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Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session

Abstract

Research on the education of deaf and hard of hearing students has largely ignored homeschooling as an option that parents are choosing, yet thousands of parents across America are pulling their children from more traditional school placements to educate their children at home. This is a pilot study of 21 parents, investigating through questionnaires their backgrounds, motivations for homeschooling, methods of constructing their school environment, communication preferences, and the socialization that occurs for their children. Results show that while homeschooler demographics and approaches vary, there are similarities among their motivations and approaches to providing their children with socialization and interaction with deaf and hard of hearing adults. It also points out that, because of the diversity of approaches used, homeschooling can be both beneficial and detrimental to deaf and hard of hearing children. This research fills in gaps of understanding both in the homeschooling movement and in deaf education, provides a glimpse into the deaf experience that has not yet been investigated, and suggests possible directions of future research.

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