School Choice, A Family Choice: The Bey Family

For the third installment of “School Choice, A Family Choice” during LFC’s celebration of National School Choice Week, we share the story of a Louisiana family that is taking advantage of the state’s educational choice options, including public charter schools, traditional public schools, scholarship schools, online schools, and homeschooling.

beyfam16There has never been another option for Umar and Yvonne Bey. The Beys are among a growing number of Louisiana families who have chosen to homeschool their four children. Two of their children have earned their high school diplomas – a daughter who graduated from high school at the age of 15 and is now attending college, and a son who is serving in the Air Force.

“As an educator, having taught in public and private school environments, I realized I wanted something in particular for my children,” said Umar.

Yvonne said homeschooling has many benefits, including the flexibility for children to learn at their own pace. She said it doesn’t necessarily take a year for a student to complete a course. “They could go as fast as they wanted to and if we needed to help them a little bit more, we could take the time to make sure they got the foundation they needed.”

A concern many parents have about homeschooling is a perceived lack of socialization. The Beys participate in a homeschool cooperative with 30 other students. Umar calls the non-socialization issue a myth.

The Beys have turned the United States and Canada into a living classroom that provides a real-life geography lesson.

“We are very enthusiastic when it comes to our children experiencing a wide range of environments, worlds and communities. Most homeschooled children are maybe overexposed and a little bit too friendly when comes to being able to go out and mix with other people,” said Umar.

And what if they weren’t allowed to homeschool their children? Umar says they would have created their own school system.

“There is no way we would have allowed our children to be subjected to an education system that left them inadequate in terms of being able to compete and survive in the world and become self-sufficient.”

Listen to Umar and Yvonne Bey talk about the advantages of homeschooling their children: