Home schooling is not uncommon in many parts of the country. As school philosophies swing more and more to the liberal side of the tree, parents are standing up for their beliefs.
About two million, or 4%, of American children are home-schooled, according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) – a rough estimate, as families do not have to register with the authorities in some states.
The number of inner-city parents choosing to educate their children at home, for educational rather than religious reasons, has been growing for a while, but until recently few black families were thought to be among them, according to NHERI director Dr Brian Ray.
“For the African-American community there was a huge amount of pressure against it, because in America, the grandparents of today’s home-schooled children fought for desegregation of schools. They thought, ‘The public schools are going to save us,’” he says.
But Dr Ray, who regularly interviews black home-schoolers as part of his research, says attitudes are changing fast – and it’s also a lot easier today for black families to try it than it was 20 years ago, he points out.
Joyce Burges, co-founder of National Black Home Educators, who home-schooled all five of her children, aged 16 to 35, says the practice is growing “exponentially” in the African American community.
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