In the Fall of 2014, I found myself in the educational fight of my life when I decided to remove my child from the “Good Ole’ Private school” and making the ultimate decision to homeschool.
I never imagined that my fight for a home-based education was being fought by so many other African American families across the nation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 300K African American children are being homeschooled, representing 10% of the homeschool population in America. Many children are homeschooled for lack of educational advancement. While others are homeschooled because of the abstinence of African American history and culture in both public and private schools. Many other families homeschool due to discrimination and isolation.
My experience was so traumatic for me that I remember it like it was yesterday. I walked into my daughter’s private pre-k class for a parent-teacher conference and all the teacher kept saying was “Zariah is doing great and she is such a joy to have in class.” After the teacher commented on my daughter’s greatness one time too many, I finally asked her “so when are you going to change her reading plan?”
The teacher was caught off guard because she just knew that if she kept speaking of my daughter in high regards that I would smile and say thank you and be on my merry way. Nope! Not this parent, I wanted to know when she was going to be advanced as I had requested.
The teacher took a deep breath and told me, that she thought that my daughter was fine where she was in reading…
Now check it, I am a retired Air Force veteran and the oldest child, and my purpose in life is to give orders and make people conform to my commands…I give orders, I don’t take orders! So, you know I had to adjust my collar and get my composure in check and have a “superior” conversation with my daughter’s teacher. I ended the conversation with asking for sight-word homework for over the weekend. And again, this teacher told me no. She told me no because she didn’t want me to push my child to read! At this point, I was hot as hell but I did not want my daughter witnessing me cussing her teacher out. Therefore, I tucked my tail and gathered my child and left.
But when I got home, oh yes, when I got home! I typed up a long azz email and explained to her that my child would not be returning. Of course, everyone from the teacher to the headmaster tried to contact me to discuss my withdrawal…they even had the nerve to tell me how much it would cost because I didn’t give a 30-day notice of withdrawal! My response was “WAIT-ON-IT!”
Just like the school thought I was crazy, my family and friends thought that I was crazy too for withdrawing my daughter from that “good” private school. But you best believe. I gave it to them just where they asked for it too!
Now I know you are probably thinking…you withdrew your child because of the sight-words???
For me, it was way bigger than just sight-words. Watch the full interview below with PBS NewsHour to better understand why the “sight-words” led me to homeschooling my bright and beautiful daughter.
Dr. Sheva Quinn is a single homeschooling mother of two beautiful girls and a retired Air Force veteran. She is also a professional homeschool and business development coach and an online homeschool professor. Her teaching areas of expertise are African American history and STEM. You can connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org her website is drshevaquinn.com. And you can find her on social media @drshevaquinn.