Teach Me the Write Way: A Multiple Case Study Exploring the Impact of Homeschooling on the Formation of Writing Self-Efficacy

Katherine L. Todd

Document Type Article


The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the impact of a homeschooling context on the formation of writing self-efficacy among adolescent students. The formation of self-efficacy beliefs was defined according to Bandura’s four theoretical sources: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and physiological state. Thus, this study sought to investigate the following central question: What impact does a homeschooling context have on the formation of writing self-efficacy among adolescent students? And its related sub-questions: How are Bandura’s theoretical sources of self-efficacy evidenced in the formation of homeschooled adolescents’ writing self-efficacy? How do the instructional practices of homeschooling parents impact the formation of adolescent writing self-efficacy? The participants were comprised of eight homeschooled adolescents (ages 13–17) and their parent instructors, and data were collected through self-efficacy scales, instructional surveys, journals, documents, photo elicitation, and interviews. Analysis of the data found evidence of all four sources of self-efficacy present in the formation of writing self-efficacy among the homeschoolers included in the study, with the participants assigning the greatest weight to mastery experiences and social persuasion, respectively. In addition, three themes that appeared to impact self-efficacy formation emerged from the instructional practices described by the parents: They customized their instruction by altering the curriculum and offering choices in writing, delivered guidance through modeling and feedback, and fostered resilience by intervening in crises and celebrating progress.