I think that a lot people people believe that African-Americans home-school solely because of the fear that our children will encounter racism within the school systems. This assumption is the farthest from truth. The majority of us do it because we feel it’s in the best interest of our families. Every family has their own reasons for deciding to home-school, and for our family we had several reasons why we made the decision.
We both attended public schools and private schools growing up. My experience in public school was horrible, I was so lost in math that it wasn’t until I attended a private high school and took the entrance exam that I got the help I needed to get caught up. I had to work super hard and attend summer school classes for 3 years to get caught up. My husband was also lost in his academics and he also had to work hard to keep up. These experiences led us both to the conclusion that any future children we had would be homeschooled.
When my son was born, I knew I had to get things together for Operation Homeschool. I did tons of research, so when the time came we would be ready. Early on, we realized our son loved to learn, He showed an interest in music and letters when he was 9 months old. We followed his interests and began to do Montessori at home with him. By 12 months old, he knew his letters and sounds. At 18 months he fell in love with the Trombone and could name and categorize all the instruments in an orchestra. We knew trying to find a preschool to cultivate his love for both music and learning was going to come with an expensive price tag if decided to rethink our decision to homeschool. Besides we were confident we could give him what he needed at home.
Homeschooling for us meant we could encourage his interests and follow his lead and not have to worry about anyone stifling his learning process. Furthermore, we could let him be himself and learn best at his learning style. We also wanted to instill our families values and his ancestry within his education. Homeschooling also allowed us to work on his strengths and zero in on weaknesses.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are some great schools and teachers. I honestly know teachers have their hands full with the pressures of test scores, paperwork, over-crowded classrooms and behavior issues that it can be difficult for them to reach every student. We just didn’t want to have to deal with all that and expose him to certain behaviors and situations.
Now as almost 6 years old and a first grader, he is thriving. He is a confident trombone player and making strides in his learning. He attends homeschool activities with other students, is an avid chapter book reader, is conquering math facts and continues to learn about his African-Latin heritage. He loves all things science and is free to follow his interests which at the moment happens to be coding. His lessons are a combination of hands on and curriculum based learning. He is an auditory and kinesthetic learner, so I make sure his lessons cover both of these learning styles.
We ask him often if he wants to go to traditional school. His response is always, “Why? I like our homeschool.”So when people ask me why we homeschool, I tell them because we did what we knew was in the best interest for our son. I don’t ever regret our decision because I know a traditional school wouldn’t have been able to give him what he needed.
In conclusion, we are homeschooling and loving it. We have met a lot of people and continue to learn what he needs. We are solid in our decision and look forward to this journey. We homeschool year-round, but things are lighter in the summer. Homeschooling, in my opinion, is a way of life and takes dedication and patience. We love this life we have created, and when he wants to make a change, that’s when we will. Until then, we are schooling in PJ’s 😊!
Until Next Time,
Little Learner and Mom