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JOURNAL CRITIQUE: TRENDS IN EDUCATION
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Journal Critique: Trends in Education - Homeschooling
Evelyn Young
School of Education, Liberty University
Author Note
Evelyn Young
I have no known conflict of interest to disclose.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Evelyn Young
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Summary
The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic in 2020 led to the abrupt closure of schools as a
precaution to prevent the further spread of the virus. This research study was administered amid
the pandemic while students were home schooled for several weeks and parents took on the role
of teacher. This role placed more demands and concerns for parents.
Due to stress or a lack of support, some parents might have felt less able to teach their
child at home. Parents might have experienced difficulties regulating the behavioral problems
and negative emotions of their child that can occur during their help with schoolwork. (Fuligni et
al., 2002, Pomerantz et al., 2005, Pomerantz et al., 2006). (“Parent–child conflict during
homeschooling in times ... - ScienceDirect”) The authors examine how parents' feelings of
efficacy in teaching would play an important role in their ability to effectively meet the
challenges of home schooling. The authors hypothesized that more parent-child conflict resulted
from lower efficacy when home schooling. The findings from the study confirm “parental self-
efficacy in teaching explains increases in parent–child conflict during homeschooling” The study
further suggests that “parental teaching self-efficacy therefore seems a promising target for
initiatives to support family well-being and children’s academic development during school
closures” (de Jong et al., 2022, p. 9).
Analysis
The pandemic created urgent health concerns and also exposed issues centered around
injustice and inequality such as racial and demographic disparities, the digital divide and family
dynamics, and the balance between parenting, work, and home schooling. The authors delve into
the parents’ role and how characteristics such as parent education and stress levels and the social
factors of school support and household dynamics influence the teaching of self-efficacy.
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Volunteers were selected from 54 schools throughout the rural areas of the Netherlands. The
study involved 173 participants who were the mothers of kindergarten through 4
th
graders. The
mothers provided information about the interpersonal conflicts involving the schoolwork of one
child, and reported self-efficacy in teaching.
The mean age of the mothers was 37.50 years. The number of mothers with a college
degree was higher than the average in the Netherlands, but ranged from the lower
educational tracks to PhD-level. The Dutch version of the short form of the Perceived
Stress Scale (PSS) was administered (Cohen et al., 1983, Korten et al., 2017).
Participants reported how often they and their partner helped their child with their
schoolwork before and during school closure and their feelings of helplessness and loss
of control during the lockdown. Physical characteristics of the home were examined—the
number of rooms, desks, tables, and computers. Household chaos was assessed with
probing questions such as “we always eat at the same times, and we have a well-
organized household”(de Jong et al., 2022). Last, parents were asked to evaluate the
quality of the support received from the school during the lockdown.
The Perceived Stress Scale was used to measure parents’ role in teaching self-efficacy.
Mothers were given a questionnaire that was used to measure their feelings in three areas while
homeschooling their children: (1) giving instruction, (2) motivation, and (3) emotional support
for example, with instruction, “to what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or
example when your child is confused?” For motivation, “to what extent can you motivate your
child for his/her schoolwork?” And for emotional support, "how well can you respond positively
and sincerely?” (de Jong et al., 2022). The study used a model-building approach with path
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analysis to examine the role of the mother’s teaching of self-efficacy in the relation between a
variety of parental and social contextual variables and mother–child conflict when mothers
helped with schoolwork during the school closure. The environment created by parents
surrounding their children’s schoolwork has the potential to either enhance or impede their
academic development. (Moè and Katz, 2018, Moè et al., 2020, Moroni et al., 2015, Pomerantz
et al., 2007). Parents’ help with schoolwork is the most used form of involvement and central to
homeschooling. Study results revealed parental involvement in homeschooling was both relevant
and controversial with their children’s school adjustment. According to Gonida and Urdan,
Hoover-Dempsey et al., and Pomerantz et al.
Parents’ home-based involvement with schoolwork, including practices such as creating a
quiet and orderly place to study, talking about school-related issues, and helping children
in completing their homework is nowadays increasingly considered a relevant yet
controversial factors in affecting children’s school adjustment (e.g., Gonida and
Urdan, 2007, Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2001, Pomerantz et al., 2005).
Key findings:
Homeschooling during the pandemic increased the mother-child conflict. Mothers with a
greater sense of teaching self-efficacy reported fewer conflicts. Mothers reporting less
stress and more support from school had higher self-efficacy. Self-efficacy was also
higher in mothers from structured households. (de Jong et al., 2022).
Personal Response
I find this article relevant and wholeheartedly agree with the authors. The study of the
parent's role and how characteristics such as parent education and stress levels along with the
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social factors clearly influence the teaching of self-efficacy. As an educator and parent, I find
this article relatable, self-efficacy leads to children's positive mental health and is an important
factor in mother-child relationships. My professional teaching experiences span nearly 40 years
from preschool through higher education, and I can attest to the important role of parent
involvement and academic success. Although I did not experience homeschooling during the
COVID-19 school lockdown, my youngest son was homeschooled for a short period while
attending high school and it was very challenging for both of us. My stress level did indeed
affect my ability to effectively teach self-efficacy and resulted in my son withdrawing from
online school. I believe the results were accurate, however, I recommend future research should
include more quantitative data.
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References
de Jong, P. F., Schreurs, B. G. M., & Zee, M. (2022). Parent–child conflict during
homeschooling in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: A key role for mothers’ self-
efficacy in teaching. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 70, 102083.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2022.102083
Gonida, E. N., & Cortina, K. S. (2014). Parental involvement in homework: Relations with
parent and student achievement‐related motivational beliefs and achievement. British
Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 376-396.
Korten, N. C., Comijs, H. C., Penninx, B. W., & Deeg, D. J. (2017). Perceived stress and
cognitive function in older adults: which aspect of perceived stress is
important?. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 32(4), 439-445.
Pomerantz, E. M., Moorman, E. A., & Litwack, S. D. (2007). The How, Whom, and Why of
Parents’ Involvement in Children’s Academic Lives: More Is Not Always Better. Review
of Educational Research, 77(3), 373–410. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4624903
Santibañez, L., & Guarino, C. M. (2021). The Effects of Absenteeism on Academic and Social-
Emotional Outcomes: Lessons for COVID-19. Educational Researcher, 50(6),
0013189X2199448. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189x21994488
von Hippel, P., & Hamrock, C. (2019). Do test score gaps grow before, during, or between the
school years? measurement artifacts and what we can know in spite of them. Sociological
Science, 6(3), 43-80. https://doi.org/10.15195/v6.a3
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