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Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu: Love and High Expectations Lead to Black homeschooling Success

By: Krystle Crossman

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu has some interesting facts about African-American children who are home-schooled that many people many not know about. We often hear that Black children under-perform in school and have low test scores. What we don’t hear about are the children that are home-schooled. Reports show that Black children who are taught at home are scoring in the 77th percentile in math and 82nd percentile in reading. This is 30-40% higher than those who go to public schools.

Dr. Kunjufu says that there is a simple explanation for these high scores and that is simply the high expectations and love that the Black children who are home-schooled experience as opposed to their public-schooled counterparts. The principal at Booker T Washington High School once said that you have to love the students in order to teach them. Home-schooled children are a testament to this theory and their scores reflect it. When they are taught by their parents they know that their teacher loves them and wants the best for them. The teachers aren’t just there to do a job; they are really there to help, and the child will be able to tell that right away.

Many Black students report that they do not feel loved or respected in classrooms. They feel that they are given low expectations because of all of the stereotypes that go along with their culture. This causes students to under-perform. If the teachers and the school systems don’t care about their education, why should they?

Black students are often reprimanded or punished and that is how a good majority of the school day is spent in public schools instead of focusing on learning material. Home-schooling allows Black children to focus and be pushed to higher limits than they would get at a public school. They are allowed to reach their full potential and work hard. Home-schooled kids care about their education because they know that their parents care about it.

Another huge benefit to teaching children at home is the fact that you get to teach them about your values. You can give them confidence and help them to grow up to be the best person that they can be. Their success in life will be a direct reflection of the time and effort that you put into helping them become all they could dream of being.

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8 thoughts on “Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu: Love and High Expectations Lead to Black homeschooling Success

  1. Devon

    Good idea, problem is in black america, too many these baby mamas love random dyck more than they love their kids, because they laid up with no good nuccas they knew wasnt sticking around for their kids. And have little or no expectations of them either, they running around thuggin bangin and the girls following in their mamas footsteps.

  2. Harold

    Some, Devon–not most. Many of the “Baby Mamas”, as you call them, trusted that the man was being honest when he indicated he really liked her and was not just trying to get some and run. Devon, it is more the fault of the black man–us, I presume.?

  3. MrsVeronicaNickey

    Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu you are so right because of you lecturing at the Dempsey Center in Harlem.years ago.( This group has moved to Brooklyn, New York a smaller venue.) I have always supplemented work for my children. I read some of your books. Please return to New York U. A. M. Children’s Retreat two weeks for boys and then two weeks for girls July summer camp could benefit our children. Visit this April any Wednesday at 7p.m. We will be at 1061Atlantic Avenue. If you can contact Mr. Umar Johnson who reminds me of you. We must grow help us. We must also teach at least one child playmate best friend so we better the communities. My contribution was taking eight children to the library Wednesdays Saturdays Sundays for single mothers who worked or were friends with my children. My husband thought I was nuts. At least twenty eight adults have entered Colleges graduated Universities

  4. CJ

    Ms. Crossman, I cannot refute most of your points in this article. But I have a different viewpoint to the issue of black children and education. I won’t get too deep and try to stay on the issue of homeschooling.

    The problem I have with this topic is that it doesn’t reach the masses. The masses are the existing and fast growing single parent homes. Let’s not use this post to put blame on the mother or the father, but the issue starts with home (PERIOD).

    Homeschooling can only happen from one of two situations: (1) a 2 parent home where one parent is the bread winner and the other parent wears the hat of the homeschool administrator; or (2) the family is wealthly enough for either the single parent to work or, in the case of a 2 parent home, both parents work and a third party is brought in as the homeschool administrator. Most inner city families that built from a single parent and thus do not have the financial means to pay the costs to have their child or children homeschooled by a third party.

    I cannot disagree that homeschooling can produce better results in the mindset of education as well as the tested results of our black youth. My only issue is it’s not really optional for the masses. What our youth need is structure at home, across the board. Parents need to stop allowing the television and video games raise our youth. Parents need to stop spending $200 on a pair of sneakers and put that $200 towards an engineering or educational camp. Parents need to stay in contact with the teachers and administrators at the schools to show support for them as well as support for their children. Parents need to pay attention to and fight against any policy change that has a negative effect on their children (e.g. closing of neighborhood parks and recreation centers, redistricting of schools, etc.). Parents need to engage in their kids’ schoolwork and not just simply ask if they completed the homework.

    I may have gotten a little of subject, but homeschooling is only optional for a limited number of black families. So we need to make change in other areas to increase the eduction scores of our black children.

