More Urban Homeschoolers

At this time of year, as parents begin to more seriously consider their education options for their children come fall, an increasing number of urban families are researching and choosing city homeschooling.

In many cities over the next few weeks, including mine, parents of kindergarteners, pre-kindergarteners, or those new to the district will learn to which city public school their child has been assigned using a complex lottery system or school-choice algorithm designed to fully integrate city schools. Other urban parents will receive admission decisions from private schools. And some urban families may begin exploring suburban school districts in preparation for a move out of the city. Still, many urban parents are turning to homeschooling.

According to a recent Newsweek article, approximately 300,000 children are currently homeschooling in American cities, or roughly 20% of the overall U.S. homeschool population of 1.5 million. As more young families settle in cities and grow attached to the convenience, enjoyment, and sustainability of urban living, these families are increasingly drawn to urban homeschooling, recognizing the vast learning resources available in cities and the vibrant and diverse homeschooling communities in urban areas throughout the country. A growing number of inner-city minority families are also choosing to homeschool their children, as they grow increasingly disheartened by under-performing urban schools or frustrated by curriculum that they feel is not culturally relevant.

Urban homeschoolers choose homeschooling for an array of reasons and are as diverse as the cities in which they live, reflecting various religious, cultural and ethnic groups, socio-economic positions, family structures, and pedagogical approaches. The one thing these urban homeschoolers have in common, though, is an appreciation for their city's abundant learning resources and the great opportunity to use the city as their child's classroom.