Wallace State Community College, email@example.com
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the factors influencing homeschool curriculum choices. Within the study, three research questions were asked: 1) How do select home educators describe the factors that influence their curricular choices? 2) How do select home educators’ beliefs affect their selection of curriculum? 3) How do select home educators’ teaching styles and methodologies affect their curricular decisions? To best address these questions a transcendental phenomenological approach was used to examine the shared curriculum choice experiences of 10 home educators. Data was collected by means of surveys, interviews, and a focus group and then analyzed by identifying and combining significant statements in the data into themes. The following themes were identified from participant statements: (a) recommendations are an important part of choosing a curriculum, (b) religious and moral beliefs factor heavily in the curriculum choice process, (c) curriculum that held a student’s interest and was something the child wanted to do was important to participants, (d) there is no one-size-fits-all approach to homeschooling and homeschool curriculum choices – every child is different, (e) keeping a positive relationship with their children was important to participants, (f) seeking outside help when necessary was an essential teaching method that participants used, and (g) curriculum changes as you homeschool..
Keywords: homeschooling, homeschool, curricula, curriculum choice, choice processes
While homeschooling is an educational practice that has been employed since ancient times, the modern homeschool movement has experienced tremendous growth over the past several decades (Russo, 2008). According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (2009) homeschooling has grown from 850,000 students in 1999 to 1.5 million students in 2007. Waddell (2010) notes that the practice of home educating is something “that an increasingly large proportion of the population chooses” (p. 541). Educational researchers have noted the growth of homeschooling, and in the past 40 years, a variety of research has been done examining the practice of homeschooling (Collum, 2005). Specifically, research on homeschooling has centered around three main areas: teaching style (Cai, Reeve, & Robinson, 2002), motivation to homeschool (Green & Hoover-Dempsey, 2007; Patterson, Gibson, Koenigs, Maurer, Ritterhouse, Stockton & Taylor, 2007), and academic outcomes (Cogan, 2010; Barwegen, Falciani, Putnam, Reamer, & Stair, 2004; Duvall, Delquardi & Ward, 2004). Missing, however, from the research is information regarding the factors influencing home educators to choose curricula. The importance of choosing quality curriculum is emphasized in a variety of research, with Schmoker (2011) finding that curriculum may be the single largest school factor that affects learning, intellectual development, and college and career readiness and Bernstein (1977) maintaining that curricula is one of the primary message systems of schooling. Since curriculum is so important, the decisions regarding the selection of the curriculum also become important. Currently, however, only a few studies (Anthony & Burroughs, 2012; Hanna, 2012) address the place of curriculum in homeschooling, and even those studies do not explicitly address what influences home educators to choose one curriculum over another.
The following questions framed this study:
How do select home educators describe the factors that influence their curricular choices?
Sub-Question 1: How do select home educators’ beliefs affect their selection of curriculum?
Sub-Question 2: How do select home educators’ teaching styles and methodologies affect their curricular decisions?
Several limitations existed for this study. First, the study was limited in its ability to generalize to the public because of the use of a purposive sample (Schutt, 2012). Secondly, because snowball sampling was used, it is impossible to confidently say that this sample of homeschool families represents all homeschool families; therefore, generalizations are tentative. Additionally, because the initial contact in the snowball sampling shaped the rest of the sample, some members of the homeschool population may have been excluded from the study (Schutt, 2012). For example, because the initial contact was a Christian educator who utilized a complete curriculum, non-faith and unschooling home educators were more likely to be excluded from this study simply because the initial contact would be less likely to refer them.