    • Dyslexia Street

      I home schooled for my son’s 5th thru senoir year because we moved to DC where many of the school systems are not good whether public, private or charter. I tutored kids in the afternoon when my son played tennis for income and my husband worked. It was the hardest job I have ever done. For three years of home schooling, I worked part-time as a special education teacher in VA. The high school years, I started a small tutoring business instead to be available for his questions and some tutors I had to paid for . It stretched me as a person. I never thought I could teach some of the subjects. I had to take classes or teach myself some stuff over the summers. My husband taught bible and history. Yes, you can get off work and help your kid. Now I do Coaching for many kids but I HAD TO MAKE CHANGES first.

      I got ideas from a friend who was home schooling 8 at the time. I even tried home schooling 4 other kids with my son to import values in other kids. Parents wouldn’t even look at their kids homework. Not that they couldn’t help them with it, most could but they wanted ME to make their kids smart and they do NOTHING. I was just as drained as the public school teacher. I thought parents would see the results and want to help me help their kids but NOT.

      Now when I tutor or coach I make parents do activities with their kids. If they don’t, they are gone because parents are their kids first teacher. SAT/ACT practice should start in 7th grade. I know because I tutor Asians also. Parents should be able to quiz their own kids with as little as 4 SAT words I give them a week, at least. Instead excuse after excuse then they wonder why they can get in college but few scholarships because of lack of discipline.

      Most scholarships are based on SAT scores like the National Merit Scholarship. My son’s junior and senoir year he was up late doing assignments just like regular college and played competitive tennis. Not the 9pm bedtime rule ( Kids are tired but help them push through it ). In college you stay up till it’s done and take breaks.

      Work with the tutor or teacher to develop great habits like reading. Please stop expecting others to perform the miracle you won’t touch. If we were not too busy to produce kids,why are we so busy when we have them? Take time with your kid.It changed my son’s outlook on education, God and us as parents. When they see we care they make changes also. My son had to see my husband and I both read to develop a keen sense that reading daily was important. But too many parents are supposedly “so busy “. WE had to make changes for our son to be successful. What Dr. Kunjufu is trying to say is for us to stop leaving the education of our kids in the hands of others.Take ownership of your child’s education and teach them their ethnic history don’t leave that up to others either. If I can do it, anyone can. Sorry for the sermon.

  5. Kevin

    CJ, You can Home school as a single Parent, black white or whatever color. You are only limited by Y-O-U. Resources are not the issue. I know single parents that home school and are doing a very good job as a matter of fact. You are your only obstacle, no one can stop a determined parent when it comes to what is best for their child. It is low self-esteem and a low mindset that will limit the single parent.

  6. Kierre

    I have been interested in home schooling for about 2 years now. I’ve gathered some information, but my work schedule takes up much of my time and i’ve been unable to figure out how to work and do it. Working part-time in my area will not cover the bills. I am actively involved in my son’s academic life and I consistently enforce the importance of knowing who we are, educating ourselves, and not getting caught up in our society’s distractions (I.e. music, tv, videogames, money, etc.). Is there someone who can teach/show myself and others how to implement a home schooling program we can actually do in spite of being the working poor? Thanks.

  7. Tauleece

    My husband and I have been happily homeschooling our 5 kids for the last 8 years. I am so enriched by the experience mainly because of the love and ownership our kids have for their own education and future. In 2012, we graduated our first son and he headed off to college on a full academic scholarship. He is now starting his junior year, holding a 3.6 gpa and just returned from a 7 week stay in China with the university honors program. This year, 2014, we graduated our second son and took him to school yesterday. He is the USDA/1890 Honors scholar for his school and is also receiving a dull academic scholarship.

    Homeschooling led us to start a business called Homeschool Resource Network where in we work with and assist other homeschoolers, new or not, in getting the most out of their homeschool experience. We work for ourselves, I am a solo practice attorney and hubby is an executive business and educational consultant. It takes work…but it works for our family. Our remaining three kids are in the 11th, 7th and 3rd grades. The flexibility and independence of homeschooling is very rewarding and enriching. Our 7th grader JUST turned 11 years old…but has been homeschooler since kindergarten. He loves the independent study opportunities. I could go on an on…but ultimately, homeschooling is a lifestyle that must be embraced and enjoyed if it is to be effective. Our children love it…and so do we!

    Blessings! Feel free to reach out to us if you have homeschooling questions:

    Roger & Tauleece Thomas
    [email protected]


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