Make your home page

Data shows home-school rates climb in Black families following pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Home-school rates are growing in Black families, according to census data. Social concerns partly factor into the growth, and advocates say the pandemic gave a lot of parents faith in making the switch.

Home-school rates climbed across all ethnic groups, but Black people saw the highest spike.
Advocates say there is a growing list of support options for parents considering the switch.

The pandemic forced a new way of learning for thousands across Indiana, but for others, it unlocked a door.

Parent Andre Enoch said, “Now I get to see it firsthand, and I can see where they’re struggling at or where they have advancement it.”

His two sons transition to home-schooling during the pandemic. It’s something he’d been thinking about for years. The pandemic and ongoing political debate helped provide the spark.

“I have my children in an African-centered school. So, it’s dealing with more African-centered principles and teaching them their culture and history. As well as other American and world history.”

A growing number of Black parents have made the switch. According to census data, Black parents in Indiana made up about three percent of home-schoolers in the first quarter of 2020. It jumped to 16 percent by the third quarter.

“The whole pandemic, what it did was open our eyes to the possibilities,” said Queen Taese, the founder of Liberated Minds, Black Home-school and Education Institute.

Taese supports parents across the country in making the transition. Saying it’s hard walking into something new or following a road less traveled.

“We have many resources. We have parent trainings. Online home-schooling university. All of the curriculum is African centered focused on culture. But it touches on every single subject.”

After nearly 30 years of this work, she says many black students are not doing well within the system socially, emotionally, and academically. And now focuses on learning but also creating space for students to lean into their passions

“I didn’t really see that nurtured in the schools because it was really like a conveyor belt. Then a situation, where you’re looking at each child, individual, purpose, and passion, and how we’re going to nurture that,” Taese said.

Enoch has a message for parents considering the transition.

“Be courageous and brave enough to take control and do what is necessary for your children’s growth and development.”