DISCLAIMER: This post may show you just how small-minded you can be, and/or test your current perspectives of home education and other ethnicities. It’s not your typical “diversity” post. Enjoy!
Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling is not some American trend where majority of those who choose it are white, privileged families – at least not anymore. Turning back to home education is a worldwide movement that is more diverse than what most people think.
As a quick history lesson, schooling as we (Americans) know it wasn’t introduced until the late 1800s. Before then, privileged children often met in one-room schoolhouses and were a combination of mixed ages and grades.
Traveling a little closer to the present, more schools were built and began to use the age-grading system. At this point there were even schools for black kids who relied heavily on hand-me-downs from white schools (my mom has all kind of stories about this). And now in the present, we see a drastic turn back to how education used to be before any of the aforementioned – home education.
And guess what? The “ancient practices of home education” was a worldwide thing! Founder of Taiwan Homeschool Advocates, Tim Chen, says it best here.
NOT THE ONLY ONE
A big bubble buster is the fact that homeschooling is happening all across the world. Every day, families are choosing to stand in the face of adversity and confidently proclaim that they know what is best for their children. Parents worldwide face a lot of the same struggles from how to raise their children with the utmost tender, nurturing care to one day becoming meaningful members of their society.
American families are not the only ones struggling with going against the grain or going against what is expected of a culture. The struggles are real and they are the same – especially for the homeschooling family. South African homeschooling Dad, Penuel, sums up both the concerns he was faced with but also what lead to his conscious choice of choosing to homeschool his children in his video, Home Education in South Africa.
SAME REASONS WHY
Ask any homeschooling mom and dad in America why they are choosing home education and you’ll most likely get answers like:
- We don’t want our child bullied because of their ethnicity.
- We don’t want our child’s academic abilities ignored or misguided.
- We want to be in control of what our children learn.
- We enjoy the flexibility that homeschooling provides for our family.
- The school system is not truly benefiting my child.
- And so on…
Amazingly enough, these are similar, if not the exact same reasons provided by homeschooling families in other countries. I love how Indian homeschooling mom Ki puts it in her video, Top 3 Reasons for Homeschooling a Preschooler.
THE “MINORITY” EVERYWHERE
Tapping back into the fact that homeschooling is obviously not the majority when it comes to education, this is the case everywhere. In America, there are still dominant people groups and because of stereotypes and expectations, other people groups seem to be a little less vocal. Despite the freedom to choose and live according to one’s own free will, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans [sometimes] still hesitate to come out and boldly proclaim, “We are homeschoolers!”
In the Philippines, it’s the same way. Filipina homeschooling mom Bernice describes it best of what it’s like to be a homeschooling family in the Philippines because of the expectations of others. Check out the interview I did with her here. As a member of her online homeschool community, I see firsthand the concerns that Filipina homeschooling moms express – from nervousness of what others will think to not thinking they are cut out to educate their own children (sound familiar?).
DIVERSE BUT THE SAME
As diverse as homeschooling is becoming, it is still the same for us all.
It is a way of life, something that we all embrace as a lifestyle. Homeschooling families are realizing that they are the primary overseer and dominant influencer in their children’s lives – and this includes their education. We also see that our children are not damaged or harmed by being educated at home.
Statistics even show that children educated at home score higher on exams, are still getting into the top-notch universities, and are still making impacts that change the world. So when it comes down to it, as Filipina homeschooling mom Bernice puts it – homeschooling has a way of connecting us all no matter where in the world we live.
FILLING THE GAPS
Bryan and I started noticing a trend within the educational system where we live. Of course it wasn’t so noticeable at first because it was what “schooled” us. However, once we started homeschooling, it became more evident that the principles and concepts taught in schools are very one-sided. Often times only one side is portrayed a certain way, or a concept is introduced only one way… leaving little room for children to truly be educated.
Dr. Sheva Quinn and I had an awesome discussion about the difference between schooling and educating, and let me tell you the difference is huge. Nevertheless, it is time that homeschoolers across the world ban together, break down barriers, and bridge the gaps. That’s the primary reason why Bryan and I founded More Than Minority, an organization geared toward educating, encouraging, and empowering multi-ethnic families (regardless if they homeschool or not).
Our first effort is a book and resource drive for homeschooling families in the Philippines, and our first event is an annual Multi-Ethnic Homeschool Moms Conference (online). If you are interested in rallying behind us to help make these successful, click over and like our More Than Minority Facebook page! It is our desire to see all families living confidently in their purpose and in an unapologetic way.
CHIME IN: What are your thoughts about the diversity in homeschooling? Did you consider it something that is worldwide, versus only popular in one culture? Share you comments below!