What was once considered conventional is no longer the accepted status quo in our new society. The “norms” are being tested and expanded every day and in every facet of our world, including our children’s education. It is largely agreed that public schools are failing black children. To remedy this flaw, more and more black parents are deciding to home school their children.
There are more than 2 million home schooled students in the United States. Astonishingly, 300,ooo, or nearly 15 percent of those students were black children, according to the National Home Education Research Institute. Most black parents exploring this education option cite increased dissatisfaction with public schools as the reason for this growing trend. Black parents also desire a more diverse curriculum which includes black culture and heritage, religious or moral instruction, and allowance for more creativity and art. Many of these options are not presently available in public schools.
Children have different interests and aptitudes. Different learning paces, styles and intelligences are inherent in every child. Philosopher, Murray Rothbard stated, “Socialized education creates a one-size-fits-all politicized standard curriculum and fails to accommodate individual strengths or correct individual weakness.” The present public school system uses too narrow an approach to meet the needs of the majority of students.
At home schools allow parents to adapt to and focus on their child’s learning needs. Research shows that home schooled children tend to score 15 to 30 percentile points higher on standardized tests than children educated in public schools. According to recent data, they also seem to be more socially adjusted than their public school educated peers.
Many blacks once considered home schooling to be an option for the affluent and elite, but increased awareness, availability of resources and support is making the idea more attractive for the “average” parent. If you think this choice might be a better fit for your family, you will want to start with some research. You might be surprised at the resources and support readily available. For example, there are co-op home schools in many areas that include several families. This option addresses the financial hardship and time constraints that exist in a majority of black families.
National Black Home Educators has resources that might benefit you. Your state’s Department of Education can also advise you of the rules, regulation and curriculum standards for home schooling, as they vary from state to state. A lot of state-specific information is widely available on the internet. Just be sure that the information is current.
As one parent who chose this option, Deborah St Cyr, put it, “Taking our children out of school was a huge step. I realized that the buck now stopped with me – I could never again attribute success or failure to the school system.”