Home-Education: a critical evaluation involving 36 families
with at least one child aged 4 years
Paper given at the 'New directions for Primary Education' Conference
Association for the Study of Primary Education (ASPE), St Martin's College, Ambleside, March 1999
This research explored the aims and practices of home-educators in the UK. The purpose was to generate wider knowledge of home-education. Home-education questionnaires were distributed to a broad section of the home-education community. From the 312 questionnaires completed and returned, thirty-six participant families with at least one child aged four years, were randomly selected. The families were interviewed, each in their own home, at the beginning, and again at the end, of a ten month period. The four year olds were assessed on each occasion using the ‘Performance Indicators in Primary Schools' (PIPS) measure. The PIPS baseline assessment data indicated that 64% of the children scored over 75%. Nationally, 5.1% of children score over 75%. 'End of Reception Year' data suggested that the home-educated children’s progress over the ten month period was less than that associated with school children during their reception year. This observation, however, was offset by the home-educated children’s high baseline scores. Generally the home-educated children demonstrated high levels of ability and good social skills. The families interviewed came from a mixture of socio-economic levels. Common to all the families interviewed was their flexible approach to education and the high level of parental attention received by the children.
©P. Rothermel 1999