The Importance of Curricula
Choosing appropriate, quality curricula is an important part of any educational system. Indeed, curriculum may be the single largest school factor that affects learning, intellectual development, and college and career readiness (Schmoker, 2011), is one of the primary message systems of schooling (Bernstein, 1977), and is an integral part of school-to-work initiatives (Ellibee & Mason, 1997). Indeed, Crawford and Snider (2000) found in their research that curriculum is a “critical factor in student achievement” and that while teacher skill, dedication, and compassion are important educator qualities, educators “can produce better educational outcomes if they also have access to “tools that work”” (p.122). Furthermore, Dodge (1995) notes that without an appropriate curriculum framework, educators may introduce potentially harmful practices to students. Nathan, Long, and Alibali (2002) also found that curriculum significantly determines not only what students do academically, but it may also significantly influence educators’ lesson plans and coverage of content. Because having a quality curriculum is so important, research points to several common features quality curriculum possesses. Pill (2004) posits that quality curriculum follows standard based frameworks, is established on student-centered outcomes, allows for different learning styles, and supports student choice in content, assessment, and reporting of accomplishments. Meighan (2005) also stresses the importance of choosing curriculum that accounts for varying learning styles, noting that a uniform approach to the curriculum or learning is suspect at best. Clark (1997) also notes that curriculum should factor into account the individual interests, needs, abilities, and learning preferences of students, while Dodge (1995) states, “The curriculum must also be individually appropriate, for each child is a unique person with his or her own temperament, interests, learning styles, and cultural background” (p. 1179).
A curriculum orientation, or a curriculum perspective, is the relationship between philosophical beliefs and education (Jenkins, 2009), and is an important part of the curriculum choice process. Ennis, Ross and Chen (1994) define curriculum orientations as “educational perspectives that influence the teachers’ relative emphasis on the learner, the context and the body of knowledge” (p.38) while Johnson (1997) defines a curriculum orientation as a “philosophical, social or practical justification for what (and how) we teach” (p.43). Indeed, studies have shown that educators’ orientations are decidedly influential in both curriculum selection and teaching methods (Ennis, 1994; Jenkins, 2009). Curriculum researchers also argue that curriculum orientations influence choices pertaining to content, pedagogy, and assessment (Curtner-Smith & Meek, 2000; Ennis, Ross, & Chen, 1992). Bruner (1977) also contends that curriculum is more for teachers than for students and that if the curriculum is going to have any effect on students, it will have it by way of the effect it had on teachers. Also, while there is some variation in the research concerning the types of curriculum orientations, research (McNeil, 1996; Tanner and Tanner, 1995; Vallance, 1986) generally holds to five major curriculum orientations: (a) curriculum-making as a technological problem; (b) the curriculum as a means of developing cognitive processes in children; (c) the curriculum as a means of enabling students to reach their full self-actualized potential; (d) a social-reconstructionist view of the curriculum as the means for initiating social reform; and (e) the academic-rationalist view of the curriculum as the vehicle for the transmission of civilization’s intellectual heritage. (Vallance, 1986, p.25) However, additional orientations have been proposed, including a personal commitment curriculum orientation (Vallance, 1986) and a biblically-based curriculum orientation (Van Brummelen, 2002). Regardless of the orientation, however, research has shown that teachers do more than simply implement a curriculum. Rather, teachers actively construct the curriculum through their beliefs and orientations (Connelly & Clandinin, 1986).
Ten participants were recruited for this study through purposive snowball sampling. Snowball sampling, compared to standard sampling, allowed for otherwise unreached participants to be reached (Handcock & Gile, 2011) and helped to keep the study cost-effective. All participants gave their informed consent and pseudonyms were assigned for participant anonymity. Additionally, while every participant in this study was religious, those religious beliefs did not motivate every participant to have a religiously motivated home education orientation, thus making this participant sample diverse in motivations. Tables 1 and 2 further outline participant demographics, with the information in Table 2 provided directly from the participants.
Participant Gender Ethnicity Years of
Portia Female Caucasian 23
Johanna Female Caucasian 6
Effie Female Caucasian 13
Octavia Female Caucasian 17
Alma Female African-American 13
Gale Female Caucasian 5
Annie Female Caucasian 4
Mags Female Caucasian 12
Primrose Female Caucasian 9
Darius Male Caucasian 9
- Darius, a homeschooling father of two, has been homeschooling for nine years with one entering college. He has a degree in business and is a member of a local homeschooling group.
- Effie, and her husband Paul, have been homeschooling their four children for thirteen years. Paul has a degree in mechanical engineering and Effie has a degree in secondary English education. They belong to several local homeschooling groups.
- Octavia has been home-schooling since 1996. She homeschooled four altogether with the two oldest presently attending colleges. She has a master’s degree in business and belongs to three local home-schooling groups.
