For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-07-research
This is a new feature we’re trying out here at the River Houses: a quick monthly roundup of some recent academic publications and news about homeschooling, offered for your interest. These items may have a positive, negative, or neutral outlook on home education — and if they don’t seem appealing, just scroll on by. The title links generally point to the full text of each publication (often a .pdf file). (Facebook readers should click to the attached blog post to find these links live.) This month’s offerings:
(1) At Home with Technology: Home Educators’ Perspectives on Teaching with Technology — Beverly Grace Pell
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to understand how and why home educators are schooling their children using technology. First, I explore how home educators use technology for homeschooling. Second, I investigate how home educators see themselves as teachers when using technology. Several themes emerged from the data revealing that home educators believe technology enables them to provide high quality curriculum and individualized instruction and to create a constructive and engaging learning environment for their children. Data were collected by convenience sampling with a survey of 316 (N = 316) home educators from 52 different territories, states, provinces, and countries across the globe, a nonrandom sample which is not representative of the entire homeschooling population. The quantitative data provide a specific picture of home education, reasons for homeschooling, and home educators’ perceptions of technology use in their homeschool. Qualitative data were obtained through open-ended questions on the questionnaire and through thirteen in-depth interviews with home educators from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Data analysis was inductive, using a constant comparative methodology to identify meanings and values held by homeschool parents providing an important part of the overall picture. The data in this study show that home educators use technology to evaluate and purchase curriculum, to deliver and supplement instruction, to offer what they see as an appropriate and personalized education, and to gain social, emotional, and professional support from other homeschoolers. Results of this study suggest that using technology to access a wide variety of curricula, to connect with and support fellow teachers, and to provide individualized instruction in an engaging environment might lead to better educational experiences for numerous students and teachers.
(2) Reasons Families Choose to Homeschool: A Study of Homeschooling Families in Minnesota — Laura R. Smetak
Abstract: During the spring of 2016, researchers for the U.S. Department of Education estimated there were 1,689,726 students ages 5–17 homeschooled nationwide, based on data gathered from the National Household Education Surveys program of 2016. Many families choose to homeschool their children in the state of Minnesota, but as far as empirical data is concerned, information on the specific homeschooling demographic in Minnesota is scant. This thesis seeks to identify the specific reasons Minnesota-based families choose to homeschool their children. Understanding the reasons for the decisions of individual families who choose to engage in homeschool, rather than enrolling their children in the public education setting, can help better inform our community, and academia, as to the depth and breadth of the many factors involved in families’ decisions in this regard. Parents of 126 homeschooled students completed an online survey regarding their primary reasons for homeschooling. The results of this Minnesota-based survey mirror some of the same percentages as those seen in the results of National Household Education Surveys program of 2016. The most cited primary reasons for homeschooling, reported by this sample population of Minnesota-based homeschooling families, were: religious/faith-based instruction; personalized instruction; concerns about negative school environment; and a desire for a non-traditional approach to education. Additional reasons included: more time together as a family; moral instruction and character values; dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools; gifted and/or talented students; flexibility; physical or mental limitations of students; chronic illness/hospital visits in the family; and other special needs. When asked the main criterion each family used to evaluate homeschool curriculum/programs/resources, the most cited was that the curriculum needed to hold the child’s interest. Additional criteria included minimal lesson planning; hands-on activities; literature-based curriculums; ease of use; Biblical worldview content; and several other categories.
(3) Homeschooling as an Alternative Education in Indonesia: Case Study on Homeschoolers with Mothers’ Professional Differences — N. Purwaningsih and P.Y. Fauziah
Abstract: This study was intended to reveal the single homeschooling implementation of families with differences in maternal professions (career women and housewives) as primary educators. The research applied qualitative approach with the type of case study through interviews, observation, and documentation. The data analysis was completed through data collection, data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing. The results of the study indicated that single homeschool learning is based on the national education standard curriculum in Indonesia, but carried out in a family environment according to children autonomy. Homeschooling in Indonesia also follows an equivalent educational program to obtain a certificate so that the graduate competencies of homeschooling students are recognized as the same as those of formal schools. Equivalent educational programs are part of non-formal education consisting of “Package A” (equal to elementary school), “Package B” (equal to junior high school), and “Package C” (equal to senior high school). Homeschooling learning takes place more flexibly, familiarizing children to be independent and responsible for learning decisions. Homeschooling presents learning based on children’s talents and interests so that it can be an alternative education in Indonesia.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you come across lately? 👩🏻🎓
❡ Explore more: If you’d like to investigate the academic literature on homeschooling, the best place to start is Google Scholar (scholar.google.com), the special academic search engine from Google. Just enter a search term or phrase of interest (“homeschool,” “unschooling,” “classical homeschooling,” “deschooling,” etc.), and Google Scholar will return a list of academic publications that mention your topic. 🔎
❡ Stay in the loop: This is one of our regular Homeschool Research & News posts. Add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