Despite increasing global popularity perceptions of homeschooling remain problematic. It resists trends towards mass compulsory education and the promotion of children’s rights; it challenges the state’s authority to educate citizens; and raises concerns about child protection issues and educational outcomes. Contemporaneously many homeschoolers identify their fears of risks and failings in mainstream schooling as the reason they homeschool. This article explores how discomfort and fear is ingrained within meanings associated with homeschooling often related to its domestic practice. It develops Freud’s account of unheimlich (the unhomely) as a useful addition to the sociological analysis of the multiple renditions of meaning attached to homeschooling. These include the conflation of homely and unhomely accounts; the significance of anecdotal accounts as a means of restating class biases and racisms; and the ambiguous relationship between family and state. It argues both policymakers and homeschoolers need to acknowledge these ambiguities.
Myers, M. (2022). The Unhomely of Homeschooling. Sociology, https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385221129943