MORNING BY MORNING: How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League

Paula Penn-Nabrit, Author . Villard $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-375-50774-8

Any home-schooling parent can learn something from this book, but it's specifically directed at the "traditional, conservative, black, middle-class way." Penn-Nabrit's account focuses on her three sons, who were in the fourth and sixth grades when their home schooling began. They had several advantages other home schoolers may lack. Both parents, graduates of Ivy League schools, were self-employed in a home-based business. Living in a university town made the employment of graduate students as tutors a feasible option. They were able to offer their sons a rich diet of specialized summer camps, cultural activities and travel experiences. Penn-Nabrit addresses the adjustments they all had to make, including the sons, who "never, ever approved of home schooling while they were participants," and the grandparents, for whom "educational risk-taking was definitely not part of their formula for success." Among the helpful discussions are Penn-Nabrit's explications of how they designed their curriculum; created appropriate space and scheduled the day; knew what they could and couldn't teach; kept their sons physically fit, humanely cultured, socially connected and academically measured; and got through the "hideous" college applications process. Penn-Nabrit's conviction that "home schooling was something God wanted us to do" and that "redemption hinged on... acceptance by at least one exclusive, competitive, Ivy League college or university" affects the tone throughout, in ways that may deflect some reader's attention from the work's more practical aspects. Still, there's much useful reflective and pragmatic content here. Agent, Defiore & Company. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/23/2002
Release date: 02/01/2003
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