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Minority homeschoolers

 
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Harrison
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Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:02 pm    Post subject: Minority homeschoolers Reply with quote

Ok, just surfing for comments and thoughts. My first disclaimer - we are multi racial/ethnic/cultural family. We understand some people don't like bringing up the word race or whatever. We are Christians - we believe all people are created equal, but we have differences that are worth celebrating! We have heard the speech already about Darwin being the one to make up the word race and seperate people.

I make those comments because I have tried a similar discussion on a yahoo group and got a lot negative comments that don't apply to my aim here. I am not trying to seperate people, I am not racist...my ideas have nothing to do with such accusations.

I live in an area where anyone who is considered a minority by ethnic background or whatever is very rare in our homeschooling groups. We live part time in Texas, part time in Colorado, both of which are pretty diverse from what we see. But I think that possibly more of these 'minorities' would homeschool if they knew about it. Sure even more non minorities would. But I have a heart to try to create a homeschool group that is very open and welcoming of people who because of ethnic/cultural racial whatever background may feel uncomfortable with the idea of homeschooling. I have met many minorities who have formed an opinion out of ignorance that only 'white' people homeschool or that they themselves aren't educated enough to homeschool or whatever. I also think this need could help some trans racial adoptive families. I have this idea of a group that maybe reaches out at cultural fairs or posts flyers in areas where there are alot of minorities etc. We wouldn't limit it to just minorities too, we'd love anyone who would want to share in this experience. And in this group, we maybe have once a month or so, depending on interest and size, where we are able to learn about and share in eachother culture. So Feb, black history - Chinese New year would have activities centered on that, Maybe May or Sept would be hispanic, and I just don't know the others, but where we celebrate French, German, Indian, whatever...you know pretty much were we learn and share.

I have gotten so very few positive responses or interest. Or course I know alot of you don't live in Texas or Colorado, but I sure would like feedback on this idea and on the diversity or lack of diversity in homeschooling groups.
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Theodore
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some homeschool organizations for specific ethnic groups - for instance I just added a local chapter of National Black Home Educators to our groups listing today - but I do think that separating groups along ethnic lines rather than homeschooling style or religion tends to cause some measure of division. We're all Americans, and skin color and cultural background shouldn't matter much when it comes to education.

My grandparents and great-grandparents moved here during WW2, but we're not practicing Hungarian folk dances Smile
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Harrison
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Joined: 12 Mar 2007
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Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Theodore Reply with quote

Yes you are right, it does cause division. Unfortunatly so may one percieve a group where they are very obviously look different than anyone in the group. People seem to be very uncomfortable talking about that, but I know it happens. So the tricky part is finding the right way to balance that. And while it doesn't play that much of a role in education, it may in the things one decides to teach their children - such as traditions and even differences of traditions within the U.S. It may not interest one family at all to teach much about influential african americans or about Cesar Chavez.

I am not African American, but I do have alot of friends that are - unfortunatly none of them homeschool. I have heard from them that there is always a question, when they walk into a function and realize they are the only ones with dark skin, if those around them are prejudice. I imagine this happens in any setting. I am Mexican american and have felt that way when I have walked into an all black church. So how does one create a group that is both inviting and consciously celebrating diversity without being a cause of division? Confused

More thoughts would be appreciated! Razz
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momo3boys
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Joined: 14 Feb 2006
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Location: Western Mass

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We live in an area of Western Mass that has NO colored people in it, so race is hard to be diverse with. However, our homeschool group is very diverse in other ways. WE are color blind to other issues, like homosexuality. My homeschool group has two Christian families, one average american family, one very liberal family Irish/greek, and one family with two moms. My children understand that GOd made us all different and while we may not agree with the lifestyle of others, we are not the judge, God is. FOr that reason we are successful. THere is no hiding who we are, no putting others down, or telling them are wrong to be different. THis makesit work. We love because Christ loves, and I think that is what we should ALL do. No matter what the color, culture or political ideal is.

Sorry just MHO, i'll get off my soap box now Wink
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Harrison
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Joined: 12 Mar 2007
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Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:02 pm    Post subject: momo3boys Reply with quote

No need to apologize about your soap box. I tend to agree with you. And I think it's a lovely idea to teach our children we CAN disagree with other peoples lifestyle, yet we should treat them with love and remember we are all equally of importance and value to God.

