Diversity Begins In Your Neighborhood
How diverse a person becomes is really dependent on where they live. Even if you live in an area that is not culturally diverse, you can easily help your children to be comfortable in a varied atmosphere.
Every time your child accompanies you somewhere, he or she is exposed to diversity. Home educators are skilled at taking every experience and turning into a teachable moment. When you take your child to the bank, library, grocery store, church or park, you have a real life opportunity to turn it into a lesson in diversity.
Karen, an experienced homeschool mom of four shared her thoughts, "I think the biggest misnomer about homeschoolers is that people assume we stay at home and most of us don't. We're community based more than home based. We spend as much time or more time with diverse groups of people than those traditionally schooled. We're volunteering, taking classes, going on field trips, traveling, etc. One reason many of us homeschool is to take advantage of the opportunities around us and to not be tied to a certain schedule. It takes flexibility which homeschooling is."
The flexibility that homeschooling affords students means they can volunteer at the local library on a Tuesday morning and interact with college students and retired patrons. It also means they can spend time with relatives that can offer them more than any book study can.
Stacey, a mom who homeschools in Florida says, "I know that my children were able to go with me everyday to visit their great-grandmother when she was in the nursing home and bring goodies for the other patients. This taught them to have compassion for their elders and to learn patience on how to deal with the elderly and how to listen. They learned so much from their great-grandmother about the wars and the great depression that I didn't have to do history; she did it for me with real life experiences. When the hurricanes hit Florida several years ago, my children were able to help clean and distribute food to those in need. They also volunteer in the local food bank."
When children learn diversity because they are interacting with real live people, they will develop a great compassion for people.
The best way to provide diversity education is to get your children involved in real life. Kathleen, another mom, who has homeschooled six children shares, "Homeschoolers are constantly in settings with multi-age groups of people. If diversity only means meeting kids from different ethnicities, then my kids were in contact with people from multiple countries through mission trips and family involvement in missions through church and multiple ethnicities in the activities they were involved with in our community."