Thesis

Home-schooling : an examination of parental choice against societal norms

Thesis (Education (Curriculum and Instruction)) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2009.

Home-schooling has become an acceptable and more widespread educational
 choice among parents. While home-schooling has a long history in America, the
 societal and individual reasons for making the choice to home-school have changed
 over time. The choice to home-school can shed light on current perceptions of the
 educational system and on our educational values and standards.
 In order to understand these current choices, research needs to be conducted to
 examine the choices and motivational factors that influence parents to make the choice
 to home-school. This research categorizes the motivational factors and researches
 parental motivation to validate or invalidate them. Data for this thesis was first collected through a review of the current literature
 on the issue. Milton Gaither (2008), in "Why Homeschooling Happened," examines the history of home-schooling. Michael Romanowski (2006), in "Revisiting The
 Common Myths About Homeschooling," explored four specific myths of
 homeschooling and the reality of each one. Eric J. Isenberg (2007), in "What Have We
 Learned About Home-Schooling?" discusses home-schooling data and the
 accountability factor.
 A survey was also conducted of home-school families in Sacramento to
 explore their motivational factors for choosing to home-school. Over 150 surveys
 were collected and analyzed. The survey results validated much of the existing research on the motivational
 factors behind the parental decision to home-school. Identified factors such as
 ideological and pedagogical factors were clearly identified by survey participants as
 strong motivational factors for them to home-school their children. Religious reasons,
 academic challenges, and protection of their children from negative influences
 emerged as leading reasons.
 The survey also validated advantages and disadvantages of home-schooling
 identified by the research. Advantages included: individualization of curriculum,
 challenging students academically, ability to teach religious or moral values, and ability to spend more time with their children. Disadvantages included: extra work for
 parents, and lack of access to specialized school equipment and activities.

Home-schooling has become an acceptable and more widespread educational choice among parents. While home-schooling has a long history in America, the societal and individual reasons for making the choice to home-school have changed over time. The choice to home-school can shed light on current perceptions of the educational system and on our educational values and standards. In order to understand these current choices, research needs to be conducted to examine the choices and motivational factors that influence parents to make the choice to home-school. This research categorizes the motivational factors and researches parental motivation to validate or invalidate them. Data for this thesis was first collected through a review of the current literature on the issue. Milton Gaither (2008), in "Why Homeschooling Happened," examines the history of home-schooling. Michael Romanowski (2006), in "Revisiting The Common Myths About Homeschooling," explored four specific myths of homeschooling and the reality of each one. Eric J. Isenberg (2007), in "What Have We Learned About Home-Schooling?" discusses home-schooling data and the accountability factor. A survey was also conducted of home-school families in Sacramento to explore their motivational factors for choosing to home-school. Over 150 surveys were collected and analyzed. The survey results validated much of the existing research on the motivational factors behind the parental decision to home-school. Identified factors such as ideological and pedagogical factors were clearly identified by survey participants as strong motivational factors for them to home-school their children. Religious reasons, academic challenges, and protection of their children from negative influences emerged as leading reasons. The survey also validated advantages and disadvantages of home-schooling identified by the research. Advantages included: individualization of curriculum, challenging students academically, ability to teach religious or moral values, and ability to spend more time with their children. Disadvantages included: extra work for parents, and lack of access to specialized school equipment and activities.

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