- Johanna, a homeschooling mother of two, has been homeschooling for six years. She has a master’s in business and is working on her master’s in education. She is also a member of several homeschooling groups.
- Portia holds a B.A. degree with a major in music. She and her husband (B.S. electrical engineering) have four home educated high school graduates and continue to home school their 9 year old. While their home schooling journey began in 1991, Portia chose not to belong to any home school group since her children were so active in athletic activities in the community and at area private high schools.
- Alma, mother of two, has been homeschooling for 13 years. Alma is a chaplain and a retired police sergeant who served as a D.A.R.E. Instructor for public schools and taught at the Fire Academy and Police In-Service Training. She has taught various subjects at homeschool groups in Ohio and Florida, and she has facilitated workshops for homeschool mothers. She is also a member of a local homeschool group.
- Gale, a mother of two elementary aged girls, has been homeschooling for almost five years. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is a member of a local homeschool group
- Primrose, a homeschooling mother of four, has been homeschooling for nine years, although she has been teaching children for 11 years through several volunteer programs. She is also a member of a local homeschool group.
- Annie, a mother of one child, homeschools her 16 year old daughter. She has been homeschooling for four years and is a member of a local homeschool group. She has also worked as a hairdresser in different capacities for the last 34 years.
- Mags, a homeschooling mother of two, has been homeschooling for almost 12 years. She holds a degree in marketing. While she does not belong to any homeschool group, she serves as a Davidic Dance Instructor at a local Messianic Synagogue.
As the first data collection measure, participants completed a short descriptive survey in regards to the factors influencing their selection of a homeschool curriculum (Table 5, Appendix). While surveys are typically a quantitative data collection method, descriptive surveys can be appropriate for a qualitative study and have been used to help triangulate data in other qualitative research studies (Glik, Parker, Muligande, & Hategikamana, 2005; Mitchell, Smith, & Weale, 2013).
Participants were also interviewed in-depth using open-ended questions, as seen in Table 3. The length of each interview varied from approximately 10 to 30 minutes, and every interview was then audio-recorded and transcribed. Once the transcription process was complete, member checking of the transcriptions was also employed to help ensure validity.
Standardized Open-Ended Interview Questions
Homeschool Curriculum Choices
- Please describe a typical day of homeschooling at your house
- What factors influence your curriculum choices?
- What is most important to you when choosing curriculum?
- Please describe your approach to choosing curriculum.
- What educational outcomes are important to you?
- How is your teaching style and methodology influenced by your personal education experiences?
- What expectations do you have for yourself as an educator and for your students?
- How important is it for you to use a curriculum that follows the Common
- Is there anything you would like to tell me about homeschooling that I may not have asked about?
To clarify and expound upon the information received in the interview stage, a focus group with four of the participants was conducted. These four participants were asked to participate in the focus group mainly because of their geographical proximity to each other. All four participants who were initially contacted about participating in the focus group discussion agreed to do so and additional requests to other study participants were unnecessary. The focus group participants met at a local restaurant and informally discussed and expounded on the questions noted in Table 4.
Standardized Open-Ended Focus Group Questions __________________________________________________ Questions __________________________________________________ Homeschool Curriculum Choices
- What are your experiences with choosing a homeschool curriculum?
- What obstacles are there in choosing a homeschool curriculum?
- What strategies do you use in choosing a homeschool curriculum?
- What advice would you give to other homeschooling families choosing curriculum?
To arrive at the following themes, the data was first coded by the researcher. The data was first descriptively coded, a method whereby a categorized inventory, or tabular index of the data emerged (Saldana 2013). After descriptively coding the data a large number of codes remained. Because of that, the data was then pattern coded for further refinement. This process of pattern coding allowed for the codes to be condensed and reorganized into smaller, more manageable sets of codes and provided a more parsimonious analysis (Miles & Huberman 1994). At the conclusion of the pattern coding the codes were further whittled down to three main categories and seven subcategories, with several codes falling under each subcategory.
