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Meet the Skylarks!  Making their home in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, veteran homeschooler Tajullah Skylark and her husband have homeschooled their four girls for the past 13 years.  In this issue, Tajullah Skylark shares some of her wisdom with S. Courtney Walton.

What brought you to Homeschooling?
Tajullah first heard bits and pieces about homeschooling while an education major in New Jersey where she studied open classrooms and special education. At the time, her basic understanding of homeschooling was that it was only for the rich and out of reach for most families, yet she knew that when she had her own children, the public school system would not be for them. Fast-forward twenty years, and after giving birth to their first child at home, Tajullah and her husband decided to go ahead and homeschool. “It [homeschool] just rolled, kind of a natural progression.”

At age two, their first daughter Zenzile, provided the prototype for the Skylark family homeschool which now consists of five girls, ages 3 through 14. “My kids have been with me from conception – none of my children have been in school, so I don’t have to unschool.” Their learning is international in scope, providing a healthy and balanced worldview. “We want them to have a good sense of who they are and how they fit into society.” Tajullah stresses the importance of giving children the proper tools to be successful. “A lot of African Americans are operating in a social system with no tools.” Acknowledging that there is more to success than getting a job, making money and purchasing a home, the Skylarks are ensuring that their daughters’ “toolkits” are appropriate for African American women. “I didn’t do a lot of reading on homeschooling, I just did it. I’m not sure there are books which give suggestions on how to homeschool five black females. If you are an African-American woman you’ll have a different toolkit than a man. And you can’t use tools based on eurocentric ideas, claim them as your own and then wonder why they don’t work for you.” Good health is stressed – knowing how to care for their bodies inside and out. “All of the girls have natural hair, and know not to confuse conformity with european standards.”

What is the greatest challenge to homeschooling and how do you address it?
“Keeping the school room organized! There is so much paper to wrangle with five children.” The Skylarks have a mini-school and each child has her own computer networked to the Internet. They don’t use prepackaged curriculums, preferring real books and interactive software instead. Tajullah says that the children have learned to be librarians and put books back in order.

What are the most surprising changes to your family life because of homeschooling?
“Homeschooling keeps me abreast of things. Dealing with small people all day gives me intellectual stimulation and hasn’t gotten boring. [Homeschooling] makes me remember the things I learned and make an effort to learn the answer to what I don’t know.”

In addition to homeschooling, Tajullah Skylark operates a home-based business. Learn more about her products at

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