Factors that Affect Parents' Choice to Homeschool in Clayton County Georgia: A Phenomenological Study

Factors that Affect Parents' Choice to Homeschool in Clayton County Georgia: A Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Rebekah Wright
Program of study: 
Ed.D./CI
Abstract: 
The qualitative phenomenological study identified the factors that lead parents to choose homeschooling as their child’s educational preference instead of public school by exploring the lived experiences of 16 parents in Clayton County, Georgia. A semi-structured interview with 10 open-ended interview questions was used during this study. Utilizing the Hycner’s Explication data analysis process, the study identified five reasons why parents decided to homeschool in Clayton County, Georgia: (a) individualized instruction (e.g., non-traditional teaching method, attention to each child’s educational need); (b) parental reasons (e.g., emotionally supportive foundation, challenge child, develop independent thinkers, help nurture each child’s individual gifts and talents); (c) school environment (e.g., bullying, drugs, profanity, dress code, peer pressure, disruptive environment); (d) Clayton County issues (e.g., loss of accreditation); and (e) academic reasons (e.g., promote life-long learners, Christian based education, smaller classroom sizes). Research further revealed that the most prevalent activity in a typical day of homeschool life was the start of each day with some type of Christian acknowledgement (prayer, devotion, spiritual reading). The study provides an empirical basis for educational leaders in the design and implementation of programs that builds the citizens’ trust on public education systems.
Dedication: 
It is with love and sincere gratitude that I write this dedication to the people who have supported me in my academic quest to achieving my doctorate. The journey has been long with many sacrifices to family and friends. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and understanding.
Acknowledgements: 
Glory be to God with whose help I was able to complete this task. This dissertation would not have been possible without the assistance, support, and patience of many individuals. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the members of my doctoral dissertation committee, Dr. Lisa Isbell Hager, Chair; Dr. Linda Gutsch; and Dr. L. Roxanne Russell for their assistance, expertise, and commitment. I would also like to extend special appreciation to Dr. Lisa Isbell Hager for her invaluable assistance, patience, guidance, advice, and support in this endeavor. I truly appreciate the homeschool participants in Clayton County, Georgia who willingly participated in my study. Their willingness to share their experiences about home education was greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and support in the success of this endeavor. I am deeply grateful for dear friends and family who have nourished my soul with encouragement and motivation along the way. Every prayer, correspondence, and affirmation helped me to find the strength required to complete this project. Special thanks to an extraordinary friend, my husband, who supported and encouraged me until the project was complete.