Research Question One
Research question one was intended to gather information about what factors homeschool educators say influence their curriculum choices. Responses formed around two themes: recommendations are an important part of choosing a curriculum, and religious and moral beliefs factor heavily in the curriculum choice process. For the first theme, recommendations, every participant shared that they depended on recommendations for help in curriculum selection, and in the second theme, religious and moral beliefs, 8 of the 10 participants noted the importance of their religious and/or moral beliefs in the selection of curriculum.
All 10 participants noted their reliance on recommendations for the curriculum choice process. In fact, for many, seeking recommendations was the first line of inquiry when choosing a curriculum. For example, Portia stated: “One thing that I have done in the past and I have done for years is I have relied heavily on other people’s reviews.” Portia also noted “…but looking at it means a lot to me, those reviews. If it was something I did not know, you know, I would take those people’s reviews pretty seriously.” Primrose simply stated, “I like to know what has worked for other people.” Upon elaborating, Primrose also shared that “… somebody might say ‘hey we are doing such and such, have you ever heard of that?’ and then I would look at it and go yeah, that is great. So it usually kind of happens like that.” In a similar fashion, Effie shared that their family “…started with whatever we heard other people used… I might just say ‘okay, I need a new science curriculum, does anybody have any suggestions, we have already used this, this, and this, this is why want to change, any input?’ and people are bound to answer.” Darius noted that with the abundance of curriculum choices confronting him, curriculum recommendations were a necessary part of his selection process: “The only thing I found was that there was so many choices that I had to ask other people and get opinions.” The online survey results also substantiated the theme of reliance upon recommendations for curriculum selection; with half of the participants answering the question “how important is a recommendation in your curriculum choice?” with ‘very important’ and the other half marking ‘somewhat important.’ Additionally, when answering the multiple-answer question “how do you find out about new curriculum choices?” 70% of the participants answered with ‘word of mouth’ and almost all of the participants (90%) selected ‘personal research’, a component that several home educators noted involved seeking out online reviews and recommendations.
Religious and moral beliefs.
In addition to recommendations heavily influencing their curriculum choices, participants also noted that religious and moral beliefs influenced their curriculum decisions. For example, Mags shared, “I always try to use a Christian based curriculum, if at all possible. That is one of the things I really found is probably the most important. I’ve narrowed out if it’s not Christian I kind of stay away from it.” Annie also indicated that her faith was a large part of her curricular decisions, stating “It [curriculum] has to be biblically based and the way I believe – creation and all of that.” She also noted that if a curriculum was contrary to her beliefs it was something she took seriously – “So definitely that it [curriculum] goes along with the Bible and if I see something that strays away from the Bible it is a big red flag.” Portia also shared Annie’s thoughts about curriculum that strayed from her core beliefs, stating, “…we never wanted anything that contradicted our Christian beliefs… [and] we didn’t want our Christian principles compromised.” Johanna also shared that her denominational beliefs were a natural jumping off point for curriculum choices: “When we initially started homeschooling, we are Catholic so we chose a Catholic curriculum.” Alma, on the other hand, did not place any particular emphasis on denominational beliefs, instead referring to the importance of curriculum that carried a moral element – “So most important is a moral component and to ensure that it [curriculum] helps them think critically to be able to learn the material.” In addition to the interviews and focus group discussion, the results of the survey also pointed to the importance of religious and moral beliefs in the selection of a curriculum. For example, when asked to rank criteria that were important in choosing curricula, one of the highest ranked factors was worldview. In fact, 60% of participants ranked worldview as the first or second most important factor in choosing a curriculum.
Research Sub-Question 1
Research sub-question 1 was designed to discover how home educator’s beliefs affect their selection of curriculum. While a religious and moral beliefs theme appeared in response to research question 1, two additional themes relating to the influence of educators’ beliefs in their selection of curriculum were identified: first, it was important to participants that curriculum held their child’s interest and was something their child wanted to do, and second, participants noted there is no one-size-fits-all approach to homeschooling and homeschool curriculum choices – every child is different. Both of these themes were identified by the same number of participants, thus making each theme of equal rank.