My angle about 'minority' homeschoolers is a bit different but the same. I still hope to find people where we live who would understand where I am coming from and possibly want to be in a group that helps embrace ethnic and cultural diversity. Not that the one I am in is against it, they just aren't proactive in it in the way I hope to be.
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Dolly-VA
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Joined: 05 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little confused. Are you thinking of going out and trying to recruit various people, because of their ethnicity, into homeschooling their kids? Or, are you simply interested in approaching those of non-white backgrounds, who are currently showing an interest in or are already homeschooling, into joining a minority-oriented homeschool group?

My area has many homeschoolers and many homeschool groups. However, I wouldn't categorize the majority as "white" but as "Christian." In looking at other areas of the country and speaking with other homeschoolers, I've found this is even more pronounced where being non-Christian can ostracize you faster than small pox. Yes, there are groups out there that welcome all, no matter of race, religion or politics (okay, maybe not politics...JUST KIDDING! Razz ) but they are far, far fewer than those that are "Christian" (and some of these require that you sign documents stating your faith...now if that doesn't limit diversity, I don't know what will!) So, unless your goal is to limit it to minorities only, imo, a group that actively embraces diversity without restrictions will always be welcome and be the one many people who feel they "don't fit the mold" will naturally turn to.

Otoh, your comment about homeschoolers in your area not being proactive, I found that this is true for us about many things. Even if we are passionate about something, who has the time?! (I've heard this comment quite a few times, in fact. It seems to be a common lament from those who used to be "active" but now are "so busy!")

Just so you know, I'm scandinavian in background (so white I might as well be a vampire for all that I tan Laughing ) but I have cousins of most religions and neices and nephews of many ethnic backgrounds (black, hispanic and asian) we have awesome, fun reunions!
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Ramona
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Minority homeschoolers Reply with quote

Harrison wrote:
I live in an area where anyone who is considered a minority...is very rare in our homeschooling groups. We live...part time in Colorado.... I have met many minorities who have formed an opinion out of ignorance that only 'white' people homeschool or that they themselves aren't educated enough to homeschool or whatever. I also think this need could help some trans racial adoptive families.


We live in Colo and participate in 3 or more different homeschooling groups in our area. There are several Hispanic families in each of our groups.

We used to live in Maryland and one of the other homeschooling families we associated with the most was a white couple who had adopted some black kids and some white kids.

My personal opinion is that I probably wouldn't take the time to herd my 6 kids to an activity focusing on cultural diversity. I do like to go to educational activities about world cultures. It's all about the attitude it's being approached from.

Ramona
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Harrison
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Joined: 12 Mar 2007
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Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply to comments Reply with quote

Ramona-
Where do you live in Colorado? Near Denver? That's where I am. I have yet to meet any hispanic homeschoolers. I have ran into several families who have also adopted children from other countries, but only one of those families homeschools.

Dolly- I guess I sort of have a desire to do both. I personally would like to all sorts of shades of skin homeschooling. I feel it's something so many families can do, regardless of race, religion, politics, whatever, but so few people know about it. And I wonder sometimes if I missed some oath that as a homeschooling mom, I should not try to share the possibility of homeschooling. I know what you mean about just not having the time. It happens to us too. So whether a group would ever actually be created - I don't know.

(although my father's father was white and his mother was from Mexico , my mother is Mexican, we navigated and grew up with Mexican culture mostly, blended of course with American and Texan, living in this country) But growing up in this sort of culture really left me without any knowledge of homeschooling. It was only by the grace of God that He led me in this direction. I wonder how many others may be in a similar position. I completely understand that this would apply to all ethnic groups, but my heart seems to be towards those I 'think' may be at a greater disadvantage to learn about the option to homeschool because of cultural barries. (just like certain missionaries have a heart for one country or another, doesn't make them bias towards that group necessarily, it's just where their calling is)

I wasn't thinking of limiting it to minorities only, because that's something that can be thought of as racist itself, and that is something I really want to avoid. I do have two other families expressing interest locally, one family being 'white' (not sure of decent) with Korean adopted children and one family that would considered 'white' , with ancestors from Germany and Scotland. They want their children to learn about cultures and share theirs with others.

