Posted by: Ruth Morton | March 6, 2008

Choosing Home Education

I am continuing to analyse the data that I have collected and have just completed a first paper based on that analysis for presentation at the BSA Conference at the end of March. This paper contains my first analytical thoughts on my findings.

Entitled “Home Education: Constructions of Choice” the paper looks at the ways in which different home educating families explain their choice of home education. I identify 3 loose groupings of home educators according to their reasons for starting home education – these groupings are not definitive and there are differences within the groups as well as families who do not fit neatly into one grouping.

The first group are ‘natural’ home educators – these are families who chose to home educate because it fitted with their lifestyles and also because they disliked the structures of the education system.

The second group are ‘social’ home educators – families who feel that the socialisation of their children is of utmost importance and who feel that home education is the best way for them to communicate the values that they hold. For this group it is often the interaction within schools that are seen as problematic – the ways that individual teachers influence children and the relationships between children.

The third group have chosen home education as a ‘last resort’ – often their children have been bullied, have special educational needs or have health issues that they feel that schools have failed to deal with and home education is a last-ditch solution.

The paper concludes by picking up on the individualisation of the choice of home education and trying to link that in to the wider social context.

I will put the full text of the paper up here in the coming weeks.


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