Arai, A. Bruce. 2000. Reasons for home schooling in Canada. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l’education, 25(3), 204-217. (Author appears to have a deep and accurate understanding of reasons or motivations for homeschooling. “Abstract: Why do parents in Canada choose to home school their children? This article presents the results of qualitative interviews with 23 home-schooling [homeschooling] families in Ontario and British Columbia and compares these results with previous research in other jurisdictions, particularly the United States. The findings suggest that Canadian home-based educators have very different reasons for choosing home schooling than their U.S. counterparts. Possible explanations for these differences are discussed” (p. 204). Author astutely observes the following: “But more recently, parents who do not face the same legal and attitudinal barriers may view home schooling as one educational option among many. These parents may not have the strong philosophical commitments of earlier generations. Despite its current notoriety in the mass media, home schooling is certainly easier to arrange for now than in the past. Because many earlier battles about the legality of home schooling have been resolved, parents can at least try home schooling without the strong value commitments required in previous eras” (p. 208). “Previous studies have found two distinct groups of home schoolers: ideologues and pedagogues. These studies also showed that many home schoolers are motivated by their own negative experiences in school or by their desire to strengthen or preserve the unity of the nuclear family, to live an alternative lifestyle, and/or to assert their right to determine their children’s education. However, only two of the parents I interviewed had begun home schooling because of their own bad experiences in school, and only a few said they were attempting to live an alternative lifestyle through schooling at home. In addition, the ideologue-pedagogue dichotomy does not capture very well the different reasons that people gave for starting home schooling. These parents chose to teach their children at home for a variety of reasons, and many had both pedagogical and ideological objections to public schooling. This may be an indication of the broad appeal of home schooling among Canadian parents” (p. 215).) (Keywords: elementary secondary education; foreign countries; homeschooling, home schooling; interviews; nontraditional education; parent attitudes; parents)

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