History and Effectiveness of Homeschooling

Is homeschooling effective, and how can it be used to help students with learning disabilities? In order to fully unwrap this question, it is necessary to understand what homeschooling is, how it came about, and the styles of homeschooling. Working for a homeschool as an aide for enrichment courses that are offered to homeschool students once a week, as well as substituting in special education classrooms that do not always work for every student has sparked an interest in connecting homeschooling and needs of special education children.

History of Homeschooling

Homeschooling is defined as the decision of parents not to educate their children in a traditional institutionalized setting and rather, educate their children at home (Hadeed, 1991, p. 1). Colfax & Colfax describe it as “an individual response to what increasing numbers of parents see as an educational system that fails to serve the needs of their children” (1988, p. 37). There are also many different terms for homeschooling including, but not limited to: home-based education, unschooling, home-centered learning, home instruction, and deschooling (Murphy, 2014, p. 5).

In 1957, Russia successfully launched Sputnik I, which was an artificial satellite that took only 98 minutes to orbit the earth (Garber, 2007). Americans started to believe that education levels had fallen behind the Russians, which ultimately created an education crisis, and education was transferred from the hands of local schools and authorities to the federal government (Colfax & Colfax, 1988, p. 15-16). In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in school was deemed unconstitutional, and many parents began to pull their students out of public school (Berlatsky, 2010, p. 25-26). A large majority of these parents were Christians. However, throughout the 1970s, homeschooling was considered illegal in 45 states. By 1993, all states finally recognized a parent’s right to homeschool their children.

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