Record: Debra A. Bell, “Types of Home Schools and Need-Support for Achievement Motivation” (PhD Dissertation, Temple University, 2012) [Avaliable Here]


Bell is a homeschooling veteran with a strong internet presence and full speaking schedule at homeschooling events.  In the midst of all of that activity she has also found time to complete a doctorate in education.  This is her thesis.

Bell asks what homeschooling pedagogy might contribute to the literature on motivating students.  Continue Reading »

In November of 2012 two important conferences, one in Berlin, Germany and the other in Madrid, Spain, were held.  Both were concerned primarily with fostering a political climate of openness to home education in European countries.On November 1-3, 2012, about 170 delegates from around the world converged on Berlin to attend the Global Home Education Conference 2012.  The conference’s general tenor and feel is ably summarized by Harriet Pattison of the University of Birmingham in the Spring 2013 issue of Other Education, available here.

The conference produced a document called the “Berlin Declaration,” available here.

While the conference was largely organized by the North American advocacy organization HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association), it was attended by a wide range of home educators representing various pedagogical and ideological commitments.  Another summary of the proceedings can be found at the website of the far-right U.S. magazine The New American, available here.  It should be noted that there has been some criticism of this conference for being a thinly-disguised attempt by HSLDA to export its aggressive American-style political activism to other countries.  You can read some of this sort of sentiment here.

On November 29-30, the Third National Conference on Family Education/Homeschooling was held in Madrid.  As this conference was held in Spain by and for Spanish speakers, there has been scant coverage of it in the U.S., and it is difficult to find English-language information about it online.  However, Carme Urpí of the Universidad de Navarra attended the conference and graciously provides for us the following summary of the conclusions reached there: Continue Reading »

In the past I have occasionally posted all the available data on enrollment compiled by the various states in the USA.  This data is not the best for several reasons.  First, many states do not collect data on enrollments at all.  Second, even those that do often do so on an ad hoc basis, and the results can be unreliable between counties and from year to year.  Third, even if a state has done its best to collect accurate data, an unknown percentage of homeschoolers simply do not register with the state.

With those caveats in mind, we can nevertheless learn some things from this data, especially by attending to trends over time.  Continue Reading »

Record: Emily Matchar, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013).

Matchar is a freelance journalist who has written for many prominent publications.  This is her first book.


Matchar’s book is a lively look at several trends among mostly middle class, white, politically progressive young women in the United States.  These trends, which range from cooking from scratch with local, organic food, to handicrafts, to at-home businesses, to homeschooling, are all illustrative of a larger movement among these young women toward what Matchar calls “the New Domesticity.” Continue Reading »


Christine Hahn, “Latin in the Homeschooling Community,” in Teaching Classical Languages 4, no. 1 (Fall 2012): 26-51. [Available Here]

Hahn is a homeschooling mother and owner of Latin for Homeschoolers, an online tutoring service.


To date there has been very little research on the very popular form of homeschooling known as classical education.  Peter Leithart has explained the growth of the classical movement at the macro level.  Anthony and Burroughs have provided a careful study of four families associated with one classical cooperative.  Hahn’s study here goes well beyond anything that has been published in the past, giving us our first quantitative look at classical homeschoolers. Continue Reading »


Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison, “Informal Home Education: Philosophical Aspirations Put Into Practice” in Studies in Philosophy and Education 32(2): 141-154 (2013) [Available Here]

British researchers Thomas and Pattison are frequent collaborators, most significantly on the 2008 revision of Thomas’ book How Children Learn at Home.  In this article they draw on some of their earlier empirical research to make several normative claims about informal home-based learning.


Thomas and Pattison begin by noting that all children start out as informal, or what they call “osmotic” learners, mastering such complex tasks as learning to understand and speak language and to interpret social cues without any sort of formal, structured curriculum.  Many children go on to learn to read this way as well. Continue Reading »


Daniel Pollack, “Homeschooling and Child Protection” in Policy and Practice 70, no. 1 (February 2012): 29, 35. [abridged version available here]

Meggan Goodpasture, V. Denise Everett, Martha Gagliano, Aditee P. Narayan, and Sara Sinal, “Invisible Children” in North Carolina Medical Journal 74, no. 1 (February 2013): 90-94 [Avaliable here]


Pollack is a social work professor at Yeshiva UniversityGoodpasture et al. are all medical professionals affiliated with North Carolina schools of medicine (Wake Forest, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke).  As such all of these authors come to this issue as professionals concerned for the welfare of other people’s children.

Pollack’s article is very brief.  He cites the results of studies that have shown that the the most frequent source of referrals of abused children to Child Protective Services (CPS) are professionals, especially teachers.  Homeschooled children by definition do not have such outside surveillance.  He has no hard data that homeschooling increases the risk of abuse, but he does cite the horrific story of Washington, D.C. resident Banita Jacks, who “homeschooled” her four daughters, all found dead in her home in early 2008. Continue Reading »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers