In this survey of about 30 questions about home schooling families in the United States, I am looking to learn more about your experiences with homeschooling your child. I am also interested in your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about education more generally.
The lead investigator, Jessica Smock, is a doctoral candidate in educational policy at Boston University. However, this research is not sponsored or funded by the university. Your name and any identifying information about you, your family, and your children will be kept confidential, unless we are given permission by you to share them in a publication.
During my first years as a doctoral student, I became interested in homeschooling after tutoring a delightful homeschooled child who contradicted all of my preconceptions as an educator -- a former teacher and curriculum coordinator in public and private schools for more than a decade -- about home-based education. Throughout my doctoral program, I wanted to know more about homeschooling, but the only faculty members that I met who knew anything about it were only interested in the religious arguments for homeschooling. Throughout my studies, my research interests have continued to be about how nontraditional approaches to education can help kids thrive.
Now that I'm nearly finished with the program and will be defending my dissertation in the spring, I want to pursue other projects and use my research skills to find out more about families' experiences with homeschooling. I am primarily a qualitative researcher and normally use interviewing to capture participants' stories in their own words. But I am starting this study with a survey because the complexity of this subject would otherwise make analysis of participants' responses very difficult. But I hope that I have captured enough of your experiences to allow your voice to be heard. And I plan to ask many of you, if you're willing, to describe your experiences in words or in person after the initial survey is complete.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at my website School of Smock (http://www.schoolofsmock.com). You can also see an article about my blog and homeschooling posts in Home Education Magazine: http://homeedmag.com/newscomm/reasons-to-homeschool/education_policy/
In this first section, I'd like to learn more about your family's home schooling experience. Thank you so much for your time!