How many issues are in a subscription?
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are starting off with 2 issues for the next year. We will scale up whenever we are able!
What is anti-bias education?
The phrase “anti-bias education” is a bit of a mouthful. Some also refer to it as social justice education- we prefer the phrase "anti-bias education" as the language puts the responsibility to change and take action directly on the learner.
For Ditto Kids magazine, we sum up our approach to anti-bias education with six basic goals: Self-love and respect, love and respect for others, the ability to recognize inequality, the tools to address it in ourselves, the tools to address around us and continuing education.
The magazine is organized around these goals. Each builds on the other- as tempting as it may be, don't skip around with your child! The content is scaffolded to be shared in the best possible way. Also, please don't feel any rush to read through the whole magazine in one sitting or even two or three. Much of the information is new for most kids. Take your time! Children process information through their play and art and subconscious and that time needs to be respected.
What is the goal of this magazine?
The first goal is to inspire you as the caregiver, to create meaningful change in ourselves as adults and caregivers by challenging and developing the way we view ourselves and others. Then, to develop the way we see ourselves as a people who can create and sustain an ability to change for the better throughout our lives. When we develop that in ourselves, our ability to teach and share these values and habits with the children in our lives will be tenfold.
There is a short parent section in the back. Please read this section first and then independent of your child read the magazine. Your preparation is key! While we do not make adult education our focus, there are a number of wonderful anti-bias/anti-racism (ABAR) educators who do.
The second goal is to with love and intention, pass this gift on to the children in our lives on their journey to becoming actively anti-racist. We firmly believe that these kiddos are the generation to make and sustain change- we just need to give them the tools!
What kind of content will I find in the magazine?
You’ll find 4 types of content in each issue:
-A short section in the back for adults about cultivating and implementing anti-bias principles in their lives.
-Lessons and activities based on a decolonized approach to social studies and history. The information and activities contained are designed to introduce children to the world with more equal representation and importance being given to as many cultures and peoples as possible. As this magazine is designed specifically for caregivers and children in the United States, special weight is given to the myriad of cultures in the United States. As this is a supplement and not a full curriculum, not every culture in the world is included. That would be quite a feat! We’ll be highlighting as many as possible given the time frame, available resources and age of the children.
-Stories, lessons and activities teaching simple principles of anti-bias ed to young children. These lessons encourage children to first embrace love for themselves, their family and culture, second to explore and appreciate the many ways that others live their lives and the similarities and differences they have with others, third develop the ability to question unfair systems and depictions or assumptions that marginalize others, and learn what they can say or do to counter biased messages about their own family or other families.
-Discussion questions and action activities for parents and educators to complete with their child together.
Is this a full social studies curriculum?
No. Ditto Kids magazine is an excellent supplement to broader study and makes a wonderful unit study, but should not be seen as anything more.
Who is this resource for?
This magazine is for parents, home schoolers, classroom teachers-- anyone who teaches and loves children between the ages of about 3 and 11. It is written specifically for the unique perspective of those living in the United States but can be modified for those living in other countries.
How should I use this magazine?
We envision this guide as a springboard for parents, homeschooling families and classroom teachers to use to educate themselves and the children they care for in anti-bias principles: self-love, love for others, the ability to recognize inequality, the tools to address it in ourselves, the tools to address it around us and continuing education.
Continuing education is such a big piece of the puzzle! When it comes to educating our children and ourselves to be firmly against unfair bias towards ourselves and others, regular discussion is critical. How many times have you told your kids to brush their teeth? Everyone-- grown-ups and kids--needs repetition and practice to learn. A degree of repetition is built into this guide to help facilitate this, but this is a life-long learning principle!
How does this relate to my life, the life of my family and the life of my students?
We all have biases in some way. It doesn’t matter who you are. Based on factors like race, sexual orientation, disability, etc. some experience the pain and serious consequences of bias such as racism while others are largely spared it on a personal level. The lives, stories and chances for equality and justice for people of the global majority matter.
How quickly or slowly should we read this?
