Family Economy, Rural School Choice, and Flexischooling Children with Disabilities

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© 2016, by the Rural Sociological Society Most homeschooled students would be more accurately described as “flexischooled,” partly homeschooled and partly enrolled in school. The popularity of these two alternatives to public or private school enrollment has increased over the past several decades to the extent that, by 2012 over 2 million students, 4 percent of the population, were either flexischooled or homeschooled in the United States. To understand why parents have pursued these options over enrollment, we employed a family economy perspective, arguing that family, child, and locational considerations shaped parents' motivations for homeschooling or flexischooling over enrollment. For example, parents' decisions were partially shaped by the interaction between children's disability status and rural location. Using data from the National Household Education Survey 2012, this article first describes the prevalence of flexischooling and full-time homeschooling. Then, it demonstrates how various family, child, and locational factors shape the odds of flexischooling and homeschooling, and then examines the interaction between location and children's disability status in detail. We discuss the implications of our findings for family economy theoretical perspectives, flexischooling, and rural education research.

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Rural Sociology

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