Home Education

Homeschooling: The Diversity Hidden Within

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!

 

 

Home Education

Thankful for the Homeschool Journey

Join Blog Contributor Cecselie as she discusses being thankful for the homeschool journey.

My son will graduate in the Spring of 2019. I have been looking back over our homeschooling journey, and while it hasn’t been easy, I can honestly say that it has been well worth the effort.

Homeschooling was definitely the right decision for our family.

When I look back, the only regret I have is that it took me a year or so to break out of the traditional public school mindset.

At first, our homeschool looked just like what a traditional day at public school would look like. I was very regimented and so afraid that my children would not get a good education at home. What I had working in my favor was a monumental love for my children.

So, I adjusted my homeschooling methods to meet the individual needs of my children. My two children are complete opposites. I had to create curricula that ministered to their individual needs. I am thankful that homeschooling allowed me the freedom to explore my kid’s unique talents and interests.

The Beginning of the Journey

Bible lessons have been a part of our homeschooling days from the very beginning. My husband and I created and managed the youth department at our church for many years. I can remember a time when I tried to get the kids to memorize scriptures. The parents revolted.

I was shocked that these “church folks” were objecting to their children being asked to learn scriptures. I mean doesn’t the Bible say that we should write the word of God upon the tables of our hearts and meditate on it day and night? Well, they were having none of that.

Memorizing the scriptures has been a part of our homeschooling journey from the beginning. I am grateful that homeschooling has allowed me to put my kids on the path to a lifelong relationship with God. More than anything that I have taught them, I feel this is the most important.

A relationship with God will sustain them long after I am gone.

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Part of the Journey

The stories on the news about teachers molesting kids and school shootings are becoming more frequent. Home educating my children has given them the ability to be educated in a nurturing and safe environment. I am so grateful for that.

It has been heartbreaking to witness what has been taking place in this country. People are becoming more hostile, making communities less safe. I cannot imagine what it does to the psyche of a child to see these stories on the nightly news and then, be expected to walk into the public school setting on a daily basis.

As a parent, the fear of the unknown would drive me crazy. I actually have some apprehension about my son going to college. When I was in college, a woman had a mental breakdown in class one day. She started quoting scriptures and shouting out in class. Then, she left the class saying that she was going to her car but she would be back.

I was an adult working on a graduate degree in a classroom filled with very young adults at the time. After a few moments of complete silence, I stood up in the class and said, “I am not sitting here in this classroom waiting for her to get back from her car. I am getting out of here right now. Class is dismissed!”

We all scattered! Later, we heard that she had a full blown mental breakdown and was sent away to get treatment. To this day, it makes me fearful to think about how vulnerable you are in a classroom. You don’t know what the person sitting next to you may be going through.

I know that I can’t protect my children from the world but, I am grateful that we have had this precious time where they could be at peace and feel safe in school.

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More Benefits of the Homeschooling Journey

Another benefit of homeschooling has been my awakening as a parent. I feel that I have been educated right along with my kids. I have learned that so much of what I was taught in school is not true.

We are fed lies from the cradle to the grave about history and so much more. I have learned to question everything, do my own research, and not just blindly accept what I am told. It has really challenged me and changed my worldview.

What’s the saying, “the hunter will always be the hero until the lion has his own historian.”

I am most grateful for the time that I have had with my children. I have gotten to spend each day loving them and getting to know who they are.

As a result, we are a very close knit family. We really enjoy being together. Recently, my family was at the movie theater. After the movie ended, a woman approached our family and said that she thought it was remarkable to see a family with teens together on a Friday night.

We thought nothing of it, but according to this precious woman, families are going in different directions and not hanging out together anymore. She thought it remarkable to see a family hanging out and enjoying time together.

So, I am grateful that God has blessed our family with precious time to just be together. Homeschooling has been a gift to our family, and I am so thankful for that.

CHIME IN: Share some of your memories made during your homeschooling journey in the comments below!

Blog Contributor, Cescelie, recently started a blog! Visit her at Reclaiming My Time!