My wife has been in the education field for nearly 25 years and has often lamented, “Maybe we should consider homeschooling the children.”
Homeschooling? What? But, we live in a city, and I mean a BIG city. Isn’t that for people who live in some remote location? Or for religious cults who look to indoctrinate their children? I mean, what was she thinking about? How would you know what to teach? What about colleges? What about social interactions? Well my opinion changed considerably after our son was born last year, as I became a bit more open to the idea.
I’ve had the opportunity to spend my son’s first year with him daily. The first few months passed as expected with doctor visits, way too many diaper changes, sleep deprivation for me, and constant napping for him. As we rounded towards year one there was lots of crawling, spitting of food, attempts to walk, and most importantly a curiosity to learn. Words, shapes, colors and sounds all stimulated him. Its been said that the human brain does much of its growth in the first 3 years, and for the first time I was witnessing this firsthand.
Our daughters (we have 3) are all terrific students and citizens in school, and their teachers have all enjoyed having them in class. We were fortunate to have someone stay with them at home during their years before starting kindergarten, and I realize now what a blessing that time was for them. I want the same for my son also, and I’m beginning to believe it might not be a bad idea to extent that time at home even longer.
A recent study commissioned by the Council of the Great City Schools concluded, “Black males continue to perform lower than their peers throughout the country on almost every indicator.”
At this point in the discussion aren’t we conditioned to be surprised to hear anything positive concerning the plight of African American Boys? Since we consider private schools, charter schools and magnet schools as a solution to bridging the achievement gap, why not homeschooling?
I discovered many valuable resources to guide in the decision to home school. I started with The Homeschool Magazine and the Well Trained Mind which both offered a general overview of the homeschool experience, and later I discovered Black Parenting and Black Homeschoolers which spoke more directly to some of the issues we would be likely to face in considering the home school option, and an interesting book, Morning by Morning: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League which detailed one family’s journey as they home schooled their three sons.
Ultimately, we will decide as a family the impact homeschooling will have on our entire family as well as our son, its nice to know there are so many resources available to assist.