In the time of the COVID-19 crisis, parents are tasked with the duty of homeschooling. This is a monumental task which can leave parents and students frustrated. Over the next few days, we will be providing scholarly resources that attempt to provide answers for our helping heroes at home!
Our first featured article is “Instructional Strategies That Homeschooling Parents Use to Teach”. Mathematics can be extremely difficult and frustrating for some students. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the learner-centered instructional strategies homeschooling parents use to teach their children mathematics. The conceptual framework for this single-case study was based on Weimer’s learner-centered teaching model. Participants included 4 parents who homeschooled students in Grades 6-12 in a Western state and who received instructional support from a private school. The results indicated that the homeschooling parents aligned only a small amount of their instructional strategies with Weimer’s learner-centered teaching model by trying to make mathematics fun, interesting, and relevant to their children’s lives. They also differentiated instruction and chose a curriculum that included some critical-thinking problems.
Another featured article is “Homeschooling Education- Longitudinal Study of Methods, Materials, and Curricula“. This study talks about the benefits of pooling resources with other homeschooling families in order to create a cohesive community. In a comprehensive study of two-hundred fifty homeschooling families in urban, rural and suburban areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the researcher examined all aspects of the instruction, materials and curricula employed by the families in a ten-year longitudinal study from 1998 through 2008. The researcher conducted interviews and gathered questionnaire data from: 1) all of the families in the sample in 1998, and 2) those families still residing within the same designated district in 2008. Significant changes occurred in the demographical data and the families’ instructional programs. Within the methods/materials/curriculum data, increases occurred in the: 1) use of prepared curricula (religious and non-religious), 2) the acquisition of more textbooks from local school districts, 3) use of the public library, 4) technology applications, 5) consultation with instructional specialists/ teachers, and 6) greater networking with other homeschooling families. In their pooling of resources, sharing of expertise, and communicating with other homeschooling families, the homeschoolers had upgraded and diversified their choices of pedagogy and their modalities for delivering instruction.