Horsburgh, Fergus Bruce Norman. (2005). Homeschooling within the public school system. Master’s thesis, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada. (Recognizes the tensions and conflicts associated with parents wanting to be in control of their children’s education while also wanting public tax funding to support their home-based public schooling that the parents want to call homeschooling. Finds also that the school districts want the tax funds they get for enrolling these students and are therefore willing to not require all parents to follow all the rules in order to get them as customers. Finds that some public school districts do not require parents to follow all the rules or regulations. Points out that some individuals and organizations (e.g., HSDLA of Canada) are opposed to public-funded “homeschooling” and warn that it brings the control of the state into the home. “This tendency [“… that school districts sometimes skirt around the formal ministry mandates”] could be motivated by the very real need to retain parents, and therefore the per-pupil funding that goes along with them” (p. 101).“Parents mentioned these relaxing of rules in a positive way” (p. 93). “Abstract: Homeschooling through the public school system is a relatively new trend in education. This qualitative study focuses on the experiences of six families participating in public school homeschooling programs in British Columbia, Canada. (Parents were interviewed and the interviews were recorded with transcripts becoming the primary data for this research.) Parents’ motivations for homeschooling through the public system, rather than homeschooling on their own, are centered on financial advantages, in terms of refunds, and on support and guidance from trained teachers. Parents perceive public school classrooms negatively. Lack of attention to individual learning styles, large class-sizes, grade-aged groupings, teacher style, and negative socialization in and outside of the classroom are common criticisms. Conclusions of the study include suggestions for teachers and program organizers. The wider community, including different aged children, mentors, and elders are commonly viewed as unused resources” (p. iii). “School districts would be wise to steer a course that takes into consideration the needs and concerns of parents who show every willingness to go to the district that best meets their needs. Efforts should also be made to learn from the experiences of homeschoolers and possibly discover new tools, strategies, and directions for change in a system seen by many as needing reform” (p. 113).) (Keywords: homeschooling, public school at home, public schooling, voucher, policy, public schooling, funding)
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