In both the interviews and focus group many of the participants reiterated several times their belief that curriculum should cater to a child’s interests and abilities. For example, when asked if she had any parting words about curriculum and curriculum choices, Mags responded, “I guess that the curriculum itself is not as important as just necessarily finding out what the kid wants to do or how they best learn.” Similarly, when examining current curriculum changes in the public schools, Octavia contended, “How can we encourage children to learn, by fixing our curriculum? I don’t think so…the answer is in the home and in encouraging kids and letting them do what they want. Some kids can’t do algebra, they want to be mechanics – let them go be mechanics. Don’t make them learn algebra.” Throughout her interview Effie and her husband continually referred to the interests of their children as a deciding factor in their curriculum selection. For example, Effie shared, “…a lot of it is just based on is this holding their interest? Yes, they have to do the work, but I would rather not fight, so if it holds their interest and they are doing the work that’s where we are going to go.” Finally, when defending his position on choosing curricula that was of interest to his boys, Darius simply stated, “if they don’t like it they are not going to learn anything.”
Every child is different.
In addition to believing that their child’s interests should factor into the curriculum choice process, participants also noted that they believed every child is different and a one-size-fits-all approach to curriculum and instruction did not work. For example, Annie stated, I just think that every kid is different and you have to find what works best for them and sometimes you realize afterwards that it maybe wasn’t the best choice, but just go with it and try not to stress so much. It’s school, it’s important, but it is not the end all of everything. Effie responded similarly when asked how she chooses curriculum for her four children – “It is different for each of our kids…trying to find the one curriculum that is best for this child as opposed to that child, you kind of have to find a different one for that one.” Because participants believed every child learns differently, flexibility within the curriculum was also important to participants. For example, when answering the survey question ‘Describe your curriculum approach’, 80% of participants said that they use curriculum as a starting point, but supplement with other materials, pointing to the participants’ desire for flexibility. Additionally, Gale related that flexibility in the curriculum was important to her – “I wanted some more flexibility when I started to see, especially my older one, learning styles what fit for her.” And finally, Primrose stated, “Basically they [my children] are all going to be different, I am not bent on college bound, or one way, I’m just kind of seeing what happens with each of them. I just want them to be prepared for whatever seems to be their path.”
Research Sub-Question 2
Research Sub-Question 2 was used to help determine how home educator’s teaching styles and methodologies affect their curricular decisions. From this question three themes surfaced: first, participants felt that keeping a positive relationship with their children was important. Second, participants related that they would use outside help if a particular subject area caused a strain on their relationship with their children or if they felt inadequate, and third, participants shared that as experience is gained and learning styles emerge, the selection of curriculum also changes. In these themes, the first two themes were represented equally among the participants, and had only slightly more representation in the participant statements than the third theme of changes in the curriculum.
Participants shared that maintaining a positive relationship with their children through the homeschool process was important to them. For example, Annie related, “I think the main thing is our relationship, more than the education part. And that is one of the reasons I employed [Mrs. Doe] to do the math part because it was destroying our relationship trying to do it together. So my expectation is maybe to step back and not to get so involved that it causes problems.” In the same vein, Alma stated, “You have to keep your child’s heart.” Effie noted, “The most important thing when they finish this, aside from being a well-rounded individual that is successful and found something that they love, is that they still love me and still want to be a cohesive family unit and come home at Christmas or whenever and not hate me because I had to be this bad guy all the time.
Participants noted that if their relationship with their children began to deteriorate because of homeschooling or if they felt inadequate in a particular area, the method they used to combat this was seeking outside help, whether it was a person, or an online program. Annie, for example, employed outside help because she did not want to “get so involved that it causes problems”, while Octavia employed outside help because “I am not able to teach you because we butt heads.” When it came to expectations, Alma shared that her expectation for herself was “to be able to recognize my deficiencies and find what they need where I am deficient so that they get what they need.” Finally, Johanna, when asked what her expectations for herself as an educator would be, succinctly replied, “That I can be the best I can be and when I don’t know or I can’t help them seek outside help.”
Changes in the curriculum.
With half of the participants homeschooling for 10 years or more, and the other half homeschooling between four and nine years, a wealth of experience was present among the participants. As experience was gained, the participants related that their curriculum approach also changed. For example, Effie shared, “So it [choosing a curriculum] has kind of graduated, the same [way] the kids are learning, I’m learning better how to pick.” Similarly, Primrose related, “You kind of grow with them and learn with them…and sometimes things work better in different seasons just with different ages for the kids, so I’ve had to ebb and flow a little bit…” You know, sometimes it’s just time for an overhaul and we just add it to the bookshelf in case we ever need to go back…” Mags and Johanna both stated that their experience with choosing curriculum “was trial and error.”
