Originally posted at the Canopy Forum on the Interactions of Law & Religion on December 8, 2020


The coronavirus pandemic has increased interest in homeschooling, igniting discussion and debate surrounding the intersections of family and children’s rights, religious freedom, and education law. This essay raises awareness regarding the changing faces of homeschool families which challenge notions of equity and familial rights related to education and religion. We draw on the above representative quote from Anneliese to provide understanding of the benefits and meaning of homeschooling from an African American perspective.

Traditional homeschooling – in which parents assume full responsibility for their children’s education outside of public or private school settings – long has been viewed as a primarily White, middle class, Christian fundamentalist phenomena. However, the homeschool community is more diverse than generally recognized. In 2016, approximately 136,000 Black children were identified as homeschoolers, a small percentage of the nearly 1.7 million children homeschooled in that year, but one of the fastest-growing segments among homeschool families. By 2018, the number of Black homeschooled children had multiplied to an estimated 220,000. The upward trend towards diversification is predicted to continue, and the coronavirus pandemic likely will accelerate that trend.