Abstract: Home schooling is one of the oldest school choice options available to parents and their children; however, it is not often regarded as a school choice option, nor has there been much review of how the advent of school choice may be affecting home schooling. According to widely-repeated estimates, as many as two million American children are schooled at home, with the number growing as much as 15 to 20 percent per year. At the same time, however, home schooling has received little attention compared with other recent changes in the educational system, such as the growth of charter schools. It could be argued that home schooling may have a much larger impact on educational system, both in the short and long run. In this report, Homeschooling in Lane County by Kathy L.
M. Miles, this qualitative study examined the subject of reasons why parents are home schooling their children, how home and school can cooperate and integrate to educate children, and the higher education opportunities for home school students. The methodology and findings are discussed and the subjects are interviewed in their natural settings. The participants have a clear understanding of the subject matter and wanted to partake in the study. Summary The study begins this research paper with a general question and an outline of the history of home schooling and present characteristics of the home schooling movement in Lane County, Oregon based both on her own extensive study and on the existing literature in the field. The importance of this qualitative (inductive) study is to take an in-depth look at the various rationales why parents home school their children.
These reasons include concern about low academic achievements, decline in teaching of virtues and morality, and to strengthen family parent-children relationships. The design used in this study are surveys (descriptive) research. The methodologies used for this study are purposive sampling methods which includes homogeneous and criterion sampling. Included in this study are interviews of parents and students, observations of home schools, interviews of school administrations, interviews of college admissions, and a survey of home school parents. Subjects participant in interviews about the subject matter. Observation was conducted in the subjects natural setting (home).
The researcher participated in educational activities and recorded data without any biases. Parents participated in interviews at various location, notes were taken and summarized. These sessions lasted from 30 minutes to one hour. Students were interviewed in their natural settings (home) that lasted for about an hour. Some interviews were conducted without the presence of parents. Surveys were conducted with the assistance of two home school organizations.
The surveys were anonymous and responses were compiled based upon the following question: What are some reasons for home schooling in the order of their importance? The findings indicated how to provide a better academic education with one-on-one instructions. The survey was given to 56 families with 27 responding. The researcher identifies recurrent themes and integrates them into existing categories. This paper provides qualitative research with a phenomenology approach. The data was analyzed from the findings. In conducting the research Miles looks at various published literature on home schooling based upon the characteristics of home schoolers and their families.
Critique: The research question addressed in Miles's study on Homeschooling in Lane County (Master of Arts in Teaching) (1995), offers a rudimentary conceptual framework to assist researchers in beginning to understand, describe, and analyze homeschoolers. The approach used in this qualitative research is ethnography, however, I do see elements of the grounded theory as well. The article was well written and the audience for this article will understand the purpose of the study. The researcher explains why she chose to conduct the study using ethnographic data collection methods. The study is important to education because it examines characteristics of home schooled children and their families, with a focus on those characteristics most relevant for gauging trends in home schooling. I learned that home schooling is one of the fastest growing educational alternatives and is gaining respect from educators and parents.
This is partly because home schooling children score as well as and often better on standardized tests than their public school counterparts according to research. Base upon the sample size for this study and the data collected, I believe the research was valid because it provides a direct response from the participants and how they really feel about home schooling their children. However, the validity of the study can be considered internal because the study does not provide a large enough sample of the target population (homeschoolers). The treats to internal validity are alternative explanations because out of the 56 families that were surveyed only 27 were included in the study.
The articles used in the literature review were appropriate for the study because they consist of other studies done the field. The article clearly describes the participants and examines characteristics of home schooled children and their families, with a focus on how can home schools are integrated with public schools and can home school students compete in higher education? The purposive sampling method which includes homogeneously and criterion sampling methods used for this qualitative study were appropriate because of the kind of data that had to be collected such as interviews and questionnaires. The data collected is descriptive and the results are a holistic description and interpretation that represent the rationale why some parents home school their children. The author concludes by outlining a needed research agenda and offering a brief sampling of the types of knowledge and insight that home schooling research may present concerning the strengths, weakness, and future of American schooling. Based upon the findings of the research, I would be able to replicate the study. I would conduct the study with a larger sample that would encompass more than one state and different ethnic backgrounds.
I would also examine ways of building and strengthening partnerships between schools, families, and other community entities. This research review shows that creating partnerships between school, parents, families and communities can provide a promising avenue through which education can be more effective in achieving its goals. As reform efforts continue to grow the education community should be encouraged to explore this potential to its fullest.