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Meet the Galloways of Mesa, Arizona --  Jamal and Lisa, Noah, age 5yrs and Naomi, age 3yrs.  Homeschooling dad, Jamal Galloway shares his purpose and vision for homeschooling with FUNgasa Editor, S. Courtney Walton.

Jamal and Lisa Galloway are both pharmacists who work for a national drugstore chain. They share the homeschooling responsibilities by structuring their work schedules to accommodate their family. Jamal works 8 days in a row and then has 6 days off. Alternately, Lisa is home 8 days in a row and works during Jamal’s off days, resulting in each only working 60 hours every two weeks. When asked about their unique schedule, Jamal says, “God taught us and showed us the importance of taking care of our finances so we wouldn’t be tied down to a job and have the time to spend with our children.”

How did you come to homeschooling?
 
The Galloways had serious concerns about the current education system and its ability to adequately teach basic skills and address the needs of African-American children. The couple invested a great deal of time into researching the local schools of the predominately Caucasian community where they live. “As I visited the schools, I’d picture myself in the environment, how I would feel and how my son and daughter would feel. I could see that they wouldn’t meet the needs of African-American students and felt it wouldn’t be a good environment for my children.”
 
This did not come as much surprise, as even before Jamal was married, he and his friends would often talk about homeschooling as an option for their future families. “We felt we could teach our children ourselves. God blessed us in advance to plan to have children, even before they were born, to teach them about themselves and their history.”
 
The Galloway’s began homeschooling with a Pre-K curriculum from Abeka, when Noah was three years old. The parents were attracted to the organization the curriculum provided and the fact that it allowed room for adding different materials.
 
Many parents take issue with the Eurocentric focus of the Abeka program. How do you address it?
 
“Homeschooling requires creativity,” says Jamal, “There are ways around stuff!” The Galloways use the curriculum as a guide but are not afraid to leave it when necessary and have become quite adept at making changes and replacing eurocentric materials with historically accurate and culturally appropriate alternatives. Jamal speaks passionately, “It’s all about being creative. With any program you buy in this country, you are going to find [it’s] Eurocentric. You have to have a desire to get out there and seek out stuff. Don’t expect others to do things for you – this is part of the freedom of homeschooling. If you talk to enough people, you will find the information. God will bless people to bless you!”

 

Planning for the Future
 
“Having a child starts in the process of the mind, before you get married. It doesn’t begin with an act of sex. If God had a plan when he created the world, then we need to have a plan for parenting. Because of our career and financial planning, we now have time to train and appreciate our children. Growing up, I always desired to have a father. I see myself now as a son and yet as a father, fulfilling my own desire to be a son as I fulfill my role as a father.”
 
Now in their second year of homeschooling, the Galloways are already making plans to begin homeschooling their daughter Naomi. “Right now, I’m learning. As a teacher, I need to keep a mindset to always be learning. I look for resources from people who are serious about God and serious about homeschooling.”
 
Best advice to others
 
“It’s very important to talk to people. You cannot think that your opinion is the only right opinion. Talk to other African Americans; take an aggressive approach to homeschooling. Homeschooling has to be primary. If homeschooling becomes secondary, then it becomes a nuisance. Get a network of people to work with – iron sharpens iron. Focus on fellowship, accountability, what you can learn from others. I am a big fan of working together so that all benefit. God wants us to work together as a family. Where there is unity, there is strength. If we work together, you’d be surprised at what we can do.”

Jamal Galloway recommends the following resources:

Children
                                    of Color Bible
Children of Color Bible

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UMI KIDZ OF THE KING™
Children face tough issues every day. That’s why Kidz of the King™ is perfect for your students. Have them follow exciting adventures as the Kidz battle evil and illustrate how to handle life’s problems. Kidz of the King™ will entertain and enlighten the young and the young at heart.

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Preschool PlayhouseŽ Teaching Success Kit
Ages 2-5 Inside: • Student Folders/Teacher Guide • Activities • Visuals • Craft Kingdom™ • Scripture Scenes • Black History Personalities Poster and Profile Sheet




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