Thursday, April 17

Village Voice: Black parents in NYC increasingly choosing to homeschool

Here's one way to deal with the disheartening and overwhelming school admissions process in New York City: don't apply.

A growing number of the city's families who are choosing to homeschool are middle-class black families who believe the options open to them won't sufficiently challenge or support their children, particularly their boys, according to an article in the Village Voice. Instead, those parents present an enriched curriculum, often with an Afrocentric orientation, in a setting that's free from bullying and other negative social pressures. There are downsides, of course — one parent has to give up working, school supplies and enrichment activities cost money, and it can be hard for kids to make friends — but according to the Voice, more black parents every year think homeschooling pays off in academic achievement, safety, and self-esteem.

I've always thought that New York City would be a great place to homeschool — it's sort of absurd that in a city with such deep cultural, artistic, and academic resources, kids sit in classrooms all day. But homeschooling, like any other alternative school choice, should be a positive choice, not a means to escaping schools that can't meet kids' academic and social needs.


jennem said...

I think that for many of us, homeschooling simply isn't a viable option. Unless you can afford to stop working, or have enough savings to live on (and therefore forget about college), or work from home, how is it possible? That's why the "If you don't like the public school, homeschooling is the easy solution" type of article bothers me. To me, homeschooling would cost even more than the top private school, because I'd lose my entire income. How is that helpful? Are there really that many people who can afford to stay home, or homeschool at night and pay for day care, and why is that so much better than going to work and paying for a good private school? Works out the same in the end, money-wise!

NYC Educator said...

Aside from Jennem's points about being unable to afford it, which are true for a lot of people, I honestly don't know how people do it. I'm an experienced teacher, but I don't think I could do that job for my own kid. It seems incredibly difficult, and my hat's off to people who can manage it.

That said, my kid loves school, loves being with kids her own age, and would likely murder me if I attempted to take her out and homeschool her.

Anonymous said...

My African-American teacher husband wouldn't even consider public school for our boys. Having gone himself, he says he knows exactly how public schools treat Black children, especially boys, and he wasn't having any of it. We home-school and it isn't as difficult as people think. The fact is, the curriculum it takes eight hours to cover in a school setting takes about two hours a day to cover one on one, leaving the rest of the time for fun stuff like museums, nature walks and library time, not to mentin just chatting and hanging out.