Thanks!
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mrsghost
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Joined: 18 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: cultural diversity site Reply with quote

I think this is an interesting concept. Where I live, there are all different races in the group I am in. So, it's basically just normal.
But, what would be interesting would be to create a website that people could visit and share on. For instance, you mentioned February as being Black History Month. People could share what thier heritage means to them- how they celebrate it, etc. Also, links could be posted to sites about the culture and books for the month.
Then, people could use the site as a great resource to educate an promote an awareness of different cultures.
My son is 13 and loves being on the computer. I might see how I can fit something like that into his social studies curriculum next year.
Thanks for getting me thinking- although this isn't what you were talking about actually.
mrsghost
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ecosafemom
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Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like this idea. So far we've attended 2 homeschool groups and sadly neither seems very multi-racial, cultural, etc. Both of my sons are Mexican/American and I really want them to be around other children of different racial & cultural backgrounds.

As a family we celebrate the Mexican cultural through the food we eat, the holidays that we celebrate (both Mexican & American), and the art that hangs through out our home. We also put ourselves out there to make friends from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Because we are an adoptive family, we have many opportunities to see families that are multi-racial & cultural like our own when we attend the different adoptive families groups we belong to. I would like to see more of these families hs to add some diversity to the local groups.
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phiferan
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think groups that promote ethnic identity, yet, are not exclusive and are indeed inclusive of all who want to join are positive for the homeschooling movement. I believe new census data states that collective “minorities” are rapidly becoming the majority in America and if we want the homeschooling movement to grow, we need to welcome these new families into the fold.

There are three national groups for African American homeschoolers/unschoolers, although, all these groups are not exclusive and all races are welcome. The groups just address issues of particular concern to African Americans, such as problems in the public schools and how they affect African Americans, where to find multi-ethnic literature, reading books, and historical books, and field trips of interest to African Americans, etc. They also are great for the homeschooling movement because they put an African American face on homeschooling issues and conduct interviews with major American news channels, newspapers and magazines (CNN, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, etc). The groups have reported that many African American don’t even know they have the option to home school, even if some of their children are languishing in failing public schools. The groups report that many more African American would choose homeschooling if they had more information and support. These groups spread the word in African American publications, such as Ebony magazine and Black Enterprise magazine, and these groups make new families feel welcome and ease the transition from public schools, as well as providing families with something to show skeptical relatives who are leery of homeschooling.
God Bless.

African American homeschoolers/unschoolers cites of interest:
http://www.naaha.com/
http://www.nbhe.net/
http://www.afamunschool.com/
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ncmom
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First to anyone I offend I apologize but I am going to be honest in my opinions. I have no problem with any other culture or race just the divisions of them.

I have to be honest here...I wouldn't join any group that boasted being ethnically different or even multiracial/cultural. Everyone keeps saying they want to be considered equal but then separate themselves from the mainstream. You can't have it both ways. OK so you are the first of your culture to join a group, so. If they accept you then who cares, someone has to be first. Look at it this way maybe you will be first, but you may help several other families who wanted to join and didn't want to be first, feel like it is ok to join too. And if they don't accept you, then oh well, their loss, move on with life and find a different group. And so they don't do multiracial lessons or activities, if they aren't celebrating any of them then what is the problem. All the groups I know of will accept anyone regardless of race so that isn't the issue, most of the time the issue is money. The big homeschool groups usually cost to join and then have fees for everything they do. I am not in a group because of the money, it is just to expensive. I do things with other families and we have families of several nationalities that do things with us.

I also think that mainstream groups aren't out to set any race apart from another, it is the subgroups that do that. Think about it for a minute...there are homeschool groups for african americans and for mexicans and so forth. I think that is why you don't find those nationalities in the mainstream groups very often. And these sub groups may not be exclusive to their name but if you saw a sign for catholic homeschoolers and you weren't catholic would you go? The answer is probably no. So when a homeschooler sees an advertisement for a certain ethnic homeschool group and they are not of that ethnicity do you think they are going to go. Probably not.

For those who support these subgroups or are part of them, if you want to separate yourself from everyone else based on race that is fine, just don't complain. My family has been a mix of just about everything but we don't go out and look for stuff based on any particular race. To us that would set us apart from everyone else and we don't want our children to grow up thinking that it is OK to set yourself apart from everyone else just because of your background. We consider ourselves to be Americans and just go with the flow of life.
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sevenkidsisgreat
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harrison:

I understand your concern and frankly wish that there were more minorities in the homeschooling movement and I fully support your vision.

