On the third Tuesday 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 sixth one is not specifically about homeschooling, but we have included it because it presents such a wonderful conclusion: if you want your kids to be smart, surround them with books! 📚 😊
Abstract: The makerspace at Abilene Christian University has been operational since 2015. It is unusual in that it is an academic space at a private university that offers equal service privileges to both the campus and the community. In an attempt to encourage a maker mindset within our broader region, we began offering a series of day camps for elementary and middle school students. To our surprise and delight, the homeschool community became our biggest group of participants. What started as serendipity is now a conscious awareness of this group of patrons. In this article, I outline how our camps are structured, what we discovered about the special needs and interests of homeschool families, and how we incorporate this knowledge into outreach and camp activities. I also share how we evaluate the camps for impact not only upon campers but also within the larger goals of the library and university.
Abstract: Homeschooling is a viable educational option for many families. Challenges often arise when students are ready to transition into higher education. Barriers to smooth transitions exist, both for the homeschooled student as well as for college admissions teams. The purpose of this qualitative study was to recognize these barriers in order to increase the potential for working toward solutions for those involved. This study used a combination of case story and qualitative research methodology to gather perspectives through interviews from three homeschooling families in southern Minnesota and three higher education professionals working in the field of admissions. Some of the main barriers revealed in the findings of this study include reliable methods of communication with the homeschooling network, lack of recruitment of homeschooled students, homeschooling transcript expectations, and consistent requirements from schools. Acknowledging and presenting this knowledge gained about perceived barrier challenges and ideas for meaningful change will help move this topic forward and lead to better understanding and recognition of possible solutions to ease the transition process for homeschooled students.
(3) Escaping the Formal Education System: A Case Study of Chinese Homeschooling Families — Q. Wang & M.W. Lanager (2019)
Abstract: For this article a case study was conducted of homeschooling to describe the rationale for homeschooling, as well as decision-making regarding curricula and instruction, and the overall perceived effectiveness of homeschooling and socialization efforts in Xi’an, China. This article is based on an empirical study to reveal the main characteristics of the five sample families. Feeling uncomfortable about the formal school education system was the common impetus for commencing homeschooling. Combining informal learning activities with a formal curriculum was the prevailing choice amongst the families. As dictated by various needs, each family had their unique curriculum design. All the parents and students expressed their belief in the effectiveness of homeschooling. Socialization seemed to be a problem for these students, however, because there were no regular homeschooling groups to support their study and play.
(4) Understanding Families Who Choose to Homeschool: Agency in Context — A. Dennison, J. Lasser, D. Awtry Madres, & Y. Lerma (2020)
Abstract: Many families elect to educate their children at home rather than enroll them in school. Whereas each family maintains its own reasons for deciding to homeschool, a factor for some families, including families of color, may be found in their response to institutions and systems that have historical roots in inequality, that have intentionally or unintentionally perpetuated inequitable outcomes for their children. This article considers the decision to homeschool in the context of families’ efforts to regain agency and self-determination. Implications for school psychologists are discussed and recommendations for policy and practice are provided.
(5) The Efficacy of Problem-Solving Consultation for Homeschooled Students With Behavior Concerns — R.M. DeRish, T.R. Kratochwill, & S.A. Garbacz (2020)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy and acceptability of problem-solving consultation for homeschooling families with children who exhibited externalizing behavior problems. Three families participated, with multiple siblings participating from each family. Six children were male and 1 child was female. Children’s ages ranged from 5 to 9 years old. Single-case experimental multiple baseline designs were used to evaluate the functional relation between implementation of behavior support plans within problem-solving consultation and children’s externalizing behaviors. Direct observation data showed decreases in externalizing behaviors after the consultation and intervention process for 2 of the 3 families. The parents of the homeschooling children reported that the behavior support plans and consultation process were acceptable. Implications for future research and practice are presented.
(6) Keep the Books on the Shelves: Library Space as Intrinsic Facilitator of the Reading Experience — J.M. Donovan (2020)
Abstract: Library literature frequently reports projects to remove print collections and replace them with other amenities for patrons. This project challenges the untested assumption that the physical library itself serves no useful function to users unless they are actively consulting books from the shelves. The alternative hypothesis is that readers benefit from the mere act of studying while in a book-rich environment.
To test this possibility, ten subjects completed SAT-style reading comprehension tests in both a traditional library environment, and a renovated chapel that strongly resembles library space except for lacking books. Results provide a reasonable basis to support an expectation that readers perform better on reading comprehension tasks performed in book-rich environments.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you come across this Orion Term? 👩🏻🎓
❡ 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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