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A few years ago a friend’s wife was in town on a visit following their move to the East Coast. While chatting with me and several former neighbors the questions got around to where her kids were going to school. She hesitated. But when the others’ questions persisted, she finally divulged to the group that she and her husband had decided to teach their three children at home.

 

The reaction of dismay from her listeners had the effect of forcing the woman to supply a rapid fire list of excuses and apologies for what she and her husband had decided to do with their kids' education. She felt guilty– well, at least accused. I will never forget that encounter and it’s imprint has a lot to do with why ReEnchantment eventually was written.

A Tough Decision.


The former neighbor on the visit had performed a diligent search throughout the North Carolina region to which they had moved. But the schools they visited, even the private ones, just didn’t feel right. I had heard similar stories from my niece when she and her husband were looking for a larger home near Richmond, Virginia; and because they had started a family, were making schools a consideration that had been ignored with their first house purchase. I remember her telling me how hard it was for them to find a nice neighborhood that also included “good” schools.

But that word “good” can have a lot of meanings. And what goes on at a school is often at odds with the economic stratification of the neighborhoods that surround it. There may not be very “good” things happening in a school where parents of the students make a very good living.

You’re Not Alone.

These days, parents throughout America are more likely to question what is going on in their local public school than at any time in recent history. The reasons are plentiful: bullying and other school violence, drugs, low test scores, reports of teacher malfeasance, labor union strife, and curriculum mandates that require the teaching of safe sex and the inclusion of lessons on homosexuality.

If you see that list as a reason for concern, you’re not alone. But being anxious doesn’t make parents' decisions about alternatives to the public school easy.

Although educating your kids at home may seem like a practical alternative to what is offered in public or private schools, it is not something to be attempted without planning and research. There are a number of advice books and curriculums that make educating kids at home practical.

But ReEnchantment isn’t an advice book.