My family has become a minority in the homeschooling movement by converting to Judaism from Christianity. We have experienced exclusion because of our religion. Some of us are fortunate to live in a large city with many choices but ALOT of us are not. Many of us are in smaller cities or rural areas where the entire support group is white but more importantly outspokenly , exclusively Christian. These groups are doing nothing to reach out to the minorities. You don't see homeschool groups or conventions holding workshops on "How to be a working single parent homeschooler". You don't see support groups talking about the issues that minorities would face if they came into the homeschooling movement. Frankly, the minorities are the ones who need to be homeschooling the most because they have the least access to good educational opportunities.

In my experience, the issue is really about exclusivity. Many groups say they are inclusive but sure don't act like it and when that is the only gig in town you are on your own. This is why subgroups form. Most subgroups form out of frustration from being ostracized by the larger community. I have had to start groups in several places that we have lived because of this very problem.

I applaud you for wanting to start a truly diverse support group for whoever (white, black, red, or yellow) ,from whatever religious background, from whatever homeschooling style who wants to raise their children to be tolerant and celebrate diversity. I am doing just that in my neck of the woods and I encourage you to do the same!!!

Cheryl
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phiferan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much, ncmom. I am not offended at all, your message was thoughtful and considerate. I have nothing but love in my heart, as God commands us, for your sincere comments. By the way, I am a graduate from the University of North Carolina for my undergraduate work and I met my husband while in college there, and I lived there for a few years.

I am concerned about multi-ethnic issues, and I bet everyone who is as well, has opened this topic and viewed the web links in my earlier message. And, it is for them, because I want them to know what is available. All people (nearly every single one of us) joins groups based upon likeness (even deciding what city we live in, what neighborhood we live in, who we date, who we marry, where we go to school or college, what social clubs we join, where we go to church, synagogue or masque, etc). And, actually I agree with you, probably because of the fall of man, people sustain divisions, which is regrettable. And, as we know from current tumultuous quandaries in other parts of the world, even when there isn’t ethnicity to divide humans, people find something else (tribes, factions, religion, class, political parties, etc.) I think the time when people will not be divided is in the life to come, Hallelujah! I think the majority of people who join groups based upon ethnic identity don’t complain about it; to the contrary, they join these groups in order to avoid complaint to any major group.

I don’t work for these homeschooling groups, so I am ill equipped to defend them; however, I know they were all formed out of need and requests from their later members. They have featured guest speakers of different races than the majority of their members, who are prominent and were forefathers in the modern homeschool movement and can provide information to their particular members. One of the groups has made a plea for homeschooling parents who have adopted African American children; but, are of a different race than their children.

Ncmom, I agree with you, I also believe that mainstream homeschool groups are not out to set races apart. We all have different reasons for homeschooling; nevertheless, there are a few overarching reasons, in general, why the larger population homeschools. Having said that, when you poll African American homeschoolers, many of the same principal reasons overlap the primary reasons of the larger population of homeschoolers; however, one of the principal reasons does not: African Americans homeschool because they want to teach from multi-ethnic literature, reading books, and historical texts. These particular homeschooling support groups satisfy that charge and point African Americans to curriculum and resources, instead of complaining to mainstream homeschool publishers to include more.

Ncmom, you said, “So when a homeschooler sees an advertisement for a certain ethnic homeschool group and they are not of that ethnicity do you think they are going to go. Probably not.” We are actually in agreement; this is precisely what many American minority ethnicities see, the same people in the news concerning homeschooling issues, the same people in the homeschooling curriculum, etc. and many figure, homeschooling is for Married Caucasian Christian Protestant – Stay at home mothers, only; thus, they don’t join in. I am not trying to besmirch this group, as I actually fit 4 of these characteristics myself. And, we both know that homeschooling is not just this: in America, it is for all Americans and the freedom to homeschool is quintessentially American.

Thank God this is America: we can form supportive organizations that fit each of our individual needs (just as we can find a particular cable channel we enjoy or a particular web site to place in our bookmark, even if others don’t join in or agree) and we can disagree, peaceably. Thank you for your comments, ncmom and sevenkidsisgreat. I really appreciate it. God Bless.
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tammymc
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking you missed his point. Most of us white homeschoolers have never had the experience of walking into a setting where we are the only ones with white skin.

My husband and myself, and our four boys for that matter, are all white. We have two adopted daughters who are black. It gives you a different perspective when you can see things through their eyes. I'm not for dividing the races (obviously), but some groups in some areas are not as inclusive as you might think. Some rural areas of the country still hold much predjudice against black people.

I would love to find a group where my girls didn't always have to feel "different."
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