A Decade of Home Schooling in Saskatchewan, Canada
The purpose of this study was to build upon previous research (Hill, 1988) by interviewing a sample of the same families and their children to investigate the longitudinal experiences for a follow-up study. The representative sample participated in a study entitled "An Investigation of Home Schooling in Saskatchewan" (Hill, 1988).
Twenty families (18 parents and 25 children) were interviewed; 10 were selected as case studies. Home schoolers ranged from 16 to 26 years and presently are involved in various professions and vocations. In-depth interviews and open-ended questions elicited rich and detailed accounts of how home schooling had influenced each participant's life.
A large majority of participants were transformed through the recognition of choice, networking, and reflection. The follow-up interviews validated their experiences and allowed them to reflect on their respective roles, feelings of success and failure. To exercise choice was the dominant founding principle, and commitment to personal and communal needs were the keys to successful home-schooling practice. Evaluation and assessment were the acquisition of either a Christian or a liberal education, which could be achieved within the context of the home and community.
Course content supported a basic core curriculum best described as a liberal education. Elective areas of study were principled by two schools of thought: families who prescribed to the "free schools" movement and those whose programs were based on evangelical Christianity. The definition of home schooling was expanded to focus on multidirectional teaching and learning. Each participant's self-esteem, ambition, and self-confidence in transferring the skills, knowledge, and values to their networks validated their experiences and enhanced their personal growth. The globalization of education, integration of world resources, and rapid changes in lifestyles required an examination of the evolution of home schooling, its founding principles, and curriculum assessments.