Home Schooling Gaining Popularity Among African-American Families
by Jim Brown and Karen Battles
(AgapePress) It is estimated that more than 100,000 black students are currently receiving their education at home as a growing number of black families embrace home schooling as a viable alternative to the public school system.
Jennifer James, a 28-year-old stay-at-home mom from North Carolina, says many parents are choosing home schooling because "large numbers of public schools .... are failing African-American children in particular." She adds there are other reasons why African-American families choose to home school, including religious, cultural, or "just basic academic and educational reasons."
Soon after James and her husband Michael started a North Carolina home-schooling organization last October, they realized there was a great need for a similar group on a national level. The couple then founded the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance (NAAHA).
James says many black families like the idea of having their children taught one-on-one, allowing them to "incorporate a cultural relevance into their children's education."
Parents are also discovering "they can do a good job teaching and educating their children .... They know exactly what their children need help with, and they can provide that for them," according to the co-founder.
James says the NAAHA is growing and gaining acceptance across the country.
The association's website provides parents with information about home-schooling curriculum and links to state home-schooling organizations and other African-American home-school groups. It also contains a section for the grandparents of home-schooled children, guiding the grandparent on ways to support the student and to help encourage their grandchild to pursue education.
The NAAHA also challenges African-American families to cut their television viewing in half to improve educational development in their children.
Citing a study out of Columbia University, the NAAHA website states "that African-American families watch, on average, 74.4 hours of television per week. That is 21.5 more hours than other households." This equates to approximately three additional hours of television viewing per day for African-American children.