The purpose of this study was to gain an in depth knowledge of the day to day activities of home school families in order to better understand the instructional approaches, curriculum decisions, and challenges. Four themes were addressed: motivations, operations, resources, and challenges.
Findings about motivations to home school included: (a) motivations were complex and included a motivation that served as a catalyst to unlock other more important latent motivations; (b) the primary motivation was religious in nature; (c) secondary motivations encouraged them to continue operating their home schools; and (d) motivations to home school directly influenced their home school operations.
Findings about home school operations included: (a) the families operated their home schools using a combination of traditional and progressive approaches; (b) the primary teaching strategy was reading; (c) the families received the majority of their curriculum from the cooperative; (d) the families made curricular decisions based on student need and interest; and (e) the families created a menu of educational choices that they could choose from in order to meet their educational goals.
Findings about home school resources included: (a) the cooperative was the most important resource used by the families; (b) books were also instrumental in operating the home schools because of the reliance on reading; and (c) the families used a variety of other resources to meet their educational goals. Findings about home school challenges included: (a) in home distractions were significant challenges to home school education; (b) accountability issues had the potential to undermine the educational goals of the families; (c) finding and choosing curriculum was difficult because there was so much to choose from; (d) social isolation, and courses and activities not available through the home school were also challenges; and (e) the home school cooperative helped the families address some, but not all of the challenges of home schooling.
Implications and recommendations included: (a) replication of the current study with families not involved in a cooperative; (b) research into limited public school enrollment for home school children; and (c) that traditional schools adopt a service approach and provide a menu of choices for students.
|Commitee:||Barbier, Mary K., Brocato, Donna, Cofey, Kent, Xu, Jianzhong|
|School:||Mississippi State University|
|Department:||Curriculum and Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- Mississippi|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religious education, Secondary education, Individual & family studies, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||Challenges, Curriculum choices, Day to day operations, Educational counterculture, Home education, Home school, Homeschooling, Motivations|
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