Around the middle of each month we post a quick roundup of some recent academic publications and news about homeschooling, offered for your interest. These are typically university research papers, and they 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, which is often a pdf file. The abstracts are quoted in full when possible, without editing. We have six items this month — the third one is by well-known homeschool advocate Kerry McDonald.
(1) Homeschooling in Turkey (Focus Group Interviewing Method) — E.D. Kılıç & Ö. Önen (2012)
Abstract: In literature, homeschooling is described as education given by parents at home. It is an alternative education model which has begun to be applied in many developed countries. While there is no distinction in these countries on homeschooling applications, in Turkey, the regulation on homeschooling only covers the handicapped children. The purpose of this study is to examine the views of teachers who work in primary schools in Burdur and Isparta on homeschooling and its practicability and also possible effects of homeschooling on Turkish educational system.
(2) The Experience of Being a Homeschool Mother: A Heuristic Inquiry — M.L. Catlin (2019)
Abstract: The intent of this dissertation was to answer the research question: What is the experience of being a homeschool mother? While the number of homeschool mothers across the globe increases rapidly, research that targets this population fails to keep up, from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. Using a heuristic inquiry, 11 co-researchers shared their experience through in-depth interviews and journaling. What the data analysis exposed is that the homeschool mother is dissatisfied with corporate education, she is more concerned with her children’s lifelong learning than their short-term information acquisition, and she has a strong social support. Among the patterns and themes, it became evident that not only does she invest in her own children, but she has a genuine concern for children in general. She is highly adaptive and can quickly recognize when she needs to alter the course and speed of her child’s education. The homeschool mother in this research was also self-reflective, identifying her shortfalls and ensuring that she invests in her relationships with her children; she identified homeschooling as a transformative process. She is rewarded through her teaching and her relationships, yet she also struggles internally with guilt, pressure and self-care. External societal pressures require the need for defense mechanisms, and she is constantly and unashamedly prepared for conflict. Future research should focus on the homeschool mother from more diverse characteristics and backgrounds including those from various cultures, geographies, and socioeconomic statuses. Longitudinal studies should investigate the homeschool mother for a more thorough understanding of her experience.
(3) Review of School Choice Around the World (P. Dixon & S. Humble, eds.) — K. McDonald (2019)
Introduction: Government control of education has become so ordinary that it can be difficult to imagine another way. The idea that parents can most capably decide how and where their children are educated, or that the private sector could do a better job in providing education options for every child, is often dismissed as foolish at best, reckless at worst. Yet, for centuries humans have become highly educated without technocratic decree, seeking and building decentralized approaches to learning. Indeed, these emergent approaches continue to sprout around the world, gaining traction in developed countries where parents and educators are fed up with a one-size-fits-all mass schooling monopoly, as well as in developing nations where parents are increasingly dismissive of government schooling. In School Choice Around the World, editors Pauline Dixon and Steve Humble, along with their contributor colleagues, highlight global efforts to limit or avoid government control and provision of education through education choice. While different in scope and scale, and with varying levels of government intervention, these efforts in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the U.S. share a goal of elevating parental choice in education. School Choice Around the World is a refreshing and informative look at how school choice is being broadly practiced and promoted worldwide.
(4) Reasons Why Homeschooling Families Choose Strict Home-Based Education or Cooperative Groups — R.E. McTurnal (2019)
Abstract: In its current format, homeschooling has become the fastest growing method of education in the United States. Over 3% of American children are currently being homeschooled. Because of this rise, considerable research has been done both to support and to critique the concept and practice of homeschooling. Recently, a subgroup has emerged within the larger homeschooling community and is known as a cooperative group, or co-op. Some homeschool families still choose to be the sole educators of their children. Other parents have intentionally come together to cooperatively educate their children. This has not gone unnoticed, or without criticism. This study sought to answer this question: How can the following factors (Social interaction, Concern of other educational environments, Religiosity, Moral instruction, Physical/mental needs, Illness, Special needs, Option for a non-traditional education) influence whether a parent will use a co-op format of homeschool education. This study also evaluated how the social learning theory relates to homeschool education. A survey-based descriptive design was used for this study. The participants were comprised of a convenience sample of both co-op home schoolers as well as traditional homeschoolers residing in Fairfax County, VA. The instrumentation for this study will include question #17 of the National Home Education Research Survey. Overall, the factors together were found to be insignificant. All findings and conclusions regarding future research are stated at the conclusion of this study.
(5) Homeschoolers’ Experiences with the Public Library: A Phenomenological Study — S. Pannone (2019)
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of homeschoolers using the public library. A phenomenological design using interviews, a survey, and a writing prompt was used to give voice to the public library experiences of seven homeschool participants. From the data, three primary themes surfaced. First, most of the participants felt that the library was a home away from home. Next, many of the participants valued how the public library saved them money, and finally, many of the participants voiced a desire for more library daytime programs, especially daytime programs that catered to older, homeschooled children.
(6) Homeschooling and Authenticity — E. Sarajlic (2019)
Abstract: In this article, I address the relation between children’s authentic identity development and homeschooling. I show the limitations of claims that homeschooling protects children’s authenticity. I argue that the aim of homeschooling is the reproduction of parental beliefs and culture, which is inimical to the development of authentic children’s identities. Thus, I consider homeschooling prima facie unjustified. However, I do not advocate for a prohibition of homeschooling. Instead, I argue that parents could justify their homeschooling practices by satisfying specific authenticity-based requirements. I develop the outline of these requirements in the second part of the article.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you been browsing 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. 🔎
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