your story, once you put him first and have faith in Him you can accomplish anything you want. I always knew I wanted to follow my dream, my passion of writing. I knew I had to share my story. Growing up in a traditional home, my life unfolded more on the non-traditional path. I want to share this with the world, since many believe life has to follow a certain flow or you will be fated to end badly. I knew I wanted to explore my dream of writing professionally, but I was ridiculously fearful. When I got the opportunity to co-author, I knew it was an opportunity I should take. Even then, I still struggled with fear and uncertainty. However, I decided to fight fear and follow my dream of becoming an author. When you fight fear the results are endless. Always remember- God’s got you.
  2. Keep your village busy – Growing up my mother always had her village, these were a few close friends or relatives who she would go to for support, advise and reassurance. At a very young age I learned that everyone needed a village. There is always going to be times when you need to call on someone. This is not a sign of weakness, but indeed a sign of strength in my opinion. When one is secure enough to call on a support team, that exhibits a trait of strength. When you become fearful in situations think about your support system, your village. Believe it or not we have people who are rooting for us and will support our ventures. We must come to a place where we are comfortable reaching out to talk a situation through with a village member or ask for advice. Keep your village busy!
  3. You can always try again- “If you fall get back up, guess what you might fall again, but never forget to get up and keep trying.” What if Walt Disney refused to try again when he was fired at first for lacking imagination and good ideas? Oftentimes, our greatest fears come from the thought of failure. We fear that if we try we might fail. We fear that if we fail we will be branded as failures and criticized by everyone. Please understand that failure is a necessary part of the process, sometimes we need to fail to become stronger. Sometimes we need to fail to get to the next step. Sometimes we fail because we made the wrong choices. The good thing about failing is that we have many opportunities to always try again. We can use our failures as lessons or learning experiences. When we know we can keep trying our fear becomes invisible.
  4. It is not as difficult as it seems – If failure was not an option, would our situations prove to be so difficult? When we want to do something new or change something it indeed makes us fearful. We struggle with what the consequences might be or the outcome. Newness or change might be a big move, but at the end of the day it is not as difficult as we think. When God asked Moses to lead His people out of Egypt it seemed like a surmountable task. If Moses had focused on his fear and not his faith in God, he would not have obeyed God and the results of this story would have been different. Attacking your goals and following your dreams is not as difficult as we believe. Let us not change our story because of fear, let us live our story because we conquered our fears.
  5. Fear breeds anxiety and stress- when we live in fear we become products of fear. We worry more breeding anxiety and stress. Essentially fear can impact our lifestyle and health. Fear can result in many serious illnesses as simple as it seems, it can be detrimental. I am not saying we are going to be fearless in every situation. If we make it a habit of fearing less and taking on challenges with a little more faith we are preserving our lives, we are diminishing anxiety and stress. Years ago, I was so fearful of what people would think, what they would have to say and what they would do as a result. Today, I still listen and take advise, but I do not get caught up in negativity and doubt. If you have faith it will always happen. The key is to find your balance and make it work.

Let us fight to fear less and follow our passion and dreams.

Stepping Out

Many times, we are forced to believe that our comfort zone is the best place to be since it allows us a sense of complacency. We feel comfortable with what makes us feel at ease, with what we excel at and have mastered. Sometimes we feel comfort in our day-to-day jobs/roles/activities that make everything all simple and working. There is comfort in that familiarity and that safeness that proves to be our place of solace. But, life has so much more to offer. Life is about sometimes pushing yourself over the edge, pushing beyond limits, living outside your comfort zone and thinking outside the box. Life is about shifting thinking, changing opinions and fostering hope. Life is about building the best version of yourself, for you.

Recently, I was challenged to push myself outside the box, I was challenged to shift thinking and feel uncomfortable. I say challenged because for years I ‘sat’ on my writing. I had so much to say, but it just sat there. Yes, I shared on my blog and through my greeting card poems and quotes on social media, but the stories I shared in our book were somewhat different. These stories were out for the world to see, stories I held deep within my heart. Stories that channeled feelings for not just myself, but for those close to me and others who would read. Little did I know this was what life would become in literally the blink of an eye. I had no idea, I wasn’t ready…were a few of my thoughts. But know this God’s timing is not your timing. When God is ready, you have to move. There is no negotiating, there is no waiting- “when it’s time, it’s time.”

