Chicago Defender, Chicago, Illinois, 13 April 2007, Cheryl Fields-Smith is conducting a study of African-American homeschooling families in Georgia
The African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is finding new application among African-American parents who are opting to educate their children at home.
… Cheryl Fields-Smith is conducting a two-year study into black homeschooling in the southern states. She was in Chicago on Thursday to talk about the study and called the homeschooling movement among African-Americans “an extreme form of parental involvement.”
I had to look up Cheryl Fields-Smith. At the College of Education at the University of Georgia’s web site, her C.V. gives her title as, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education. That may explain her view of parents assuming their natural educational role as “extreme.”
Parents of black children are teaching them at home for various reasons, Fields-Smith found. Reasons included infusing black history and perspective into education, countering negative images of black children, demanding higher expectations from their children and sheltering them from bad influences in public schools.
I wouldn’t think that those goals are extreme.
One area, though, could lead to a feeling of conflict.
Others have the mentality that African-Americans have worked so hard for public school integration, it seems counterintuitive to pull their children out of school, she added.
African-American parents who want their children to receive an exceptional education are facing unequal resources in the schools, overt and subtle racism at times in the schools and an achievement gap that doesn’t look to be narrowing,” she said.
It is good to see that homeschooling is growing for kids who need it. Still, the idea of black parents homeschooling their children is not new. In the early 1990s, I used to buy some of our homeschooling materials from Donna Nichols-White’s catalog/magazine, The Drinking Gourd. I was sad when it went out of business, but I’m glad I had to opportunity to buy from it as Donna had collected unique science materials.
posted by Valerie