A study of parents' involvement in Iowa' s home school assistance programs A STUDY OF PARENTS' INVOLVEMENT IN IOWA'S HOME SCHOOL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
______________________________________ Pamela M. Wesely ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thank you to the village of friends and family who supported me through graduate school and the dissertation process. Thanks to my husband for pushing me to cross the finish line even when my determination waned. Thank you to my parents who provided meals and endless hours of childcare. Also, thank you for making sure I enjoyed the fun moments of being a first time mom. Thank you to Aya for bringing me plenty of smiles,
... e plenty of smiles, laughs, and slobbery baby kisses during her first year of life. I look forward to all the joys this upcoming year with you will bring when I am no longer a student. Thank you to Dr. Missall for your years of guidance and metaphors that got me through 5 years of graduate school. Dr. Ehly, thank you for getting me through my last year. Thank you to my committee for your continued guidance and feedback. Dr. Barron, thank you for helping me navigate SPSS over and over again, even when I did not want to. Lastly, thank you to Ellen's mom, Mrs. Sue Duffin, for her excellent edits which made this dissertation graduation-worthy. iii ABSTRACT Since the 1960s homeschooling has increased in popularity across the United States. While homeschooling was deemed illegal in all 50 states, by 1993 homeschooling was legal in every state. As homeschooling was legalized, each state created its own ways of monitoring and supporting homeschooled students. In 1991 when the state of Iowa legalized homeschooling, the Iowa legislature created Home School Assistance Programs (HSAPs), which used public school funds to provide state-certified teachers to supervise homeschooled families. The purpose of this study was to apply the theoretical model of the parental involvement process created by Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (1995, 1997) to examine differences between parents who homeschooled within a HSAP and those who homeschooled in a different manner. Specifically, the study explored parental involvement, parents' perceptions of their life context, parental self-efficacy, social-contextual motivators of involvement, and parents' perceived invitations from their children. The study also investigated the extent to which HSAPs serve homeschooling parents and the viability of HSAPs as a means of serving homeschooling parents. Findings suggest that there were no significant differences between parents who homeschool using a HSAP and those who do not in regard to any of the aforementioned categories. However, there was a significant difference in parental role activity beliefs based on the size of the HSAP in which a participant was involved, such that participants who were involved with a larger HSAP reported being more involved in their children's education than parents involved with a small HSAP. No additional significant differences were found regarding the size of the HSAP or the geographic setting of the HSAP. Overall, the results of the study demonstrated that parents who homeschool are similar in parents' motivational beliefs, iv perceptions of specific invitations from their children, perceived life context, and home-based involvement behaviors, regardless of their involvement with a HSAP. v PUBLIC ABSTRACT In 1991 when the state of Iowa legalized homeschooling, the Iowa legislature created Home School Assistance Programs (HSAPs). HSAPs use public school funds to provide services to families that homeschool, which may include access to a state-certified teacher, school curricula, school facilities, and many other services. This study examined differences between parents who homeschool within a HSAP and those who homeschool in a different manner in terms of parental involvement, parents' perceptions of their life context, parental self-efficacy, social-contextual motivators of involvement, and parents' perceived invitations from their children. Results of the study suggest that parents who homeschool are similar in parents' motivational beliefs, perceptions of specific invitations from their child, perceived life context, and home-based involvement behaviors, regardless of their involvement with a HSAP. In addition, other than parents who are involved with a large HSAP feeling more involved with their children's education than parents involved with a smaller HSAP, there were no significant differences among HSAP participants regardless of the geographic setting or size of the HSAP.