When parents look back on how the past year has changed the landscape of their local schools, they often look back in surprise and resilience. A year and a half ago, most parents could never fathom the idea of taking their kids out of school - yet, many were forced to do it anyway.
The homeschool population grew rapidly once the pandemic hit and in spite of the vaccination rollout, homeschooling continues to grow. In Vermont, homeschooling applications jumped 75 percent, and in Canada, roughly 30 percent of families have decided to continue homeschooling post-pandemic.
Parents favor the idea of keeping their kids safe amidst the world of uncertainty, and many are looking to the global pulse to find ways to keep their children educated about what’s going on in the world. Aside from COVID-19, one of the biggest concerns making headlines in 2021 is cultural diversity.
Books for Kids on Cultural Diversity
Books give parents (and teachers) a step up in representing a vibrant, multicultural community to their kids. The following have been recommended by teachers for their messages about racial and cultural diversity:
This book presents various family situations, including different races, multicultural families, same-sex parents and single parents. The point is that love is the common ground for everyone.
Teaching Kids About Race & Cultural Diversity (Pre-K to 2)
The lead character in this coloring storybook is Sparkle, a unicorn. She welcomes people of all races into her magic club, teaching acceptance of others.
In this story, a young Japanese American girl is forced to relocate to an internment camp with her family after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It introduces the difficult cost of intolerance.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (Grades 3 to 5)
These are biographies of 40 black female trailblazers. It presents black women who are real-life role models. It inspires children to have big dreams.
The message in this book is conveyed solely through images. It is about an immigrant's journey from a troubled homeland, drawing the reader into the struggles of adapting to a strange new world.
The main character is an African American middle school runner with the potential to go far in the sport. He must learn first to overcome anxiety due to finances and family issues.
The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian (Grades 6 to 8)
Growing up on a reservation and attending a poor school is troublesome. It gets worse when Arnold Spirit Jr. is transferred to a wealthy school where there are no others like him.
The Hate U Give (Grades 6 to 8)
A teenage girl witnesses the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer. Her world is split and driven apart as she tries to cope.
Books for Parents on Cultural Diversity
For parents and teachers that would like to delve deeply into racial and cultural diversity, there are two great resources on the subject. Coping with Cultural Diversity in Urban America is based on research conducted in an area where it is experienced in daily life. Racism and Cultural Diversity: Cultivating Racial Harmony Through Counseling, Group Analysis and Psychotherapy is also an excellent text on the dynamics of racism. All the books listed will help homeschooling parents and teachers give their kids insights into being inclusive.