Archive for the ‘Family life’ Category

Record: Mark H. Butler, James M. Harper, Matthew L. Call, and Mark. H Bird, “Examining Claims of Family Process Differences Ensuing From the Choice to Home-School” in Education and Urban Society 47, no. 1 (2013): 86-108. [Abstract Here]

Summary: Butler and Harper are professors in the Brigham Young University School of Family, Life, Marriage and Family Therapy graduate programs. Call is a master’s student in the Family, Life, Marriage and Family Therapy program at Brigham Young University.Bird is a licensed Marriage and family therapist in private practice in Dallas, Texas. Here they explore whether homeschooling is as beneficial to the family as many people suppose. (more…)


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Record: Lee Garth Vigilant, Tyler C. Anderson, and Lauren Wold Trefethren, “‘I’m Sorry You Had a Bad Day, but Tomorrow Will Be Better’: Stratagems of Interpersonal Emotional Management in Narratives of Fathers in Christian Homeschooling Households,” inSociological Spectrum 34, no. 4 (2014): 293-313.[Abstract Here]

 Summary:  Vigilant, a sociology professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead and 12 year homeschooling veteran, here with two of his former undergraduate students, continues a line of research the team initiated in a 2013 publication laying out Christian homeschooling fathers’ ideologies.  This article draws from the same sample of 21 white, Christian fathers whose wives homeschool, all from North Dakota or Minnesota.  Father age ranged from 29 to 56 years, with a mean age of 46.  Average number of children was 4, though family size ranged from 1 to 9 children.  Mean number of years homeschooling was 8, with the range being 1 to 19 years.  Fifteen of the 21 fathers were college-educated professionals, and the rest were blue-collar workers. (more…)

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Record: Jeremy E. Uecker and Jonathan P. Hill, “Religious Schools, Home Schools, and the Timing of First Marriage and First Birth” in Review of Religious Research 56, no. 2 (June 2014): 189-218. [Abstract Here]

Summary: Uecker, a sociology professor at Baylor University, and Hill, a sociology professor at Calvin College, are both familiar names to readers of these reviews.  In a 2008 article Uecker found (among other things) that there was no difference in levels of adult religious commitment between graduates of public or home schools.  Parent religiosity, not school type, made all the difference.  In a 2013 article Hill found that homeschooled young adults were less likely to engage in volunteer activities than demographically equivalent graduates of public schools.  Both of these articles had drawn from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), a remarkably ambitious project that has borne great fruit in understanding the religious and political lives of young adults in the United States. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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This is the second of two posts dedicated to Jennifer Lois’ new book Home Is Where the School Is: The Logic of Homeschooling and the Emotional Labor of Mothering(New York University Press, 2013).  In the first, which you can read here, I summarized the contents of the book.  Today I will share some of the thoughts I had as I was reading it.

First, a general comment about the quality of homeschooling scholarship.  Before I published my book in 2008 there was only one really good book on homeschooling in print, Mitchell Stevens’ Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement.  Now there are five.  In addition to Stevens’ and mine, all researchers should read Kunzman’s Write These Laws on Your Children, Murphy’s Homeschooling in America, and now Lois’ Home Is Where the School Is.  The field is in a much better place now than it was when I first got started, and Lois’ book adds significantly to our overall understanding.  Here I’m going to discuss two insights I found particularly compelling and conclude with a few criticisms.


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This is the first of two posts dedicated to Jennifer Lois’ new book Home Is Where the School Is: The Logic of Homeschooling and the Emotional Labor of Mothering(New York University Press, 2013).

Lois, a sociology professor at Western Washington University, has published two articles on the subject of the emotional lives of homeschooling mothers that I reviewed here and here.  Twelve years in the making, this book represents the culmination of this line of research for her.  Oftentimes the articles that are published prior to books contain most of what the researcher has to say.  That is happily not the case here.  The book contains a wealth of new findings and interpretations.  In this first post I’ll summarize the book’s contents, and next week I’ll make some comments about Lois’ methods, findings, and interpretations.


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The journal Other Education has just published an article Rob Kunzman and I wrote together titled, “Homeschooling: A Comprehensive Survey of the Research.”  It is the culmination of years of work by both of us compiling every piece of research on homeschooling ever written, culling through them all to select the best material, organizing them into coherent categories, and writing up the results.

Several months ago I reviewed Joseph Murphy’s excellent book Homeschooling in America: Capturing and Assessing the Movement, which is a very thorough review of the scholarly literature.  Our article is not nearly so long as Dr. Murphy’s book and thus it lacks some of the detail he provides.  Anyone interested in homeschooling research should read his book cover to cover and keep it on the shelf for frequent reference.  But despite its length and depth of coverage, there are some topics and a few key studies Dr. Murphy leaves out, and he sometimes fails to differentiate between high and low quality studies or between studies published recently and those published decades ago.  I think our article provides even more breadth and does a better job discriminating between sources.  Plus you can download it for free!  Do so here.

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