How Another Company’s Timeline Program Almost Ruined Timelines, For Me
Dear Homeschool Parents,
I was lured by this, “200 beautifully detailed full-color stickers.” This is directly from the package of the timeline history program I’m revealing today. Well, I had to see what “8000 years of historical people and events” looks like as stickers. I don’t know what “beautifully detailed” looks like to this company, but to me, these stickers aren’t it. They are awful.Who Is It?
Enough waiting, the stickers in question are from Pandia Press. Yup, secular homeschool darling Pandia Press. Specifically, the History Odyssey Timeline Program, for $33-ish. You can even buy the stickers themselves and use them with ANY history program! Goodie goodie gumdrops! Racism, whitewashing, tokenism all for $13-ish!
It appears that these stickers are mostly depictions of portraits, paintings, or photographs. I elaborated on my Instagram and Facebook what was problematic with so many of the stickers (whitewashing BIPOC historical figures, Mayan as an adjective, barely mentioning South America), but one particular image took the cake, by far, and I’m left with…So Many Questions
What were you thinking?!?!! How dare you think it’s okay to reproduce that image of the “West Indies Slave Trade” like it would EVER be okay to show to children with or without context. On a sticker?!?! The images that already exist, the historical images, the paintings, the knowledge that it happened at all, is enough. Let me say that again, They. Are. Enough.
No one needs to make more of them. On a sticker?!? What were you thinking? What went through your minds?! You can see on my socials the specific image I speak of. A naked child in chains. Really?!? Was there one single BIPOC staff member in the decision making process, during the development of this sticker timeline?!? Is there ANY BIPOC employee at Pandia Press? Because I honestly don’t know anyone in our beautiful BIPOC community who would willingly work for a company that produces this kind of product. I have only homeschooled over 13 years, in 3 different countries, and in 5 different states, professionally mentored homeschool mamas, help admin a FB group for homeschoolers with over 3500 members, so I haven’t met every single BIPOC homeschooler. But I feel like I have a pulse on what is and is not okay in the BIPOC homeschooling community, these stickers are not okay.
Still more questions…
You know what upsets me the most? How this company is so completely oblivious. Directly from the Pandia Press website, “The History Odyssey Timeline is a highly effective and attractive tool that assists students in organizing their study of world history events, people, discoveries, and much more. Students enter historical events they deem significant, creating greater retention and optimal opportunity to recognize relationships between events, connections, consequences, and the flow of history across the ages.” The company thinks this product is “attractive.” Who is it supposed to be attracting?!? This timeline program, Pandia Press’ timeline program, almost ruined timelines, for me. If you’ve just joined me here at Mariposa Homeschool Press, all I make are timelines, and Pandia Press all but ruined them for me. This triggered a full-on existential crisis for my entire mission. Instead, I decided it would be better to hold them accountable and say to myself, “anything you can do, I can do better…” And so I continue to work on timelines and have resolved to never buy anything else from Pandia Press.
Disclaimer So I Don’t Get Sued…
If you think this company is okay for your family, I do respect that. After all, I am a homeschool mama and above all, believe with every cell in my body that homeschool parents can and should do what’s best for their families.
But our children deserve so much better. We can do so much better for our homeschooling community. And don’t despair! Anyone can make a sticker. You can buy a portable sticker machine! My 11-year old Lisa Frank-loving, sticker collecting heart would be thrilled to know that you can design and print your own stickers now! You can simply print any images you want on sticker paper straight out of your printer. There is no need to use your family’s precious and finite homeschooling budget on ridiculously racist stickers.
Promising to hold everyone accountable,
P.S. Want my Parent Resource Guide for 50% off? Use this coupon code, ImagesMatter50. It’s good until December 8th. I promise, there are no images of naked children in chains on MY timeline cards because I have common sense and believe in the dignity of the human person.