From a practical standpoint, the findings in this study are helpful to home educators and researchers for several reasons. First, the study allowed home educators to voice what influenced their curricular decisions, which then allows educators to clarify and solidify future curriculum choices. For example, participants related that recommendations from other homeschool families were very influential in their curriculum decision making process. This is in keeping with Craven’s (1970) contention that decision makers tend to search for information to inform their decisions from a limited number of inside sources and will not usually seek additional information unless driven to do so. In a similar vein, this study also provided a clearer picture of the priorities of homeschool educators. For example, when examining the priorities of the home educators in this study, it became clear that the five traditional curriculum orientations did not adequately represent the priorities of all the home educators. Rather, Vallance’s (1986) personal commitment curriculum orientation and Van Brummelen’s biblically-based curriculum orientation were more in keeping with the priorities of the home educators in this study.
Another implication for this study was the participants’ religious and moral beliefs and the influence those beliefs had in their curriculum selection. This idea reinforces previous research which contends that homeschooling is more than just an educational choice, it is a lifestyle choice (Hurlbutt, 2010). Similarly, Isenberg (2007) notes that one of the top three reasons people choose to homeschool is to provide religious or moral instruction. Prideaux (2003) also notes that curriculum is the outcome of human agency, and is “underpinned by a set of values and beliefs about what students should know and how they come to know it” (p. 269). Similarly, religious and moral beliefs shape educators’ curriculum orientations – Van Brummelen (2002) notes that curriculum orientations are essentially basic worldview assumptions and Ladwig (2009) notes that these assumptions can be foundational in choosing and organizing curriculum. Lastly, Connelly and Clandinin (1986) note that teachers actively construct the curriculum through their beliefs and orientations.
In addition to bolstering prior research in the areas of recommendations and religious and moral instruction, this study also reinforced the idea of differentiated instruction. Indeed, participants repeatedly stated that they believed that every student was different and deserved individualized instruction. These participant statements echo the research, with Meighan (2005) noting that there are over 30 different learning styles and Dodge (1995) contending that “The curriculum must also be individually appropriate, for each child is a unique person with his or her own temperament, interests, learning styles, and cultural background” (p. 1179). Indeed, in this study participants strove to provide a customized educational package for each of their children – as one participant noted, the purpose of homeschooling is to give each student what they need, instead of providing a cookie-cutter approach.
Participant’s use of outside help, particularly the use of Internet programs, was also in keeping with prior research. For example, Davis (2011) has noted that the Internet is an invaluable resource for home educators while Kleist-Tesch (1998) also notes that home educators are increasingly incorporating technology into their educational plans. Hanna (2012) also found in her study of 250 home educators that the Internet is growing in popularity, both as a means of locating curriculum and as an actual curriculum. For instance, in this study, participants spoke of searching the Internet for curriculum recommendations and reviews and with their older children, using the Internet as an actual curriculum, particularly with programs like Florida Virtual School or other similar privately owned companies.
Lastly, while this study yielded valuable insights into factors influencing homeschool curriculum choices, additional research should be done in this area, particularly with a larger, and more diverse demographic set. For example, subsequent studies should seek to include populations not fully addressed in this study, such as urban communities and ethnic minorities. Widening the set to allow for more diversity will help to alleviate some of the limitations this study suffered from and will help paint a more complete picture of factors influencing homeschool curriculum choices. Furthermore, if this research is replicated with a larger set, a comparison of the data will help to show if the participants in both sets shared similar beliefs, or if the factors and beliefs outlined in this study were unique. Additionally, further research into the theme of home educators desiring to maintain a positive relationship with their children and seeking outside help when necessary is needed, as current research (Buka, 2013; Newberry, 2010; Urooj, 2013) in this area primarily addresses traditional school relationships rather than homeschool relationships. Investigating this theme with a larger set or even with different participant demographics would help shed insight into whether this theme was unique to this study or if home educators across the board value keeping their child’s heart.
