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Chapter 2 An Overview of the Homeschooling Landscape

Abstract

Continuing from the Introduction, this chapter explores in greater detail the homeschooling landscape including the rationales that families use to justify the practice. Chiefly among them is a “concern about the environment of schools” and a “desire to provide religious instruction.” Much of the justification for homeschooling rests in a comparison to public schools that are characterized by the homeschooling community as deficient, dangerous, and a threat to the family’s religious and political dispositions. Discussion of the history of teacher preparation is taken up along with an exploration of the question of who is (or should be) capable of teaching children.

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In: Homeschooling
Chapter 1 Introduction

Abstract

Homeschooling, the oldest form of teaching children, has steadily grown as a chosen option of schooling across the United States and the world over the past few decades. Families choose to homeschool their children for myriad reasons, chiefly religious or political reasons, and often make sweeping claims about the efficacy and efficiency of homeschooling. This raises significant questions about such claims but also about the historical, contemporary, and future practice of homeschooling itself. In this introduction chapter, the broad practice of homeschooling is explored along with the demographics of those who homeschool, rationales for homeschooling, and how homeschooling fits into the larger movement of school choice. The phenomenon of schooling-at-home during the COVID-19 pandemic is also explored and discussed.

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In: Homeschooling
Chapter 7 Other Rationales & Conclusions

Abstract

This culminating chapter provides an overview of the myriad of alternative rationales for homeschooling beyond those specific to religion, politics, and claims of benefits. Further, this chapter summarizes the general landscape and practice of homeschooling – including a discussion of the impact of COVID-19 – and concludes with a call for a recommitment to public schooling.

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In: Homeschooling
Chapter 3 Religious Rationales for Homeschooling

Abstract

One of the primary rationales for homeschooling is for religious purposes. The religious doctrine of “quiverfull” is explored as it relates to family dynamics and political agendas that seek to promote and religious nationalism. Much of the religious justification for homeschooling and the quest to charge homeschooling families with political obligations centers around a persistent culture war in the United States surrounding the clash of religion and science.

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In: Homeschooling
Chapter 5 Claims of Effectiveness

Abstract

Homeschooling advocates generally make two overarching claims about the benefits of homeschooling: that the practice is more effective and more efficient than public education. This chapter explores those claims of effectiveness through a critical lens and offers a more nuanced analysis of the connection between homeschooling and academic outcomes.

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In: Homeschooling
Chapter 6 Claims of Efficiency

Abstract

Homeschooling advocates generally make two overarching claims about the benefits of homeschooling: that the practice is more effective and more efficient than public education. This chapter explores those claims of efficiency through a critical lens and offers a more nuanced analysis of the real costs associated with homeschooling and the financial privilege it requires to homeschool. Detailed analysis of the true costs show that homeschooling is far more expensive than public education.

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In: Homeschooling
Chapter 4 Political Rationales for Homeschooling

Abstract

While not as overtly prominent as the religious rationale for homeschooling, many families choose to homeschool for what could be understood as political reasons – which can often overlap with religious doctrines. Much of the political rationale for homeschooling rests on a political disposition of individualism verses the collective and that is discussed at length here. Discussion of the connection between neoliberal ideologies rooted in Friedmanism and the practice of homeschooling as an individualistic act is explored along with conceptions of meritocracy.

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In: Homeschooling
Homeschooling
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A Guidebook of Practices, Claims, Issues, and Implications
In this volume, the author offers an exploratory analysis of the history of homeschooling in the United States, current curricular practices, religious and political rationales for homeschooling, a critique of the claims by homeschooling advocates that the practice leads to greater efficiency and effectiveness, and what homeschooling and individualistic-oriented approaches mean for society.

Teaching the next generation at home is, with little doubt, the oldest form of educating children. Yet, this simplistic understanding of “homeschooling” does not adequately capture the growth of homeschooling as a practice in the 21st century nor is it a widely accessible form of “school choice” for most families. While many parents keep their children out of formal schooling – public and private – for myriad reasons, what is clear is that homeschooling is the epitome of a conceiving of education as an individualistic good – a commodity – that can, or should, be done outside of a conception of the common good, a reasonable understanding of teaching as a profession, and the elevation of ideological echo chambers of information which can have deleterious impacts on the students who are homeschooled and society, broadly.
Chapter 8 Educating in the Margins

Abstract

This chapter proposes to explore the unique challenges of engaging in social justice education in a teacher preparation program at a predominantly White institution in the foothills of the Appalachian region in the southeastern United States. Our institution exists in the liminal space between urbanized and rural, being located both an hour from a major urban center and from some of the most desolate terrain in the Appalachian Mountain region. Because our students are, mostly, relatively less affluent than their White peers who live in more suburban settings, their struggles and work to achieve academic and economic success reveal for them a myriad of hardships that they must be overcome in both academic and non-academic settings. As a result, conversations about systemic inequalities that are exacerbated through intersectional realities not experienced by our students (e.g., non-White, non-Protestant Christian, non-Republican) are often met with animosity while sharing support for the ideology that success is available to anyone who simply works hard enough.

In: Educating for Social Justice

Abstract

This chapter proposes to explore the unique challenges of engaging in social justice education in a teacher preparation program at a predominantly White institution in the foothills of the Appalachian region in the southeastern United States. Our institution exists in the liminal space between urbanized and rural, being located both an hour from a major urban center and from some of the most desolate terrain in the Appalachian Mountain region. Because our students are, mostly, relatively less affluent than their White peers who live in more suburban settings, their struggles and work to achieve academic and economic success reveal for them a myriad of hardships that they must be overcome in both academic and non-academic settings. As a result, conversations about systemic inequalities that are exacerbated through intersectional realities not experienced by our students (e.g., non-White, non-Protestant Christian, non-Republican) are often met with animosity while sharing support for the ideology that success is available to anyone who simply works hard enough.

In: Educating for Social Justice