Homeschooling may seem like the new kid on the block when it comes to educating our children, however it’s the world’s oldest education model.
Prior to compulsory schooling, educating children at home was considered part of a parent’s responsibility. It was a way to ensure a family-centered upbringing that included morals, ethics, religious doctrine, and often times taught the children how to run the household from a young age.
It wasn’t until the 1900s that compulsory schooling began being adopted by every state, pushing most families to send their children to public school.
The modern-day homeschooling movement began in the 1970s, and has steadily grown since. As of 2011, around 2.3 million children were homeschooled—5% (approximately 115,000) were Black. Recent statistics on the number of Black, homeschooled children are hard to come by, but within the last five years I’ve seen a jump in the number of Black homeschoolers, including my children and the children of many other Black families I know and follow.
Representation matters, and Black homeschoolers need to see themselves…
Black families are one of the fastest growing groups of homeschoolers in America, yet you wouldn’t know it by looking at homeschool conferences, popular social media accounts and Youtube channels, or by listening to podcasts. At first glance, the homeschooling community is predominately conservative, White Christians who have an abundance of resources at their disposal.
However, dig deeper and you’ll find a family like mine—a Black, secular, eclectic homeschooling family from Detroit, Michigan—who found that home education to be the best fit for our children. And we are not alone. There are many Black homeschooling families sharing their unique experiences online through blogs, Youtube, and social media. Some have even written books on the subject.
When you’re a Black homeschooler, or looking to become one, one of the issues you may face is feeling isolated, misunderstood, or simply alone on your journey. You may not personally know any Black homeschoolers, or where to find those who are homeschooling and sharing their journeys online. Representation matters, and Black homeschoolers need to see themselves in the role of facilitator in our own home schools.
So, where is this Black homeschool magic, you ask? You’ve come to the right place.
Whether you’re considering homeschooling, just starting out, or are a veteran homeschooler, here are some of the best Black homeschoolers to follow online. Each offers a different perspective of what homeschooling is and how their children (and families overall) benefit from living the homeschooling lifestyle.
This is my family’s blog where I share our everyday experiences of living an eclectic, minimalist, and intentional homeschooling life. We believe that homeschooling isn’t simply about what curriculum to use; it’s about relationships, flow, rhythm, and finding the right balance of fun and learning.
Follow Latonya, a work-from-home, first-generation homeschooling mom living outside of Nashville, Tennessee, raising two daughters with her husband. She is also a freelance writer, art teacher, and jewelry designer.
Her laid-back, honest approach to homeschooling, and about life in general, will make you feel right at home. She especially has a heart for newbie homeschoolers. (You can also follow her homeschooling journey on Instagram.)
With over 4,000 subscribers, this mama’s homeschooling Youtube channel is definitely one to follow. This large military family are “almost daily” vloggers who share their homeschool days—including her son’s autism journey—as well curriculum reviews, hauls, and more. She also has a blog that features curriculum and musings on homeschooling, and an Instagram account.
Darcel is the mom behind the blog The Mahogany Way. She’s a single mom of three children who writes about unschooling, motherhood, fashion, and special needs parenting (autism, asthma, and allergies). Her honesty and authenticity draws you in and makes you want to follow her and her children’s unique unschooling journey.
For Black homeschoolers, in particular, home education is a step towards breaking the ties that bind and having true freedom. Akilah S. Richards—writer, teacher, and Self-Directed-Education activist—talks about this a lot as an advocate for unschooling, a separate school of thought from homeschooling.
“For my family, unschooling is a tool for decolonizing education and liberating ourselves from oppressive, exclusive systems,” Akilah says.
She hosts the weekly podcast, Fare of the Free Child, where she interviews special guests about self-directed learning and much more.
(Editor’s Note: You can read our interview with Akilah on her path to unschooling here.)
Andrea Thorpe is a former classroom teacher and guidance counselor turned homeschooler of three girls. She created her blog to give Black homeschoolers a place to come ask questions and obtain resources. Andrea also fosters a sense of community in her private Facebook group that has over 2,000 homeschooling moms helping, supporting, and encouraging each other.
Donielle Michele is one creative, homeschooling mama! Her blog and Instagram are filled with arts and crafts, hands-on learning activities, and printables to help homeschooling mamas have fun with their children in and outside of school time, all the while learning along the way.
If ever there was a large family who embodies what child-led learning is, it’s this family! Karla, her hubby, and six children are a family-centered tribe, passionate about hands-on learning. Karla shares what interesting, creative, and fun things they’re up to through their Youtube channel and Instagram. With each day having a certain theme, (e.g., “What in the World Tuesday” and “Read About It Wednesdays”), every day is an adventure with the Sensational Six.
Demetria of the blog and Youtube channel Mom Zest is a down-to-earth, homeschooling mama, raising two daughters with her husband in Silicon Valley. She not only writes and makes videos about homeschooling, she encourages moms on her podcast Christian Homeschool Moms. Demetria also shares how holistic living and practicing yoga helps to keep her flowing as a mompreneur, mom, and homeschooler.
One look at Syreena’s Instagram and Youtube channel and you know there’s something special about her and her family. A homeschooler, photographer, aspiring filmmaker, and world traveler, Syreena shares the beauty and reality of their everyday through visual stories.