Many educational tools require specific pacing and scheduling. Our magazine is more flexible. Anyone who has spent significant time with young children knows that they are uniquely blessed with an innate curiosity about the world that we live in! They also learn best by interacting with the environment around them. To accommodate the beautiful way in which young children learn, don’t feel pressure to read through the whole magazine in one sitting! Take your time. Follow your child’s developmental arch. So much learning for young children is done through their play as they take time to digest information. Especially if a lot of this information is new to your child, don’t feel a need to rush.
Using this magazine for yourself, as a caregiver
-Read and highlight things that stand out to you in the teacher/parent information sections.
-Take time to think about and answer the reflection questions- you are learning too. Not just your child. For this reason, it’s recommended that you read through the magazine first before your child.
-Know that some of this might feel uncomfortable and that’s okay. You may see things in yourself that make you feel regretful and guilty. Nobody in this world is exempt from unsubstantiated feelings of bias. It is uncomfortable work that is definitely a process for everyone. Take time to sit with those feelings and ask why.
-If you experience significant bias in your life, thinking about these things tends to dredge up a lot of painful emotions. It’s hard to prepare our children for the pain of bias or racism and be strong enough to guide them through the process while we continue to grapple with our feelings and experiences. It’s also hard to accept the fact that it may be the case that we hold feelings of bias towards others even though we experience it ourselves and understand the pain and other consequences it brings. That may bring feelings of guilt and almost embarrassment.
-Write your feelings down. Allow yourself to accept that you’ve made mistakes and move on to further educating yourself and making changes. Brene Brown said, “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change… Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
-Make concrete steps to put what you’re learning into practice. Seek out BIPOC anti-bias educators and support and learn with them. Write them down and work up to sharing them with others to bring them to life.
-Share what you’ve learned with family and friends. This stuff can be uncomfortable to talk about. The only way to make it more comfortable is practice. It can be really hard to take that first step of naming and confronting your biases. You could 100% be the person who shares your experiences and inspires a friend or family member to begin that journey.
-You may have people in your life who refuse to acknowledge the biases that they have or work on them. As a parent (especially if you’re a parent of color), it may be hard to have a friend or acquaintance neither accepts nor confront their biases and doesn’t act for themselves or their children. That is hard and sadly, that is the approach of most of the world. Life becomes busy with things that are truly emergent for some and for others, life becomes busy with things that are much less worthy of our attention than doing our part to create equality in the world.
If you’re comfortable, have a conversation with them! Invite them to look into using this guide and other resources you’ve found helpful for yourself and the children in your life. This magazine makes a wonderful gift for a friend, family member, or fellow teacher. Introduce it to the principal at your child’s school. Sharing it on social media is a great way to engage with people who might not be totally willing to talk yet.
-Extend your study to other books and resources. There’s a baseline of information here to get you started, but there are countless amazing books, articles and resources to help you continue your journey!
It seems like this mainly addresses anti-bias as it is related to race. Is that the case?
This is the case. While the principles are similar when addressing other forms of bias like sexism or ableism etc… these magazines would be wayyyyyyy too long if we tried to do it all! There are a few places here and there were we subtly touch on it, but for the purposes of this guide, we focus mainly on race, ethnicity and national origin and related. We look forward to producing more materials in the future that focus on other forms of bias!
Is my child ready for this?
The colorblind approach does not work! It not only doesn't work, it backfires.
Children are busy in their many environments making constant connections about what they see and hear to figure out the world around them. You may worry about it being too young to start aspects of the conversation, but the conversation is happening without you whether you feel ready or not. There are definitely certain images, details and topics that are not developmentally appropriate for young kids but beginning the conversation should happen sooner than many parents think. Also consider that Black, Indigenous, People of Color (or BIPOC families) do not have the luxury of teaching kids to be colorblind or delaying the conversation for longer than is advisable.
Is this magazine available for classroom use?
The copies available for purchase directly on our website are for individual/family use only. Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for classroom/school pricing!
If you have more questions, please email email@example.com!