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Archive for December, 2008

Some readers may have noticed that I recently added a new link to my blogroll.  Rob Kunzman, Associate Professor of Education at Indiana University in Bloomington, has a really great resource for anyone interested in homeschooling research.  Kunzman is the real deal.  His extensive research has long focused on religion and morality in public schools, and his recent interest in homeschooling, especially religiously-motivated homeschooling, furthers those interests.  In the summer of 2009 his book Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling will be released.  I have already pre-ordered my copy and can’t wait to get it. 

On his homeschooling web page you’ll find:

  1. Brief but incisive explanations of why we don’t have any comprehensive national data on homeschooling, why claims that homeschoolers outperform day schooled children are not true, and why there is no such thing as a typical homeschooler.
  2. Comprehensive bibliographies of research on various homeschooling topics, listed topically, alphabetically, by date, and by format.
  3. An FAQ page that again provides succinct, accurate answers to such questions as “Do homeschoolers lack opportunities for socialization?” and “Do colleges accept homeschooled students?”

Kunzman’s site is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in homeschooling research.  He asked me if I had any suggestions for it, and I replied that some sort of annotation system to his bibliographies would be nice, for they currently make no distinction between high caliber studies and those of lesser merit.  He agreed and hopes to work on that in the future.  I also note that sometimes studies appear under one heading (say, author) but not under another (say, publication date).  But who’s complaining?  Kunzman has made available for free one of the best, most up-to-date bibliographies of homeschooling research ever compiled.

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Just in time for Christmas, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has finally released its latest figures on homeschooling – the gift at the top of any homeschool researcher’s list!  This is a big deal.  If you’ve read much homeschooling literature you’ve seen NCES’ 2003 data used over and over, because it’s the best we’ve got for estimating the national population of homeschoolers.  In 2003 NCES estimated that 1.1 million children were being homeschooled (2.2% of school-age children).  The new estimate for 2007 is 1.5 million (2.9%).  This is a 36% increase in four years.  (more…)

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This post continues my exploration of recent children’s lit employing homeschooling themes with a review of the young adult fiction trilogy of Susan Juby, whose comedic heroine is Alice MacLeod, a sarcastic and disaffected teen who was homeschooled until age fifteen.  The books, with their American publication date, are as follows: 

Alice, I Think(HarperTempest, 2003)

Miss Smithers(2004)

Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last (2005) 

 

(more…)

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This post reviews Thomas Clark, “Virtual Schooling and Basic Education” in Bramble and Panda, eds., Economics of Distance and Online Learning: Theory, Practice and Research(New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 52-71.

Clark, president of TA Consulting, which helps cybercharters develop successful long-term strategies, and author of several articles on virtual schools, here presents a broad overview of virtual schools, aimed at an international audience.    (more…)

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This post will eventually put together data on number of homeschooling children from every State that has it, providing links to the sources.  The figures here given no doubt underreport the number of children being homeschooled, but even so they provide a good measure of enrollment trends over time.  In the future I will repost this until it is complete, but for now here’s what I’ve got:  (more…)

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This post reviews Gregory and Martine Millman, Homeschooling: A Family’s Journey(New York: Penguin, 2008).

Gregory Millman, economics journalist and author of several books on monetary policy, and his wife Martine Millman here produce a beautiful book that is part memoir, part how-to guide, and part research review on select homeschooling topics.  For this review I will stress the research component of the book.  (more…)

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