Anthony, Kenneth V., & Burroughs, Susie. (2012). Day to day operations of homeschool families: Selecting from a menu of educational choices to meet students’ individual instructional needs. International Education Studies, 5(1), 3-17.
Barwegen, Laura M., Falciani, Nancy K., Putnam, S. Junlah, Reamer, Megan B., & Stair, Esther E. (2004). Academic achievement of homeschool and public school students and student perception of parent involvement. School Community Journal, 14(1), 39-58.
Bernstein, Basil. (1977). Class codes and control, towards a theory of educational transmissions. London: Routledge and Keegan Paul.
Bruner, Jerome. (1977). The process of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Buka, Petraq. (2013). Promoting academic achievement through positive relationships. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 3(3), 323.
Cai, Yi., Reeve, Johnmarshall., & Robinson, Dawn T. (2002). Home schooling and teaching style: Comparing the motivating styles of home school and public school teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(2), 372-380.
Clark, Barbara. (1997). Growing up gifted (5th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Cogan, Michael F. (2010). Exploring academic outcomes of homeschooled students. Journal of College Admission, (208), 18-25.
Collom, Ed. (2005). The ins and outs of homeschooling: The determinants of parental motivation and student achievement. Education and Urban Society, 37(3), 307.
Connelly, F. Michael., & Clandinin, D. Jean. (1986). On narrative method, personal philosophy, and the story of teaching. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23, 293-310.
Crawford, Donald B., & Snider, Vicki E. (2000). Effective mathematics instruction: The importance of curriculum. Education and Treatment of Children, 23(2), 122-42.
Cravens, David W. (1970). An exploratory analysis of individual information processing. Management Science, 16(10), 15.
Curtner-Smith, Matthew, & Meek, Geoffrey. (2000). Teacher value orientations and their compatibility with the national curriculum for physical education. European Physical Education Review 6(1), 27–45.
Davis, Aislin. (2011). Evolution of homeschooling. Distance Learning, 8(2), 29.
Dodge, Diane T. (1995). The importance of curriculum in achieving quality child day care programs. Child Welfare, 74(6), 1171-117.
Duvall, Steven F., Delquardi, Joseph C., & Ward, D. Lawrence. (2004). A preliminary investigation of the effectiveness of homeschool instructional environment for students with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder. School Psychology Review, 33(1), 140-158.
Ellibee, Margaret A., & Mason, Sarah A. (1997). Benchmarking for quality curriculum: The heart of school- to-work. New Directions for Community Colleges, 97, 15-21.
Ennis, Catherine D. (1994). Knowledge and beliefs underlying curricular expertise. Quest, 46, 165–75.
Ennis, Catherine, Ross, Juanita, & Chen, Ang. (1992). The role of value orientations in curricular decision making: A rationale for teachers’ goals and expectations. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 63(1), 38-47.
Glik, Deborah C., Parker, Kathleen, Muligande, Gabriel, & Hategikamana, Bona. (2005). Integrating qualitative and qualitative survey techniques. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 25(1-2), 115-133.
Green, Christa L., & Hoover-Dempsey, Kathleen V. (2007). Why do parents homeschool? Education and Urban Society, 39(2), 264-285.
Handcock, Mark S., & Gile, Krista J. (2011). Comment: On the concept of snowball sampling. Sociological Methodology, 41(1), 367-371. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9531.2011.01243.x
Hanna, Linda G. (2012). Homeschooling education: Longitudinal study of methods, materials, and curricula. Education and Urban Society, 44(5), 609-631. Doi:10.1177/0013124511404886
Hurlbutt, Karen. (2010). Considering homeschooling your child on the autism spectrum? Some helpful hints and suggestions for parents. Exceptional Parent, 40(4), 20-21.
Isenberg, Eric. (2007). What have we learned about homeschooling? Peabody Journal of Education, 82, 327-409.
Jenkins, Sharon B. (2009). Measuring teacher beliefs about curriculum orientations using the modified-curriculum orientations inventory. Curriculum Journal, 20(2), 103-120. doi:10.1080/09585170902948798
Johnson, Mia. (1997). Orientations to curriculum in computer art education. Art Education, 50(3), 43-47.
