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Research Papers on Homeschooling

Research explaining why homeschooling works. From academic, government and other inclusive resources.

About Homeschool Research

Wikipedia Homeschooling is Highly Flawed Postcard
Just what is the Wikipedia for anyway? I really thought it was about being a collaborative effort among those who know homeschooling? Apparently not. By Ann Zeise.

Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research
By Deborah Schwarzer, et al. The paper is based largely on the brief that they wrote and submitted about the efficacy of homeschooling.  Download now. You will probably have to join before being allowed to download.

Three Key Points About Homeschooling – Indiana University

  1. We don’t have any comprehensive data about U.S. homeschoolers nationally: total number of homeschoolers, learning outcomes, or anything else.
  2. Claims that the “average homeschooler” outperforms public and private school students are simply not justified.
  3. There is no such thing as a “typical homeschooler.”

Academic Research

An Exploratory Study of the Role of Technology in the Rise of Homeschooling
Author: Andrade, Albert G., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, Instructional Technology (Education), 2008. The purpose of the research was to understand the relationship between the advent and wide-scale diffusion of computer and communication technologies and the growth of home education in the U.S.

Home-Education: Rationales, Practices and Outcomes
Research by Paula Rothermel of the University of Durham explored the aims and practices of home-educating families from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. University of Durham, 2002.

Home Schooled vs. Public Schooled
Research by Kathi Moreau. This study then describes the families who are most likely to choose homeschooling as an educational option and the level of success that these families experience as a result of this choice. November 27, 2012.

Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization
Richard G. Medlin (2000): Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization, Peabody Journal of Education, 75:1-2, 107-123. Socialization can be more accurately defined as “the process whereby people acquire the rules of behavior and systems of beliefs and attitudes that equip a person to function effectively as a member of a particular society.” (Durkin, 1995b, p. 614). Homeschooling and the Question of Socialization Revisited is the follow-up study. It must be purchased to read in full.

Home Schooling as a Social Movement: Identifying the Determinants of Homeschoolers’ Perceptions
A study done on a segment of home-based charter school students and their families in California. This study was done to get a handle on the homeschooling community, and homeschoolers were not a part of the study! Must be purchased.

Homeschooling Comes of Age
The rise of homeschooling is one of the most significant social trends of the past half century. This reemergence of what is in fact an old practice has occurred for a distinctly modern reason: a desire to wrest control from the education bureaucrats and reestablish the family as central to a child’s learning. Patricia M. Lines, The Public Interest, July 1, 2000.

Homeschooling and the Redefinition of Citizenship
A. Bruce Arai, Wilfrid Laurier University. This paper reviews the research on homeschooling, as well as the major objections to it, and frames these debates within the broader issues of citizenship and citizenship education.

Modeling School Choice: A Comparison of Public, Private­ Independent, Private­ Religious and Home-Schooled Students
Of these, home-schooling is the most novel: since legalization across the states in the last few decades, it has grown in importance and legitimacy as an alternative choice. Thus, it is now possible to investigate the motivation for home-schooling, relative to the other schooling options. By Clive R. Belfield, Columbia University.

Objectively-Measured Physical Activity Levels in Physical Education among Homeschool Children
Despite a growing population of homeschool children in the United States, little is known regarding their physical activity (PA) levels. Without access to physical education, homeschool children may engage in inadequate PA levels. The purpose of this study was to objectively examine the activity levels of homeschool students participating in a Physical Education program.

Research Studies, Academic Papers, & Related Publications
These bibliographies will be updated regularly. Currently, there are nearly 1,500 distinct citations provided among the following lists. Lists by topic, author, date, and format.

Research and Trends in the Studies of Homeschooling Practices: A Review on Selected Journals
By 3 members of the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The current study is aimed to map the trends in the selected eleven studies from various educational journals. The analysis focuses on mapping the trends on: a) research settings, b) target sample, c) method or instrument used, d) common focus or issues covered, and e) pattern in the findings of all selected studies. TOJET: The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – July 2015, volume 14 issue 3.

Restricted Liberty, Parental Choice and Homeschooling
In this paper the authors carefully study the problem of liberty as it applies to school choice, and whether there ought to be restricted liberty in the case of homeschooling. They examine three prominent concerns that might be brought against homeschooling, viz., that it aggravates social inequality,worsens societal conflict and works against the best interests of children. To examine the tensions that occur between parental liberty, children’s interests, and state oversight, the authors consider the case of homeschooling in the Dutch context. Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 44, No. 4, 2010.

Understudied Education: Toward Building a Homeschooling Research Agenda
By Kariane Mari Nemer, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. In pursuit of a comprehensive knowledge of national education, therefore, we need to direct more attention to understanding the education of homeschooled children. Moreover, such studies will generate a wealth of information applicable to broader educational settings.

What Have We Learned About Homeschooling?
Eric J. Isenberg (2007): What Have We Learned About Homeschooling?, Peabody Journal of Education, 82:2-3, 387-409. Mathematica Policy Research. Published online: 05 Dec 2007. This article discusses quantitative research on homeschooling, including the available data, pitfalls of using the data, estimates of the number of homeschooled children, part-time homeschooling, and why families homeschool. Review of this article.

Effective Learning Techniques

The Education Freedom Index
An equally weighted average of five measures: charter school options, government-assisted private school options, home-schooling options, inter-district transfer options, and relocation options. By Jay P. Greene, Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Investigating young children’s perceptions of homeschooling
This paper suggests how we may bridge the divide that currently exists between home-based education and institutional schooling in order to bring benefits to children and families alike as we head towards the year 2000. By Donna Broadhurst, 1999.

