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.
We have five items this month.
(1) Homeschooling in the Educational Landscape of Latin America — L.M.R. Barbosa (2021)
Abstract: A number of developments stemmed from reforms to Latin America’s educational landscape beginning in 1990, with the regulation of homeschooling differing in countries across this region. Academic research and literature on homeschooling in these countries are just beginning, but it is clear that there is a “normative void” on this topic that is experienced by almost all Latin American countries despite the growing number of families choosing this form of education. There is a need to broaden the debate regarding the regulation of homeschooling in Latin America by analyzing local particularities in view of the commitment to protect the right to education for Latin American children and adolescents.
(2) A Homeschool-Based Cognitive Behavioral Program to Improve Adolescent Mental Health — A. Harper & T.L. Brewer (2021)
Abstract: Problem: Anxiety and depression are prevalent in the adolescent population and can have significant consequences. Treatment recommendations are established but rates of utilization remain low, often due to a lack of access to mental health providers. Availability of mental health services in a school-based setting may increase access, but homeschooled children do not have access to these services. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of homeschooled children and compounded the problem of adolescent mental health disorders. Methods: This pilot evidence-based practice project aimed to increase access to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in adolescents. Eight students from a local homeschool cooperative participated in the Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment (COPE) program. A Friedman test was used to evaluate median differences on anxiety and depression screening instruments at baseline, program completion, and 1 month after the program. Students also completed an adapted COPE program evaluation. Results: Median scores on screening instruments decreased from pre-COPE to 1 month after, although results were not statistically significant. Students reported that the COPE program was helpful, and they learned new ways to deal with their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Conclusion: COPE is a feasible option to increase access to CBT in a homeschool setting.
(3) Parental Engagement: Why Parents in Russia Choose Homeschooling and What Problems They Have to Solve — K. Lyubitskaya (2021)
Abstract: Previous studies of homeschooling focus primarily on two areas: the demographic characteristics and socio-economic status of homeschoolers and the achievements of homeschooled children. Recently, however, the angle of research has shifted to the emotional and social results and emerging problems of homeschooling. Our paper presents the first attempt to investigate the reasons families in Russia choose homeschooling in the context of the historical changes that took place in the Russian education system in regard to the reasons families in Europe and the US choose homeschooling. In addition, this paper identifies the barriers homeschool families in Russia face and ways to overcome them. The study is based on survey data (N = 151) and interviews (N = 33) of parents in Russia. Our results indicate that parents struggle to define their role(s) in their relationships with their children during homeschooling while also encountering a lack of support and the misunderstanding of other family members. In addition to these difficulties, we identified organizational problems, including the transition to homeschooling, the lack of parental pedagogical competence, and the lack of special methods of individual education. A distinctive feature of Russian homeschooling, moreover, is that it remains parent-friendly, allowing the family to choose and organize the form of education for their children, and is developing rapidly while existing being in an institutional environment controlled by the state, with the legacy of the Soviet educational system.
(4) Homeschooling in the Context of Trust in Educational Institutions — N.L. Mikidenko (2021)
Abstract: The article examines the problems of the development of schooling forms in the context of the trust of the subjects of the educational process in educational institutions. The purpose of the study is to consider the development of homeschooling forms in the context of the trust in the educational system. The research is based on theoretical approaches that consider trust as an interpersonal reflection that ensures cooperation and cooperation in social interactions at the interpersonal level, as well as as a social capital of the educational system that ensures the effectiveness of the educational system as an important social institution in general. The author examines the positions of parents in choosing educational trajectories of children’s education in the context of the trust in the schooling system. To identify the positions of parents, the analysis of secondary data was used. The author reveals the opinions of parents about trust in school as an element of the educational system and reveals the reasons for choosing homeschooling forms as alternatives to full-time education in the context of trust (institutional trust, interpersonal trust). It is shown that subjective experience is a significant factor in the formation of trust, affecting the formation of both institutional trust in social institutions of education in general, and interpersonal trust in the system of educational communications of participants in the educational process. The author defines the problems of the development of homeschooling forms in the context of trust in school educational institutions.
Abstract: Much of the current academic literature on the practice of homeschooling has revolved around the individual academic, social, and psychosocial outcomes of homeschooled youth. As such, the relational and systemic implications of homeschooling have been neglected in the current body of research, thus leaving the practice’s long-term outcomes on family and relational functionality up to heuristic assumption by homeschooling families and the general public. The current study sought to address this gap in the literature by introducing a family systems perspective to the assessment of homeschooling families and homeschooler’s relational functionality. Comparisons between homeschooled (n = 145) and non-homeschooled (n = 147) adults found that, after controlling for demographic differences, homeschooled adults reported that their families had higher levels of unbalanced Enmeshment and Rigidity, along with lower levels of unbalanced Disengagement, than non-homeschooled participants within the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Functioning. Homeschoolers also displayed greater levels of Differentiation-of-Self in the domains of Emotional Reactivity and I-Position taking than non-homeschoolers. These results, however, were found to be closely connected to homeschooled participants’ reports of how many years they were homeschooled, the degree of structure in their homeschooling environment, as well as the strength of several different common rationales they believe motivated their family to choose to homeschool, with certain factors emerging as significant predictors of whether homeschoolers reported a more functional family environment and higher Differentiation-of-Self. The clinical and research implications, limitations, and future directions for studies of this kind, are discussed.
What interesting homeschool news and academic research have you come across this Orion Term? 🎓
❡ See for yourself: If you’d like to investigate the current academic literature on homeschooling directly, 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 & Gaither that is linked 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. 🗞