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Record: Zheng Guo-ping, “A Qualitative Study of Educational Needs of Homeschooling Families in China” in US-China Education Review 4, no. 6 (June 2014): 391-400 [Available Here]

Summary: In early 2014 I reviewed a fascinating article by Xiaoming Sheng about “Meng Mu Tang,” an education cooperative operated by a Confucian Chinese mother that began as a home school for her own children and eventually expanded to twelve children in the city of Shanghai.  This present study builds on Sheng’s work and offers an empirical study of this mother and four other home educating families in China. Continue Reading »

Record: Chelsea McCracken, “How to Mislead with Data: A Critical Review of Ray’s ‘Academic Achievement and Demographic Traits of Homeschool Students: A Nationwide Study’ (2010).” Coalition for Responsible Home Education (15 January, 2014).  [Available Here]

Summary:  McCracken, who serves as the senior research analyst for the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, an organization advocating for increased regulatory protection of homeschooled children in the United States, here scrutinizes Brian Ray’s most recent study of homeschooler academic achievement.  For my own summary and critique of Ray’s study click here. Continue Reading »

Record: Linda Renzulli, “Educational Transformations and Why Sociology Should Care” in Social Currents 1, no. 2 (2014): 149-156. [Available Here]

Summary:  Renzulli, a professor of sociology at the University of Georgia, here lays out two claims.  First, she believes that public education in the United States is experiencing two contradictory trends at once—centralization and standardization of curriculum, assessment, and accountability in public schools on one hand and growing local control and autonomy among alternative forms of public education like charter schools and vouchers on the other.  Second, she is concerned that sociologists of education have not dealt sufficiently with these trends.  Homeschooling comes into play in this analysis as an example of privatizing trends and as a pool of customers for virtual charter schools.  Continue Reading »

Record: Andrea Vieux, “The Politics of Homeschools: Religious Conservatives and Regulation Requirements” in The Social Science Journal (9 July, 2014).  [Abstract Here]

Summary: Vieux, a Political Science professor at the University of Central Florida, here provides quantitative data to try to determine the degree to which a state’s percentage of religious conservatives correlates with its level of homeschooling regulation. Continue Reading »

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. Continue Reading »

Record: R. Pennings, et al, “Private Education for the Public Good: 2014 Report,” Cardus Education Survey, 2014. [Available for download here]

Summary:

In 2011 the first Cardus Education Survey was released.  With its large randomized sample of young adults age 24-39, it provided some of the best data ever compiled about the experiences of young adults who had graduated from various forms of private schooling, including homeschooling.  The present survey is another equally robust survey of 1500 young adults, age 24 to 39.  The sample was obtained by GfK, whose Knowledge Networks Panel respondents constitute a representative sample of the U.S. population.  Cardus drew on the GfK contact list to generate a sample of 500 public school graduates who served as a baseline for comparison to 1000 graduates of various kinds of private and home schools. Each of these subjects answered about ½ hour’s worth of questions about their high school experiences. Continue Reading »

Record: Ama Mazama and Garvey Lundy, “African American Homeschooling and the Question of Curricular Cultural Relevance” in Journal of Negro Education 82, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 123-138 [abstract here]

Summary:  Mazama and Lundy have recently published several important articles on the motivations of African American parents for homeschooling, all based on interviews with a sample of 74 such parents from seven U.S. cities.  In a 2012 article they first articulated their concept of “racial protectionism” as a defining motivation for many African American parents who want to rescue their children from the institutional and individual racism they experience at school.  In a 2013 article they added the concept of “educational protectionism” to the mix, which they characterize as an effort on the part of African American parents to replace the boring, unchallenging, and rigid curriculum of schools with higher expectations, relevant (often Afrocentric) curriculum, and student initiative.  In a 2014 article they explain how a small subset of their sample, about 15% of the overall group, did not identify with the racial dynamics expressed by everyone else.  For this small subset the motivation seems to be more exclusively religious (they call it “religious protectionism”), very like the motivations of the much larger group of white fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers.  In another 2014 article they explore how homeschooling is especially attractive to African American parents of boys given the discrimination black males regularly experience in public schools.   In the article before us today they examine how some African American homeschoolers are using the method to escape the Eurocentric curriculum that permeates public schools. Continue Reading »