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Write These Laws on Your Children - Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling
Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling
Author: Robert Kunzman
Product Code: 3291 ISBN: 978-080703291-6
Pages: 
256
Binding Information: Cloth 
Size: 
6 X 9 Inches (US)
Illustrated: 
No
Copyright Date Ed: 
08/01/2009
Trade Code: 
00C
Price: $27.95 In stock.
Qty:
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A compelling look at conservative Christian homeschooling families—and the worldview that could radically alter American political and intellectual life
Homeschooling is a large and growing phenomenon in American society-between 1999 and 2007 it grew at twelve times the rate of public school enrollments, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Current estimates suggest that about two million kids are homeschooled, but information about this booming population is terribly incomplete. Nearly a fourth of states don't even require parents to notify authorities if they homeschool their children, much less offer any sort of verification that they are doing so.

Of all the diverse groups of homeschooling families in the United States, conservative Christians are the largest subset, and it is this group that most influences public perception of and rhetoric about this movement. In Write These Laws on Your Children, Robert Kunzman uses his unprecedented access to six conservative Christian homeschooling families to explore this elusive world, from the day-to-day lives of its adherents to its broader aspirations to transform American culture and politics. Drawing from hundreds of hours of interviews and observations of parents and children, their churches, movement leaders, and related activities, Kunzman offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of the fastest-growing education movements of the last twenty years.

With Kunzman we visit homeschoolers in urban Los Angeles, central Vermont, rural Tennessee, northwest Indiana, and central Oregon. The families we meet range in size from one child to ten, and include parents who are professional teachers with advanced degrees as well as those who never finished high school. Their reasons for homeschooling are as varied as their families, and Kunzman takes on the invaluable task of showing us what their homeschooling experiences look like firsthand, what their political and religious beliefs are, and what their kids learn. This extraordinary access allows us to see conservative Christian homeschooling families not only as part of a larger political phenomenon-which is how they're usually discussed-but also as unique entities with fascinating stories to tell.

The growing popularity of homeschooling raises important questions about the value of ethical diversity, what it means to think for oneself, how we prepare our young people to be democratic citizens, and what role (if any) the state should have in the education of children. Beyond competing visions about the proper aims of education, Kunzman shows, lies a complicated relationship between faith, freedom, and citizenship.

ReadRobert Kunzman's posts on homeschooling at Beacon Broadside

Reviews
Review   Publishers Weekly - July 13, 2009
"The book has a remarkably balanced tone . . . This engrossing ethnography puts a human face on Christian homeschooling."
Review   Booklist - July 27, 2009
"An important, thoughtful contribution to the literature on homeschooling in particular and the literature on education in general."
Review   Home Education Magazine - August 24, 2009
“Indiana University Associate Professor of Education Robert Kunzman’s name – and his quotes – have been floating into general homeschooling news over the last few months. Many homeschool advocates have been wondering what collective influence he has had, to be sought after so frequently in articles about homeschooling.”
Review   Washington Post - August 21, 2009
“I am keeping Kunzman’s e-mail address in my source file, and his fine book on a nearby shelf where I can refer to it regularly.”
Review   Chicago Daily Observer - August 24, 2009
“Indiana University Associate Professor of Education Robert Kunzman’s name – and his quotes – have been floating into general homeschooling news over the last few months. Many homeschool advocates have been wondering what collective influence he has had, to be sought after so frequently in articles about homeschooling.”
Review   Teachers College Record - November 17, 2009
“This is the best observation of instructional processes in homeschool families that we currently have available, and is an essential reference for those interested in the homeschool population.”
Review   Stanford Alumni Magazine - January 10, 2010
“His evenhanded profiles—fascinating in their daily detail—are intercut with Kunzman's observations on packaged curricula, government oversight and political action.”
Review   Choice - June 1, 2010
“This beautiful little book looks into the daily routines of six conservative Christian families who homeschool their children. Employing the analytical eye of a former teacher and the balanced, thoughtful wisdom of a seasoned academic, Kunzman (Indiana Univ. School of Education) not only paints portraits fairly, but gently questions what he sees (much of which is deeply troubling)…This book will be useful for students and faculty in education, and may well become a classic in its field.”

Quotes
"Homeschooling, especially by conservative Christians, is a controversial topic, but Robert Kunzman approaches it with thoroughness and respect. The best aspect of this book is the time he spent in the homes of six families around the country as well as around the socioeconomic and educational spectrum. From the substantial reporting and analysis of those visits emerge the variety, energy, motivation, and challenges that these families experience. This book will be especially enlightening for those of us who work inside the schools that these families reject. It's a rich subject and a good read."
-Theodore R. Sizer and Nancy Faust Sizer, authors of The Students Are Watching: Schools and the Moral Contract

"Alternating between fascinating, in-depth profiles of Christian homeschooling families and broader, spot-on examinations of big themes or national trends, Kunzman's book is both fun and enlightening to read. If you want to really understand why so many conservative Christians are turning to homeschooling and what they're actually doing all day, this is the book to read. I couldn't put it down."
-Milton Gaither, author of Homeschool: An American History

"For anyone with little direct knowledge of Christian homeschooling, prepare to divest yourself of stereotypes. In this careful, beautifully written study, Kunzman uses his two years spent with six homeschooling families in five states to reveal the wide variation among homeschooling Christian families in how they teach, how children learn, the role of faith and citizenship, and attitudes toward regulation. One comes away with a deeper, more balanced appraisal of Christian homeschooling than exists in mainstream media, among public school educators and academic researchers."
-Larry Cuban, author of Hugging the Middle: How Teachers Teach in an Era of Testing and Accountability

"Vivid and insightful. A comprehensive, judicious assessment of conservative Christian homeschooling, Write These Laws on Your Children has wide relevance for understanding enduring conflicts in American life."
-James M. Ault Jr., author of Spirit and Flesh: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church and producer/director of the award-winning film Born Again

"In this fascinating book Robert Kunzman takes the reader on a voyage of discovery. He focuses not on abstract polemics but on the everyday lives of six homeschool families scattered across the nation, capturing their voices, their aspirations, their squabbles, and their doubts. Those who want to understand homeschooling in an empathetic yet critical way will find Kunzman a superb guide."
-David Tyack, author of Seeking Common Ground: Public Schools in a Diverse Society

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