The Significance of Single Black Mothers Homeschooling

  • Cheryl Fields-SmithEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Alternative Education book series (PSAE)


This final chapter discusses the themes of motherhood, faith and spirituality, and race as found across each homeschool mothers’ narratives. The chapter highlights differences among the four mothers’ decision-making and homeschool practice. The chapter further discusses the unexpected finding of Black mothers’ expressions of empathy for public schools and the subsequent constructive criticism of public schools. Single Black mothers’ experience demonstrates the importance of fostering Black children’s sense of ownership and independence in their learning as well as use of child-centered, experiential learning. The chapter suggests a new conception of homeschooling as a pathway to healing.


Experiential learning Empathy for public schools Motherhood Race Spirituality and faith 


  1. Bell, D. (1992). Faces at the bottom of the well: The permanence of racism. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  2. Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Cooper, B. (2007). The politics of homeschooling: New developments, new challenges. Educational Policy, 21(1), 100–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dillard, C. B. (2006). On spiritual strivings: Transforming an African American woman’s academic life. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  5. Donelly, M. (2017, June 19). What about Michigan’s “homeschool partnerships”? HSLDA. Available:
  6. Fields-Smith, C., & Wells Kisura, M. (2013). Resisting the status quo: The narratives of Black homeschoolers in Metro-Atlanta and Metro-DC. Peabody Journal of Education, 88(3), 265–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fields-Smith, C., & Williams-Johnson, M. (2009). Motivations, sacrifices, and challenges: Black parents’ decisions to home school. Urban Review, 41, 369–389.Google Scholar
  8. Greer, C. (2013). Black ethnics: Race, immigration, and the pursuit of the American dream. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hirsch, A. (2019, July). The changing landscape of homeschooling. Center on Reinventing Public Education. Bothell, WA: University of Washington.Google Scholar
  10. Kunzman, R. (2009). Understanding homeschooling: A better approach to regulation. Theory and Research in Education, 7(3), 311–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lines, P. (2000). When home schoolers go to school: A partnership between families and schools. Peabody Journal of Education, 75(1&2), 159–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lois, J. (2013). Home is where the school is: The logic of homeschooling and the emotional labor of mothering. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Love, B. L. (2019). We want to do more than survive: Abolitionist teaching and the pursuit of the educational freedom. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  14. Mazama, A., & Musumunu, G. (2015). African Americans and homeschooling: Motivations, opportunities, and challenges. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Moore, D. (2019, December 20). Being a protective black mom isn’t a parenting choice-it’s the only choice. Quartz. Retrieved December 30, 2019 from helicopter-parents/?bclid=IwAR0MMgPNy2lEr4duLDnWcjXRGehB9ZgtpZbRHXaCj7xzCGLhbHzOy3dgIxM.
  16. Owens, C. M. (2017). Monarchs: Defying odds and achieving success. In D. Y. Ford (Ed.), Telling our stories: Culturally different adults reflect on growing up in single-parent families (pp. 113–121). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Ravitch, D. (2010). The death of life and the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. Philadelphia, PA: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  18. Romm, T. (1993). Home schooling and the transmission of civic culture (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  19. Schwartz, K. (2015). Busting stereotypes: A homeschool-public school partnership that works. Mindshift. KQED, Inc.Google Scholar
  20. Singh, A. A. (2019). The racial healing handbook: Practical activities to help you challenge privilege, confront systemic racism, and engage in collective healing. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Theory and PracticeUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations