Why You Need to Supplement Your Child’s Education with Kaya Henderson


Click here to read the episode transcript.


Our country and our people are facing a harsh truth… the American education system is failing Black people. So, what can we do about it? Let’s break it down…

In this episode, Kaya Henderson and I talk about the value of supplementing your child’s education, particularly with online classes taught by Black educators. 

Kaya Henderson is the Founder and CEO of Reconstruction, a technology company delivering a K-12 supplemental curriculum that situates Black people, culture, and contributions in an authentic, identity-affirming way. “Reconstruction was created to show our kids that they are descendants of powerful, creative, and resilient ancestors whose contributions permeate every aspect of life across the globe; and that they too are called to contribute to this rich legacy.”

“School doesn’t teach everything that our young people need to know, especially when we think about building strong, Black young people.”  – Kaya Henderson

Through technology, Reconstruction brings a safe and enjoyable educational space to Black youth and their families all over the United States. While parents can buy classes directly from their website, Reconstruction is also used by churches, schools, Girl/Boy Scout troops, and so much more. “Wherever Black kids are, they can get on Reconstruction and take a class,” Kaya says.


Communities all over the country, from Asian folks to Jewish folks, don’t rely on schools to teach their kids about their heritage, so why should we? 

For too long, African-American people have been taught to believe that we don’t have a history. Yet, we’re the world’s cultural icons… See how twisted this is?

In my household, we center Blackness. That’s how we start the race discussion, the math discussion, the food and nutrition discussion, and every other topic I teach my daughter about.

The name “Reconstruction” was chosen to symbolize the reconstruction that Black people achieved in the 12 years after emancipation. You might not know it, but in those 12 years, we started 37 HBCUs, opened 5,000 community schools, and 500,000 Black men voted in the presidential election of Ulysses S. Grant. We owned ¼ of the farmland in the US, we opened banks, started businesses, and yes, we even incorporated entire towns. We were crushing it and white folks didn’t know what hit them. Thus, white people began oppressing us once again, through Jim Crow laws, the KKK, and the list goes on.


We have a rich history of resilience, reconstruction, and prosperity that’s glossed over in our history books.

“I love that your podcast is called Parenting Decolonized because colonization is about lack of self-determination. It is somebody else imposing their will, their values, their culture on you,” Kaya says, “and I think about decolonizing education; not just taking what the system gives you, but real self-determination, real liberation, is about teaching our young people this stuff that nobody else is teaching.”


We know the American education system is falling short, but the extent to which it’s failing us is getting scarier every year. Parents have to supplement their kids’ educational experiences with the things that are important to them.

Kaya offers these 3 tips for boosting your child’s education:

  1. Read, read, read! Surround your kid with stories of Black people and culture. Click here to get The Great Black Book List!
  2. Pay attention to and ask questions about what’s happening in your child’s classroom. If you don’t, you won’t know what they’re learning and what they’re missing.
  3. Expose your kids to Black wisdom and excellence. Connect with family, friends, and community that can share stories and knowledge with you and your family.

Learn more about Reconstruction & Enroll in their classes for $10/class at https://reconstruction.us (scholarships are available!).

Click here to learn more about metacolonialism.


About Kaya Henderson (she/her):

Kaya Henderson is the CEO of Reconstruction, a technology company delivering a K-12 supplemental curriculum that situates Black people, culture, and contributions in an authentic, identity-affirming way. From 2010 to 2016, Kaya served as the Chancellor of DC Public Schools, where she led the district to increases in enrollment, graduation rates, teacher retention, and participation in the AP program. She currently also co-hosts the popular podcast “Pod Save the People.”


To connect further with Kaya:
Follow Kaya on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HendersonKaya
Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayashines
Connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kayahendersonconsulting
Listen to Pod Save the People Podcast: https://apple.co/3dtObSt 


Read the TRANSCRIPT here: click here


This episode was produced by Crys & Tiana.