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, readers may also be interested in a newspaper op-ed by Michael Donnelly of the Home School Legal Defense Association, “UN Agency Attacks Homeschooling,” which reports on an anti-homeschool push by officials in Brazil: “UNICEF’s top education officer in Brazil has launched a vituperative attack on homeschooling, opposing a proposed law that would recognize home education as a legal option for Brazilian parents.”
We have five regular items this month.
(1) Early Literacy: An Online Guide for Homeschool Parents — S.M. Hodgson (2021)
Abridged Abstract: The purpose of this project was to create a digital early literacy guide for homeschool parents to use when teaching their children early literacy skills. In this guide, content is presented without using technical jargon. After reviewing the audience and content that needed to be covered, it was decided that a combination of images, written content, videos, and narration would be used within each section of the learning module. Narration along with the on-screen text allowed the parents to understand the content and made it more accessible to individuals with different learning preferences. The guide was broken down into four main sections with additional subsections for interactivity and engagement.
Twenty current homeschooling parents were invited to take part in this study along with the recruitment flyer being posted on Facebook to obtain extra participants. From both groups, 27 voluntarily participated and completed the feedback survey. Seventeen participants came from Facebook and 10 came from the school of partnership. The study involved participants accessing the Early Literacy Guide for Homeschool Parents through a weblink, then participants were asked to participate in a feedback survey. The survey consisted of 7 questions with 3 multiple choice and 4 short answer.
In analysis of the data the participants reactions and opinions regarding the Early Literacy Guide were largely positive. All 27 participants (100%) agreed that they found the content organized, that it helped them to understand the early literacy skills better and that they feel that they are able to apply the lessons learned.
(2) Homeschool Music Education: A Descriptive Study — A. Murphy (2021)
Abstract: All people deserve access to quality, affordable music education. However, without participation in local public and private schools, this is not guaranteed to be accessible to children. This study explores where homeschool families obtain music curricula, parents’ perceptions of their chosen music curricula, and parents’ musical values in relation to the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS). Results suggest that homeschool families primarily obtain music curriculum from websites, apps and other technology, the library, and private lessons. Parents in this study value all of the NCAS but most highly value creating, listening, and responding to music. Quite often their chosen music curricula do not have opportunities for creating music. In addition, homeschool families appear to be piecemealing music experiences rather than using one complete music curriculum with goals, objectives, standards, and assessments. Therefore, it is my recommendation that the music education community work together with the homeschool community to create a homeschool music curriculum that meets all of the NCAS and provides flexibility for homeschool families based on personal choice. The present study offers insight into the homeschool music experience in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and is a building block for more research, both within this community and beyond to the national level.
(3) All Education is Spiritual and Ergo Homeschooling is Resurging — B.D. Ray (2021)
Abstract: All education is spiritual and ergo homeschooling is resurging. Parent-directed, family- and home-based private education schooling – that is, homeschooling – is millennia old and has experienced a notable renascence around the world during the past 40 years. With respect to homeschooling, “Parent-directed means the parents have deliberately chosen to take responsibility for the education of their children, controlling both the education process and the curriculum (course of study). Family-based means the center of educational gravity is the home, with other resources being secondary” (homeschoolingbackgrounder.com, 2020). One of the key reasons that home education is growing is that more parents and more of the general public are recognizing that all education of children deals with values, beliefs, and, ultimately, an overall worldview (Weltanschauung). Because worldview is a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world, especially from a specific standpoint, it is, de facto, spiritual. This paper shows that all education and schooling is the teaching, training, and indoctrination of children, that the worldwide rebirth of home education came with a focus on spirituality, that empirical evidence shows that all education is spiritual and spirituality is motivating many homeschoolers, and, finally, that scholarly theoretical arguments against homeschooling involve the spiritual.
(4) The Experiences of Homeschooling Parents with Mathematics — R. Reaburn (2021)
Abstract: Homeschooling, where parents take on the prime responsibility for their children’s education, is a growing phenomenon in Australia. Homeschooling is different from distance education or the education at home that has taken place in the Covid-19 pandemic in that the parents make all the decisions about their children’s education, including planning, implementation and assessment. This study examined the experiences of homeschooling parents in the field of mathematics and adds to the sparse literature in this area. The study investigated the parents’ own experiences of mathematics at school, their confidence in their role as parents of learners of mathematics, and their beliefs about the nature of mathematics and its teaching. It was found that the parents were mixed in their views about the nature of mathematics and how mathematics should be taught, were confident in their role as the parent of mathematics learners, and had good knowledge of their children’s mathematics learning.
(5) The Concept, Status and Necessity of Homeschooling in the Iranian Education System — B. Soleimani et al. (2021)
Abstract: Homeschooling is going through its early stages in the Iranian education system. There are many ambiguities in the application of this approach at present. Hence, in this article, the concept, status, and necessity of homeschooling in the Iranian education system were scrutinized. To this end, foreign documents belonging to the years 1976–2018 and domestic works belonging to the years 1991–2017 were probed. More specifically, 98 studies were systematically selected, content analyzed and categorized using the synthetic method. Then a combination of findings was presented according to the principles of data integration, reconsideration, and rearrangement. At the end of each section, aggregation of findings and overall conclusions, if necessary, were provided. The results showed that parent-supervised education of children and flexible curricula were essential concepts in homeschooling. This approach has developed abroad significantly due to educational reasons and its outstanding values. However, its position in Iran is in a state of uncertainty. Nonetheless, special attention should be paid to its use because of the following disadvantages of the Iranian education system: 1) inefficiency of the education system; 2) educational inequality; 3) centralized and bureaucratic education system; 4) traditional teaching methods; 5) subject-centered curriculum; 6) contradictory values in homes and schools.
What interesting homeschool news and research have you come across 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. 🗞