Homeschooling: It's Changing, Too

In African-American Communities, More Interest in Homeschooling from KPLU earlier this year.
It's hard to determine the exact number of home-school students, let alone the racial breakdown. Most estimates put the total figure at roughly 2 million and suggest that between 5 and 10 percent are black. 

Mazama says black home-schoolers tend to come from urban, two-parent households. 

The key question, she says, is why these families are deciding to leave traditional schools. Research suggests black families often choose to home school for very different reasons than white families. 

"White home-schoolers, the No. 1 reason they give when asked is religion," Mazama says. "For the black families, it was not the case at all. It was racism."
This is particularly interesting, she says, because African-Americans are consistently the most religious subgroup in America. They pray more. They go to church more. 

"And yet, religion was not No. 1, not No. 2, not No. 3."
 Following up on the issue of religion being a driver for homeschooling, another article here from The Atlantic, Homeschooling Without God.
Today, there are more than 1.7 million homeschooled kids in the U.S., roughly double the number of those at the turn of 21st century. Religious families, nearly exclusively Christians, make up more than two-thirds of them, and religious curricula and social groups dominate the community.
For a small segment of parents and kids who opt out of traditional public schooling, something is changing: They are also opting out of religion. 

Studies suggest that young Americans are more likely than their older peers not to identify with any religion. While about one in five of all Americans aren’t affiliated with a religious group, the same is true of roughly one in three people in their 20s and 30s. And while atheists and agnostics account for just a sliver of the country’s population, more than two-thirds of them are under 50.

 The number of those under 18 may also be growing. In recent years, advocacy groups have successfully launched a handful of secular clubs in high schools across the country. For some of today’s kids, being non-religious isn’t special; it’s normal.
How do some parents do it without religion?
Finding non-religious resources has been difficult at times. “You can't even buy a planner sometimes without there being Bible verses on it,” she said.

Every 20 days, Smith turns in Aiden’s work to a learning specialist from Excel, the charter school he’s enrolled in as a homeschooler, and she regularly writes summaries of his lessons for state audits. In California, enrolling in a charter is one way many homeschooling parents get public funding to support their kids’ educational needs. For Aiden, this includes speech classes and occupational therapy to help with his handwriting, along with the homeschoolers’ art class and science labs he attends.
Corbell runs, where she vets hundreds of secular-friendly curricula and parenting guides and lists Facebook groups across the country for parents and kids to join. 


Anonymous said…
SPS pushed us to homeschooling too. BEST decision EVER!

-Opted Out
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