ERIC Number: ED284325
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Becoming Home Schoolers.
Van Galen, Jane A.
This paper describes an ethnographic study of how fundamentalist Christian parents new to home schooling are socialized to norms, beliefs, and values of the Christian home schooling organizations with which they are affiliated. Research involved participant observation and interviews with "home schoolers" and educators over an 18-month period. Half of the children from the 16 families (including 23 parents) interviewed had never attended school; those from remaining families had withdrawn from public or private schools. Thirteen families described themselves as conservative Christians; other families had no religious affiliation. Home schoolers' shared beliefs and practices were analyzed from documents, newsletters, observation, and interviews conducted with state and local education officials involved with home schooling. Interview results show that parents generally learn about home schooling through people, events, or media that are integral to their established lifestyles. Parents' decision to teach their own children is rarely a culmination of long and careful deliberation. Many told of emotionally committing themselves to the decision soon after learning that this would be possible. According to interviewees, "independent" and "intuitive" decisionmaking about curricular materials and other educational matters characterized their early days of home schooling. (CJH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Studies Association (Pittsburgh, PA, October 1986).