We studied skin colors this week in our home school. And not just in the "that is the way God made you" kind of way, although I do believe that.
Remember the late great DC talk song, Colored People?
Pardon me, your epidermis is showing,
sir I couldn't help but note your shade of melanin
I tip my hat to the colorful arrangement
Cause I see the beauty in the tones of our skin...
Man, that song brings back some memories.
But I digress...
I do believe that song. I do believe that God is a creative God and we as his creation reflect His artists heart.
But Ella has been asking the deeper why questions. Why is Eli's skin darker than hers? Why is Ezra's skin lighter than hers? And at the age of five, I am incredibly proud of how observant she is. How discontent she is with just a quick answer. She keeps us on our toes folks. And, you might remember that my vanilla son was caught licking my chocolate sons skin a few weeks ago. So, I better include them in this weeks lessons as well.
I found a great resource when planning this weeks lesson here. In fact, I basically copied most of their ideas as I found all of them to be perfect for the ages of my children. I also utilized our library and ordered several books related to the subject. The kids favorite was this one.
We cut people out of magazines and made a collage out of them. We looked at our world map and talked about how different skin colors are (generally) found in certain countries. We did a fun and super messy (therefore, they loved it) experiment to visually show the four main components that make up all our skin. We mixed paint to "match" our individual skin colors and painted our traced hands. We looked at several Bible verses to learn about what God has to say about us:
We are created in His image. (Gen 1:27)
He is enthralled with our beauty. (Psalm 45:11)
We are to treat our neighbors (regardless of skin color) the way we want to be treated. (Gal 5:14)
And, I must confess...this was one of those weeks that I think I learned as much (probably more) than the kids did!
As a transracial family I feel it is important to be intentional in talking about race and skin color and our differences. But regardless if your family is transracial or not, I think it is an important lesson for any family. The old belief that children are basically color blind is just not true. Kids notice differences...from the earliest ages they are taught to classify (shape sorters, etc.) and as their parents we are their primary source of information! By not talking about these differences we potentially send the message that different is bad...however unintentional that message is. How important it is that we explain the way God views all people and to teach them the reasons for the differences.
Then different doesn't become bad in their little minds...it just is different.
A piece of canvas is only the beginning for
It takes on character with every loving stroke
This thing of beauty is the passion of an Artist's heart
By God's design, we are a skin kaleidoscope...