This is the time of year when many parents of all colors make a decision to educate their children at home. This is the first of a series of posts designed to educate parents who are considering homeschooling, or are brand new homeschoolers, in some fundamentals of getting started.
Homeschooling, the practice by which parents serve as their children’s teachers and the home serves as the school, is an educational choice made today by many Black parents. While it is true that the large majority of homeschool children are white, the number of Black homeschoolers are growing rapidly. Brian Ray, President of the National Home School Research Institute, estimates there are 30,00 to 50,000 Black children being homeschooled today. Others estimate that Black homeschoolers make up 5 percent of the home school population. Many Black families have concluded that government -run schools have failed them. 50 years since the Supreme Court decided the case Brown vs. the Board of Education Blacks have been told that public schools would save them. With 57 percent supporting school choice according to recent surveys, it is clear that black families are seeking alternatives.
Parents who prefer the home school option are motivated by a variety of goals. Some seek the chance to teach specific philosophical or religious values. Others see home schooling as a means of developing close family relationships, encouraging high level of academics, supporting specific learning needs of children or using
alternative approaches to teaching and learning. Other parents choose home education based on concerns they have about the safety and discipline of children in some traditional public schools. For all their differences, parents who home school tend to agree on one key benefit: the value of tailoring the curriculum and teaching approach to the needs of an individual child. Research findings consistently report that, on average, home-schooled students equal or exceed conventionally schooled students on achievement tests.