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Archive for April, 2012

This post reviews Elizabeth L. Thorpe, et al., “Homeschooling Parents’ Practices and Beliefs about Childhood Immunizations” in Vaccine, 30, no. 6 (February 2012): 1149-1153.

This paper, written by a group of physicians and medical researchers, noting the rise both in occurrences of “vaccine preventable disease” (VPD) and the rise in homeschooling, tries to probe the attitudes of homeschoolers toward vaccination. (more…)

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This post reviews Karen S. Hurlbutt, “Experiences of Parents Who Homeschool Their Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” in Developmental Disabilities 26, no. 4 (December 2011): 239-249.

Hurlbutt, a Special Education professor at Minnesota State University, here presents the results of a qualitative study of nine families who have chosen to homeschool their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  She begins by noting that several experts in the field point to autism as the most challenging of conditions for public school teachers due to the rapidly changing nature of diagnosis and treatment protocols.  Many teachers and schools feel unprepared to deal well with children with ASD, and as a result a growing number of families with ASD kids are turning to homeschooling.

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This post reviews David Sehat, The Myth of American Religious Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).  Sehat is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia State University.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved this book.  It’s my favorite kind of history.  Sehat takes one idea and traces its history from the American founding to the present, giving his readers a deep understanding of the concept even as we are disabused of some common misperceptions along the way.  The concept here is American religious freedom.  The misperceptions are these.  Liberals often speak as if from our founding the United States has been a secular nation and that Christian efforts to impose Christian morality on everyone else are out of step with this history.  Conservatives often speak as if the United States has always been a Christian nation, and that Christianity is in fact the basis of the religious freedom we all hold so dear.  Both are wrong.

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This post reviews Robert Kunzman, “Education, Schooling, and Children’s Rights: the Complexity of Homeschooling” in Educational Theory 62, no. 1 (February 2012): 75-89.

Kunzman, as readers of this blog know very well, is one of the leading scholars currently working on homeschooling.  He is author of the important book Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling; he’s written many articles on homeschooling; and he maintains a helpful site that catalogs homeschooling research here.

A couple of years ago I reviewed an earlier piece by Kunzman on government regulation of homeschooling that dealt with some of the same themes he addresses here.  Back then Kunzman argued against various kinds of government regulations, concluding that only tests evaluating a homeschooler’s grasp of basic literacy and numeracy should be mandated.

This current article is a bit more theoretical.  It aims not so much to set out an explicit policy proposal as to argue for why certain domains should be considered legal rights (and thus be scrutinized by the government) while other, perhaps equally important domains, should not. (more…)

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