Are you fed up with the educational system in America? One doesn’t have to look far to find instances of dysfunction in one’s local school system. This is why more African-American families are taking the chance that they will do a better job at educating their children by implementing home schooling at their respective residents, this according to BBC story published over the weekend.

Parents concern over the violence in schools was highlighted as major deterrent for their child’s public school attendance, especially with statistics that show the lingering negative effects of bullying within minority-dominated school systems.

According to a study published on Huffington Post, black students saw a 0.3-point decrease in 12th grade GPA from a 3.5 GPA in 9th grade — before they were bullied. Interestingly, most of the parents polled in the BBC story felt they would integrate their children back into the public school system during their children’s secondary education years.

This story also suggested that the school system privileged African-American girls over boys, with classroom settings and curriculum that was more conducive to young girls. With the dropout rates in fifteen states at or above 50% for black males, there might be something to this suggestion.

As of now, The Obama Administration’s solution to the drop-out rate is for-profit public charter schools. Figuring that teachers and administrators will have more incentives to facilitate the sharing of knowledge with students in reduced stress environments have worked in some cities but have failed in most.

Building a first class facility in a undervalued neighborhood produces the same effects as the erection of glossy churches or state-of-the-art stadiums in the “hood” — it gives pride for the few invested in the entity but creates more acrimoniousness towards the residents, as walking out of these sanctuaries can create disdain for a neighborhood that looks like it’s not getting any healthier.

The lack of engagement between teachers, their students, and their curriculum maybe the leading cause for the recent “black flight” from inner city schools. Teachers are under increasing pressure to teach kids to pass standardized tests, which brings capital to cash-strapped schools but can stifle a teacher’s ability to creatively use education as a process to teach kids how to learn for themselves instead of how to pass tests. Additionally, kids are coming to school more unprepared and undernourished than ever, which can lead to tension in the classroom, as children are exhibiting more behavioral problems.

One parent, Sonya Barbee, was appalled by her child’s school, which suggested her child should take medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.):

“The teachers are always telling the parents they have to drug their kids, like they have some kind of problem. It’s just crazy.” says Sonya Barbee. “You don’t want your kid to be a zombie.”

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 stereotypical family that home schools their children is seen as white, faith-based, anti-Darwinist, and upper middle-class.

Comically, the piece suggests home schooling is almost exclusively for the “most committed parents, who want to be involved in every aspect of their child’s development and enjoy spending time with them, can make it work.” Doesn’t every parent want or envision spending time with their children, committed to the growth as a human being?

Amazingly, no parent expressed any anxiety over the recent school meal programs although the overabundance of sugar, fat, and salt has helped contribute to the rise in childhood obesity rates.

Joyce Burges, co-founder of National Black Home Educators, believes the day could soon be approaching when the local home-schooling co-operative, run by a group of committed parents, could be a real alternative to the public school, for children of all ages and ethnicities.

The demand certainly appears to be there.

“I get emails and phone calls from people all the time who want to know if there is someone that can home-school their child,” says Monica Utsey. “I tell them that it doesn’t work like that. It’s really the parents’ responsibility.”

Would you home school your child? Do you have any reservations considering the high rates of bullying in schools, private and public? How do you feel about school lunches? are they a concern?

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  1. My daughter is only 1 but I am seriously considering home schooling her. She needs to be around kids her own age though…still gotta work out that part.

  2. I don’t homeschool, but we have been considering it. Your kids will get social interaction as long as you help them. My neighbors homeschool and their two kids (6 and 8) play outside with the neighborhood kids 1-2 hours per day (thats 7-14 hours per week). They both go to homeschool enrichment classes once weekly for math/science/art (lasts like 4 hours). They take dance classes (I believe twice per week) with other kids. Then they go to church every Sunday (probably for at least 3 hours), where they interact with plenty of kids their age.

  3. We are considering homeschooling our children. We live in an area with one of the worst school districts in the state, and possibly country. We do not have enough money to send them to a private school in our area. The drop out rate is high, achievement is very low, and most of the kids are very ‘street’. The lunches are not a factor because my children pack a lunch that is always healthy.

    • @Lele: Also, one of my children misses school a lot due to a genetic condition that makes him more likely to get sick. He missed 30 days by the end of January.

  4. I have just started considering homeschooling because of the poor educational standards here in Michigan. I live near a secondary school that lost its accreditation and has yet to get it back after 1 1/2 semesters. This is nuts. Plus I do share the concern that my child will not receive proper nutrition despite the fact I set his lunch out for him every morning. Once he get old enough to make the choices, school peers will have a major influence on his habits even if I show him an alternative

  5. I don’t even have children yet and I’m thinking of homeschooling them! I was blessed with parents who worked and struggled to put me in private school, and I went from ages 4-18. Not to mention, my mother and aunt are former public school teachers and my older cousin is currently teaching at a public high school. With my private school upbringing and being able to get an inside look at public schools through my relatives, there’s no way I’d let my kids go to a public school in my county/area. I hope my boyfriend and I are lucky enough to send our future kids to private school, but if not, I’m definitely considering homeschooling.

  6. Interesting topic, I’ve never heard anyone broach the subject of homeschooling from a nutrition angle. All six of my children are homeschooled . I originally started homeschooling years ago for religious reasons until I became atheist. Now I homeschool for secular reasons.

    I made an effort years ago to move to an area where my children have access to decent schools if they ever had to go but I didn’t plan on enrolling them. I don’t like being anchored to the school schedule, I wanted more flexibility. Even though we live in a good school district some of the stuff I hear coming out of the kids mouths when they return home is enough inspiration for me to continue homeschooling. Parents don’t seem to be aware what their kids are doing(and some don’t care).

    As I started making the switch to vegetarian and ultimately vegan, I wanted to be able to show my children how to cook, how to be vegetarians not only for health reasons but also ethical reasons. That is hard to do when they are in school. In short, I want to give them best foundation possible for their lives and homeschooling provides that option.

  7. I used to teach in an inner-city school district and not one of the teachers I worked with or new from other schools, sent their children to the very public system they worked for, not one. It tells you something that if the very people who work for the district believe it’s not good enough for their own children. I don’t have kids yet, but when I do I would consider homeschooling because of what I have seen from the public school system and not just the “inner-city” schools. A lot of those kids who were bullied and committed suicede were not students in an inner-city school, but of the “safe” suburban schools. I’ve met a few people who are in their later 20s and 30s who were homeschooled up until they went away to college and all of them said college just showed them how to get away with doing just enough. If done correctly homeschooling can be the best option for a lot of children. Plus I could go on and on about the nutritional aspect, but I’ll just end by saying 99.9% of schools serve our children garbage and call it food. I don’t want my child eating that.

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