Kleist-Tesch, Jane M. (1998). Homeschoolers and the public library. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 11(3), 231-41.
Ladwig, James G. (2009). Working backwards towards curriculum: On the curricular implications of quality teaching. The Curriculum Journal, 20(3), 271–286.
Mazama, Ama & Lundy, Garvey. (2013). African American homeschooling and the question of curricular cultural relevance. The Journal of Negro Education, 82(2), 123-138.
McNeil, John D. (1996). Curriculum: A comprehensive introduction. New York: Harper Collins.
Meighan, Roland. (1995). Home-based education effectiveness research and some of its implications. Educational Review, 47(3), 275-287.
Miles, Matthew B., & Huberman, A. Michael. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Mitchell, James, Smith, Richard J., & Weale, Martin R. (2013). Efficient aggregation of panel qualitative survey data. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 28(4), 580-603. doi:10.1002/jae.2273
Nathan, Mitchell J., Long, Scott D., & Alibali, Martha W. (2002). The symbol precedence view of mathematical development: A corpus analysis of the rhetorical structure of textbooks. Discourse Processes, 33(1), 1-21.
Newberry, Melissa. (2010). Identified phases in the building and maintaining of positive teacher – student relationships. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(8), 1695-1703. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2010.06.022
Patterson, Jean A., Gibson, Ian, Koenigs, Andrew, Maurer, Michael, Ritterhouse, Gladys, Stockton, Charles, & Taylor, Mary Jo. (2007). Resisting bureaucracy: A case study of home schooling. Journal of Thought, 42(3), 71-86,142-143.
Pill, Shane. (2004). Quality learning in physical education. Active & Healthy Magazine, 11(3), 13-14.
Planty, Michael, Hussar, William, Snyder, Thomas, Kena, Grace, Kewal Ramani, Angelina, Kemp, Jana, Bianco, Kevin, Dinkes, Rachel. (2009). The Condition of Education, 2009 (NCES 2009-081). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Prideaux, David. (2003). Curriculum design. BMJ [Clinical Research Ed.], 326(7383), 268-270.
Russo, Charlie J. (2008). Encyclopedia of education law. Dayton, Ohio: Sage Publications.
Saldana, Johnny. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Schmoker, Mike. (2011). Curriculum now. The Phi Delta Kappan, 93(3), 70-71.
Schutt, Russell K. (2012). Investigating the social world: The process and practice of research, seventh edition. Boston: Sage Publications.
Tanner, Daniel & Tanner, Laurel. (1995).Curriculum development: Theory into practice, 3rd edition. Columbus: Prentice Hall.
Urooj, Safia. (2013). Effects of positive teacher-students relationship on students’ learning. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 4(12), 616.
Vallance, Elizabeth. (1986). A second look at conflicting conceptions of the curriculum. Theory into Practice, 25(1), 24-30.
Van Brummelen, Harro. (2002). Steppingstones to curriculum: A biblical path. Colorado Springs: Purposeful Design Publications.
Waddell, Timothy Brandon. (2010). Bringing it all back home: Establishing a coherent constitutional framework for the re-regulation of homeschooling. Vanderbilt Law Review, 63(2), 541.
- How long have you been homeschooling?
- Three years
- Four years or less
- Five years or less
- 10 years or less
- More than 10 years
- What criteria are most important when choosing curricula?
- Ease of use
- Flexibility for different ages
- Quality of Content
- Aligns with state standards
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Built in evaluation
- Who is involved in the choosing of curriculum?
Entire family (parents and students)
- Both parents
- One parent
- One parent and student(s)
- How important is a recommendation in your curriculum choice?
- Very important
- Somewhat Important
- Not that important
- Do you have a favorite curriculum publisher?
- Describe your curriculum approach
- Follow curriculum guide to the tee
- Use curriculum as a starting point, but supplement with other materials
- Use curriculum as a reference
- How do you learn about new curriculum choices?
- Word of mouth
- Homeschool curriculum fairs
- Personal research
- Do you use online curricula?
- How many children do you homeschool?
- Four or more
- Approximately how much time each day do you devote to homeschooling?
- Three hours or less
- Four to five hours
- Six to seven hours or less
- Eight hours or more