In a trend that may seem surprising to some, more African American families have been choosing to home school their children than in years past.
One of the most important decisions a parent or guardian will make in a child’s life is where to send them to school. Recently there has been a trend towards choosing no school at all, and instead educating children at home. But even though there has been a general rise in families choosing home schooling for their children, African Americans are looking at home schooling as an opportunity to provide their children the history and social context they feel can’t be found in public schools.
There are also other reasons for the popularity of home schooling among African American families. In the last 15 years, the number of black children in homeschool has doubled from 103,000 to about 220,000. Black parents cite a number of reasons for homeschooling children, including concern over peer pressure and drugs at school — but increasingly, they are also citing school-related racism as a reason to keep students at home.
While white families still make up the majority of the 1.7 million home schoolers, the percentage of African Americans is growing fast. African Americans share some of the same reasons for home schooling as the rest of the home-schooling community. Negative school environments including peer pressure, dissatisfaction with academics as well as a desire to provide religious instruction.
But unlike the rest of the home-schooling community, some African American families feel that race relations in the country may not have come as far as they had thought. There is also a feeling that depending on where one lives you learn about African enslavement in America, or you don’t at all.
These reports only go to show that there is still a long way to go in public education when it comes to racial equality. It is obvious that there is still a great deal of mistrust for public education among African American families.