cover image Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

David Guterson / Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $22.95 (24

Despite the paradox of his position as a public high school teacher in Washington State who advocates home schooling (and provides it for his three sons), Guterson mounts a strong challenge to ``the doctrine of school's necessity.'' He profiles the home-school movement, which encompasses more than 300,000 families in America, and probes the wide variety of motives behind its growth. The most common, he finds, is parents' dissatisfaction with the mass, prescribed and other-directed nature of public education. Guterson argues that properly practiced home-schooling produces academic success, lessens peer pressure and allows children to become independent. We see these benefits in his depiction of his own family's experience, but he scants the commitment in time and resources that home schooling requires of parents. He covers legal obstacles and community resistance that await those who embark on this traditional undertaking today. While not a panacea for America's educational malaise, home schooling as presented here should prompt educators to reflect on their own approaches. ( Sept. )