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 printable pdf file. In some cases, a paid subscription may be required to read the whole article. The article abstracts and introductions below are quoted in full whenever possible, without editing.
We have four items this month. The first is a very comprehensive review by Kunzman and Gaither of nearly all the academic homeschool literature published to date. If you’re interested in homeschool research, this is an important paper to bookmark and save for reference.
(1) Homeschooling: An Updated Comprehensive Survey of the Research — R. Kunzman & M. Gaither (2020)
Abstract: This article provides a comprehensive summary of the English-language research and scholarship on homeschooling, organized into the categories of demographics, motivation, curricula, academic achievement, socialization, health, law, relationships with public schools, and international homeschooling. The texts used in this review were culled from virtually the entire universe of English-language academic texts on the topic — more than 2,000 in total. Scholarship was evaluated using three primary criteria: quality of scholarship, significance or influence, and distinctiveness of insight. This review sought to answer the following questions: What primary topics or themes are addressed in the literature? How effective are the methodology and analysis performed? What does the research reveal about homeschooling, and what questions remain unanswered?
(2) Understanding the Initial Stories of Families Preferring Homeschooling: A Narrative Study — B. Ahi & S. Sengil-Akar (2020)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to understand the story underlying the preference of parents (mothers–fathers) for home school in Turkey and to determine the main points in this story. For this purpose, this study was conducted according to the narrative study model, one of the qualitative research designs. Within the context of this study, the opinions of mothers and fathers of three children receiving their education in the same home school during their preschool period were elicited. As a result of the analysis of the interviews conducted within the context of this study, three super themes and seven different codes gathered under these themes were obtained. As a conclusion, the reasons for the parents’ choice of home school instead of a formal education institution were found to be “Inconsistency between the parents’ expectations and what is offered by the education system, negative effects of formal education on the child, family ideal, school experiences, educational philosophy and employment status, developmental reasons/concerns, negative social interaction at school, and their encounter with the proposal for home school.”
Abstract: This qualitative case study was designed to explore the instructional methods, materials, and decision-making processes used to teach literacy by homeschool parents of children with unique learning needs. Participants were selected through purposive sampling from among a group of homeschoolers in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. Information was collected via semi-structured interviews, surveys, and literacy observations. The research questions were: What instructional methods and materials do homeschool parents of children with unique learning needs use to teach literacy? What sources of information do homeschool parents of students with unique learning needs use to select these methods and materials? In what ways do homeschool parents of students with unique learning needs exhibit confidence and competence? The findings revealed that participants emphasized the importance of: (a) using authentic text to teach literacy, (b) “following the child” as a means of selecting appropriate methods and materials for literacy, (c) parents tapping into their own past experiences/education as well as the homeschool community, and (d) an inner knowing that was used to make decisions throughout the homeschool process. In addition, the homeschool parents in the present study were using a number of special education high-leverage practices (HLPs) and components of emergent curriculum to teach literacy to their children with unique learning needs. Practical applications and recommendations for future research were included.
(4) COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria and Attitudes towards Mathematics Homeschooling among Pre-Tertiary Students — A.O.A. Awofala et al. (2020)
Abstract: The emergence of COVID-19 in Wuhan, the Peoples Republic of China in December 2019 and it spread to Nigeria on February 27, 2020, has made the closure of educational institutions in the country a must and homeschooling inevitable. Aside from social distancing and putting on of the armour of basic health hygiene and using nose masks, COVID-19 pandemic has no curative vaccine to stop its further spread. This study investigated Nigerian pre-tertiary students’ attitudes towards mathematics homeschooling during the period of COVID-19 pandemic. Deploying instrumentation survey research design, three research questions were answered and the sample consisted of 342 pre-tertiary students in South-West, Nigeria. Data collected through an internet-based questionnaire created using Google forms and loaded on the WhatsApp social media for the dissemination to the target sample were analysed using frequency, mean, standard deviation, independent samples t-test, and exploratory factor analysis. Results showed that attitudes towards mathematics homeschooling scale was a multi-dimensional construct consisting of four interpretable factor structure of distraction and parent negative attitude, home enjoyment, school enjoyment, and competition and parent positive attitude. Gender was not a factor in the attitudes towards mathematics homeschooling. Besides, pre-tertiary students recorded a high level of attitudes towards mathematics homeschooling during the period of COVID-19 pandemic. In line with these results, it was recommended that researchers and mathematics educators could adopt this assessment tool in exploring the background predictors and educational imports of attitudes towards mathematics homeschooling in mathematics learning milieu during the period of any pandemic.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you come across this Hercules 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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