Title: The wellbeing of families who home educate in Australia

This information sheet is for you to keep. You can download a Word or PDF version on the right hand side of this page.

Mr. Nicholas Gamble, a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Louise McLean and Professor Dennis Moore from the Faculty of Education, Monash University. He is  conducting a research project that explores wellbeing and demographic factors of parents who home educate (homeschool) their children. This research aims to develop a better understanding of home education and the families that are engaging in it throughout Australia. This means that student researcher will be writing a thesis which is the equivalent of a book and that the research team will write several reports each the length of a magazine article in relation to home education.

You are being invited to participate in this study because you are either a parent that home educates your child, or you are the parent of a child who attends regular schooling who will act as a comparison group.

The aim of this research is to identify parental concerns, expectations, perceptions of support, child behaviour and strategies for managing everyday life. Further, to see if there are any differences in wellbeing between parents using different home education methods or differences in wellbeing between parents who home educate their children and those that are involved in school based education. It is hoped that identification of these factors will facilitate the development of programs that improve wellbeing for all parents and to gain an understanding of any differences that exist between the parent groups. It is also hoped that by comparing the wellbeing and demographic details of parents who engage in different methods of education with their children, a better understanding of the relationship between Australian parents and international research on the topic of home education can be established.  

Although you will not benefit directly from participation in this research project, it is anticipated that the study findings will help parents by identifying potential targets for services that will assist them. Further, it is hoped that a greater understanding of the demographic profile and wellbeing of parents who home educate their children in Australia can be developed. It is anticipated that through this process both home educating and traditionally educating families will benefit from the information gained about the wellbeing and demographic make-up of families engaging in a wide variety of educational methods in Australia. Through this greater understanding more efficient and effective interventions can be developed for all parents.

Participation in this research involves completing a self-report questionnaire that asks about your expectations, concerns, support network, child’s behaviour and the strategies you use to manage everyday life. The online questionnaire should take about 65 minutes to complete and can be done at a time that is convenient to you. 

It is not anticipated that you will experience any inconvenience or discomfort when completing the questionnaire. However, sometimes reflecting upon your experiences can bring up emotions such as sadness and grief. Usually these feelings are transient. If they become overwhelming and you wish to talk about them you may call Lifeline (24 hours) on 131 114.

No payment or reward, financial or otherwise, will be offered for participation in this study. In addition to this research project you data may also be used in similar research projects by the research team examining home education. However, your identity will never be disclosed and all results are totally anonymous.

If you agree to take part in this study, please complete the online questionnaire at www.HomeEdResearch.com. The questionnaire is completely anonymous. No individual responses will be forwarded to any government department or agency. Any publication of findings from this study will be completely de-identified.

If you feel that taking part in this research would be inappropriate for any reason, whether for cultural or personal reasons, we ask that you decline to take part in the study. You can withdraw from the study at any time by not returning the questionnaire. You may also choose not to answer some of the questions.

No findings which could identify any individual participant will be published.  Since data must be stored for at least five years according to university regulations, all questionnaires will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in the Krongold Building, Monash University. Only the research team will have access to the files.

If you would like to be informed of the aggregate research finding, please contact Dr. Louise McLean on 9905 1310 or email louise.mclean@monash.edu  or Mr Nicholas Gamble on 99052388 or nicholas.gamble@monash.edu . Alternatively you can monitor the www.HomeEdResearch.com  website or follow @HomeEdResearch on twitter as the study results will be presented there also. 

Thank you.

Mr. Nicholas Gamble           Dr. Louise McLean                   Prof. Dennis Moore

If you would like to contact the researchers about any aspect of this study, please contact the Chief Investigators:

If you have a complaint concerning the manner in which this research (Project Number: CF12/3433 - 2012001672) is being conducted, please contact:

Mr. Nicholas Gamble

Tel.: 99052388

Email: nicholas.gamble@monash.edu

Dr. Louise McLean

Tel.: 9905 1310

Email: louise.mclean@monash.edu

Prof. Dennis Moore

Tel.: 9905 0706

Email: dennis.moore@monash.edu

Executive Officer, Human Research Ethics

Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC)

Building 3e  Room 111

Research Office

Monash University VIC 3800

Tel: +61 3 9905 2052           

Fax: +61 3 9905 3831

Email: muhrec@monash.edu