New Horizons For Learning
Website designed around a “building” motif, translating research and theory into workable solutions for contemporary learning.

Virtual Schooling At The Middle Grades: A Case Study
The purpose if this study was to investigate a virtual program, providing descriptions and assessments from the different participants at the host junior high school. By Del Litke.

See also Learning

Experienced Homeschoolers’ Research

Most of these are thoroughly researched by homeschool parents typically. They annotate their research so you will know where they got their data.

Home-based Education in Canada
Research by Wendy Priesnitz. March 1990. One thousand families were sent questionnaires in the summer and fall of 1989. Given current estimates of approximately 30,000 home educating families in Canada, this sampling is considered to be of good size. This first survey was designed to create a profile of these pioneering families. More Canadian home-based learning research on Wendy’s site.

Homeschooled Teens
75 Young People Speak About Their Lives Without School, by Sue Patterson. These 75 young people are going to show you exactly what their lives looked like as homeschooled teenagers. And you’ll be surprised at how they made friends, got along with family, and explored unique learning environments. They’re eager to share the benefits and advantages they experienced through homeschooling. Their lives were (and are!) full, rich, and happy.

US Public Education Policy: Missing Voices
By Corin Barsily Goodwin, Martha Shaindlin, and Madeline Goodwin. For our immediate purposes, however, perhaps the most significant result of this research is the documentation of a melding of educational options. Families surveyed by GHF are not making choices based on ideology so much as they are seeking the best fit for each child, based on the needs of that child and of the family at any given place and time.

Government Research

Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics
Home schooling is a more radical departure from education as it is currently practiced, it affects more schools, and it has the potential to force numerous adjustments to current curricular practices. By Kurt J. Bauman, U.S. Census Bureau, 2002.

Homeschooling in Nevada: The Budgetary Impact
by John T. Wenders, Ph.D.* and Andrea D. Clements, Ph.D.* A new study by the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) finds homeschooled students save Nevada taxpayers millions of dollars each year, refuting the notion that homeschooling costs school districts funding. Overview.

See also Success Stories

Private Research

The Homeschooling Report 2017
Why homeschooling? Why are so many parents choosing it? Who are those parents? Once our curiosity had been challenged there was only one step towards answering it. In a matter of days, with the expertise of our partners and friends at MKOR Consulting, we’ve set up a survey that would answer our questions and much more.

Ultra-Conservative Sponsored Research

Take note that these studies tend to use small samples of Christian homeschoolers only and do not accurately reflect the whole homeschool population. Their aim is to promote the Protestant Reconstructionist agenda. Rebuttals included here.

High-Flying Home-Schoolers
More impressive than these test scores is the study’s analysis of the variables that impact standardized test scores, such as parents’ level of education and family income. For example, home-schoolers whose parents do not have college degrees still tested in the 83rd percentile.

Homeschooling: Back To the Future
Isabel Lyman’s thoughtful research paper about homeschooling. CATO Institute. January 7, 1998.

Homeschooling Benefits
Homeschooled kids are less preoccupied with peer acceptance, By William R. Mattox Jr. SF Chronicle. Research by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute.

Home schooling improves academic performance and reduces impact of socio-economic factors
Release Date: October 04, 2007. TORONTO, ON. Home schooling appears to improve the academic performance of children from families with low levels of education, according to a report on home schooling released today by independent research organization The Fraser Institute.

Nearly Nine of Ten Oregonians Would Opt Out of Regular Public Schools
January 5, 2009. Nearly nine out of ten Oregon residents would send their children to private, charter, or virtual schools, or educate their children in a home school setting if they had the decision-making authority, according to the results of a public opinion survey released today by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Cascade Public Policy Institute, and several other state and national organizations.

Homeschooling on the Threshold
National Homeschool Education Research Institution (NHERI) provides statistics about Christian homeschoolers and their families. Do note that it omits the rest of the homeschooling population. You need to pay for the pdf of the research.

Fraser Study, October 2007

Home Schooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream, 2nd Edition
This second edition builds on the original with new research and data. The paper considers the educational phenomenon of home schooling in Canada and the United States, its regulation, history, growth, and the characteristics of practitioners before reviewing the findings on the academic and social effects of home schooling.

Rudner’s Study for HSLDA

Contextualizing Homeschooling Data: A Response to Rudner
Why Rudner’s analysis of the BJU data fails to offer a straightforward explanation of important and striking limitations. By Kariane Mari Welner, UCLA, and Kevin G. Welner, UP.

Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics
… of Home School Students in 1998. Lawrence M. Rudner. Study used students located through Bob Jones and HSLDA only, so results skewed toward fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers.

Testing the Boundaries

Testing the Boundaries of Parental Authority over Education: The Case of Homeschooling
by Rob Reich. Abstract: How should the liberal state regulate homeschooling, the arrangement that gives parents the most control over the education of children? (This link goes to a book. This article is in the book.)

The Debate

The Boundaries of Parental Authority
A Response to Rob Reich of Stanford University
The real root of the problem home education presents to Reich is that home educators have removed themselves from America’s educational system and its underlying values. By Thomas W. Washburne, J.D.

Homeschooling in the United States: 2012
This Statistics in Brief provides estimates of the number and percentage of homeschooled students in the United States in 2012 and compares these estimates with 1999, 2003, and 2007. It describes the demographic characteristics of homeschoolers and reasons parents choose to homeschool their children. It presents parent reports on curriculum sources, online learning, and math and science subjects the child has been taught since beginning homeschooling. The April 2017 report replaces the version released November 2016 and corrects errors found with two tables and one figure.

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