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Determining Effectiveness: Influences of Homeschool Instruction and Reading Curriculum on Reading Achievement of First Graders Open Access

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This study examined influencing factors on the reading achievement of three first grade students from the Colorado Virtual Academy, who were taught to read in a homeschool setting. The overarching research question asked, "How well do students perform when taught to read by parents given the tools that nationally accepted research has deemed necessary to teach reading?" Sub-questions sought to understand the influences of socioeconomic status, level of interaction between the parent and a certified teacher, and the number of completed lessons and the number of unit assessments passed. Study data was collected using an embedded multi-case study method. A survey, interview questions, observation notes, and content analysis of student performance documents (including total number of lessons completed, assessments passed, and Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills test scores) were used to create subject data files.The thick, rich descriptions which arose from this study showed that two students were reading above grade level, and were from middle and high socioeconomic statuses. One student was reading below grade level, and was from a low socioeconomic status. However, the student reading below grade level had a parent with the highest level of education (some graduate school), while the two students reading above grade level had parents with lower levels of education (college). All three parents were pleased with their level of interaction with a highly-qualified COVA teacher. Finally, the students reading above grade level completed all lessons and passed all assessments, while the student reading below grade level did not complete all lessons and did not pass all assessments taken.

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