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. 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 or introductions below are quoted in full whenever possible, without editing.
In addition to the academic papers below, homeschoolers may also be interested in an encouraging news essay by homeschool advocate Kerry McDonald: “Two Grown-Up Homeschoolers Explain How Alternative Education Helped Them Get Ahead.” A homeschool graduate declares: “the uniqueness of a homeschooler’s repertoire of knowledge is an advantage in life and business, not a disadvantage.”
We have four regular items this month.
(1) Unconventional Education: The Homeschooled Student College Experience — D. Amaddeo (2021)
Introduction: Homeschooled students are unique in a college environment. Without adhering to a traditional school system, homeschooled students possess various learning opportunities outside of the classroom. However, because they lack the formal educational prerequisites held by traditional students, their achievements and experiences may differ. Stereotypes also exist for these students; they are often perceived as socially inept due to lack of prior socialization, for example. Institutions interested in including homeschooled students in campus diversity initiatives should develop a better understanding of their experiences. Once institutions understand the homeschooled student experience, then programming and resources can be offered to increase diversity initiatives. This article will also highlight the importance of parent and family services and how they can be incorporated in programming and resources.
(2) Homeschooling Gifted Learners: An Australian Experience — M.L. Conejeros-Solar & S.R. Smith (2021)
Abstract: Homeschooling has been a growing movement worldwide since the 1970s and a research topic for the last 30 years in Australia. Despite this body of knowledge, no studies have focused specifically on gifted homeschooling in this country. Using a qualitative approach, 10 mothers of 10 gifted children were interviewed; data were analysed using qualitative content analysis methodology. Five major themes emerged: (1) homeschooling motivations, (2) giftedness challenges, (3) homeschooling provision, (4) facilitators for homeschooling, and (5) barriers to homeschooling. In the findings, it was suggested that homeschooling is chosen for the majority of families as a healing process from a school system that has damaged them emotionally and cognitively. Families of gifted children value the freedom and flexibility of the homeschooling option to encourage their gifted children’s abilities and interests. The outcomes of this study present a clearer understanding of the decisional and implementation processes of homeschooling carried out by families of gifted learners and its effect on their lives.
(3) Four Key Barriers Affecting the Choice to Homeschool: Evidence from a Fragile Community — B.D. Ray, M.D. Shakeel, F. Worth, & V. Bryant (2021)
Abstract: Homeschooling has witnessed an upsurge in the United States since the movement for school choice gained momentum in the 1990s. Most research on homeschooling has been on non-representative samples of median-income white Americans, making it difficult for policymakers to accept its reliability. In addition, homeschoolers now include other ethnic groups and families with low socio-economic status, who existing research has largely ignored. We also know little about the families’ perceptions of barriers to homeschooling. In this paper, we address these gaps in homeschooling research by analyzing a state-representative sample of homeschooling families in Georgia belonging to a fragile community (e.g., household income $40,000 or less, disproportionately African American, children ages 2–18) recruited to the panel through randomized double-blind methods. Cross-sectional findings suggest that demographic variables do not explain much of the variation in homeschooling. Four perceived barriers stand out as significant negative predictors of both outcomes (i.e., now homeschooling and desire to homeschool). These barriers are parents not understanding homeschool laws, having various concerns about their children (e.g., concern social services agency may bother them if they homeschool), apprehensions about the socialization of their children, and unease about their own knowledge to homeschool. Findings suggest that policymakers should differentiate between the barriers to homeschooling faced by fragile families that do not already homeschool their children versus those that currently homeschool.
(4) Educational Needs Assessment for African Americans with Homeschooled Children — K.L. Rhyne Byrd (2021)
Abstract: Trends in homeschooling show that enrollment for K–12 students is on the rise, particularly with African American families. For families choosing to homeschool their children, there is greater flexibility and range of choice in curriculum programs and instructional practices. Data from this phenomenological case study was collected using interviews and surveys in an effort to understand and identify the educational needs of African American families who homeschool their children. Using interviews, this study explored the homeschooling needs and experiences of African American families through shared experiences. This study also analyzed the need to include Afrocentric and multicultural teachings as part of a homeschool curriculum. By using constant comparative to analyze the data, the researcher was able to and identify trends across the homeschool experience for African Americans and define five major themes: 1) Accessibility and Availability of Resources, 2) Homeschool Setting and Structure, 3) Instructional Support, 4) Working Parents and Homeschooling, and 5) Cultural Representation in Education. Two minor themes emerged as well: 1) Problem Based Learning and 2) Socialization outside of the Home. The results of this study are crucial to the development and implementation of curriculum, the use of instructional practices, and the access and availability of educational resources within a homeschool setting.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you found this Hercules Term? 👩🏻🎓
❡ Explore more: If you’d like to investigate the current academic literature on homeschooling yourself, the best place to start is Google Scholar, 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. 🔎
❡ Explore more: For a comprehensive review of homeschooling research prior to 2020, see the paper by Kunzman and Gaither that is linked as the first item in our Research & News post for July 2020. 📖
❡ Stay in the loop: This is one of our regular Homeschool Research & News posts. Add your name to our weekly mailing list and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🗞