I was challenged to awaken a different side of me as I shared some of my most personal stories. Today, I not only share my writing, but I am speaking out to encourage and bring hope to those who need it most. I can’t lie, I was very fearful and doubtful.  But God put all that fear and doubt aside and told me it was time. It was time to share with the world, to possibly inspire at least one person, to encourage others to know it’s never too late. Hearing someone say, “I am going to do this because you did it” or “because you said this,” is heartwarming. I get joy from sharing what I do to inspire and encourage. Everyone has a job, but most of the times there is a passion that is hidden deep within. when this passion is explored, it brings great happiness and satisfaction. Why not explore this? 

I get it, it’s not as easy as it sounds. But whether you have to be forced, challenged or just jump right in, it’s worth it. Your happiness depends on it. I believe that everyone is born with a unique talent waiting to bud, some are already budding, some are still waiting. Whether you are waiting or budding, the world is yours. It is important to understand that how you take on your world is ultimately dependent on you and your willingness to “step out” and challenge yourself. All that being said timing is of the essence. Nothing happens before the time. When your time comes, embrace it with all you got!

Live your dreams,


Permission to Teach Please…

I grew up in the field of education. Both my parents were educators. I was grading papers, analyzing student data with and for my parents from a very tender age. I was their mini teacher and I loved that it made me feel a strong sense of responsibility. I felt like my parents, as educators, had the final say, they were respected and their advice to a parent was valued. When their students came to school, their parents had full confidence and trust that they were in ‘good hands.’ The teacher’s word was final. Pretty much whatever the teacher said “was final.” This approach, I believe allowed for a deep sense of understanding between parent and teacher regarding goals and expectations of the student/child. Teachers felt they were at liberty to teach more freely and to make decisions without being scrutinized. The relationships formed were solid and not influenced by parent bias or thoughts. I know most parents today understand and know exactly where I am coming from, despite the fact this we sometimes succumb to societal pressures to “fit in” or be apart of the “in crowd.” What good does this do? Where do we end up?

Today, in many gentrified communities teachers of color are sometimes challenged with issues and concerns that oftentimes get in the way of the flexibility of teaching without reservations. By this flexibility I mean the liberty to explore varied kinds of instruction without seeking permission first. Many teachers of color speak of the need to constantly prove themselves to parents as educators, even when their performance level is comparable to that of peers of another race. Teaching without feeling like they are always ‘being watched.” While I do value parental involvement and support, sometimes I believe that many parents allow their lack of trust to create a sense uncertainty in schools, thereby impacting the overall picture.

Picture this:

Your child has a great teacher who is attentive, loving, can execute a lesson effectively and engage her students with true conviction. The teacher listens to parents concerns and has great relationships with staff and other parents. Pretty much: a perfect situation of a teacher. This seems like a seemingly ideal situation in a school setting. Something most parents would ask for.

However, while these situations are very common there are many experiences where although this is the reality, “excessive parental intervention” sometimes takes precedence. The overwhelming occurrence of a barrage of questioning pedagogy and expertise has become very prominent in some school settings. To whose advantage, I am not sure, because as far as I know no party benefits from the said situation. Please understand that I value genuine questions and concerns that are not meant to demolish one’s character or to cast the blame on one particular member. If families have sincere questions and concerns, I for one welcome them with open arms. While throughout my eleven years in this profession, I can only think of a few of these unwelcoming and difficult experiences, I know of many colleagues and friends who constantly live these moments.

I am hereby asking for permission for all educators to teach without feeling restricted, without feeling like our hands are tied. Permission to be trusted and respected. Permission to be truly allowed to care and love our students without doubt from anyone. Permission to know that when they are in the classroom they are in charge of the educational future of their students. Permission to freely say to a parent: “I know that your child…” “Here is my recommendation…” or any similar line of support and be listened to. Permission to teach your child like a trained teacher. No one goes to the doctor, engineer or any other field of profession and question their craft. Give us a shot, we are open to questions, suggestions and partnerships.