Now available in paperback...
Write These Laws on Your Children:
Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling
by Robert Kunzman
For a review copy, please contact:
Rights and Publicity Associate
Homeschooling is a growing phenomenon in American society. Between 1999 and 2007 it increased 74%—more than a dozen times faster than public school enrollments. Probably about two million kids are homeschooled, but information about them is terribly incomplete. 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. Woven throughout Kunzman's narrative are larger questions about the purpose of public education, what makes an educated citizenry—and how American political and intellectual life could change as conservative Christian homeschooled children reach adulthood.
The families Kunzman encounters come from diverse locales: urban Los Angeles, central Vermont, rural Tennessee, northwest Indiana, and central Oregon. He takes on the invaluable task of showing us what their homeschooling experience looks like firsthand, what their political and religious beliefs are, and what their kids learn about democratic citizenship and engaging with people with different beliefs. This extraordinary access allows us to see these families not only as part of a larger political movement—which is how they're usually discussed—but as unique entities with fascinating stories to tell.
“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.”
author of Homeschool: An American History
“Home-schooling, 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 socio-economic and educational spectrum. From the substantial reporting
and analysis of those visits emerge the variety, energy, motivation and challenges
which these families experience. This book will be especially enlightening for those of us
who work inside the schools which 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
“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 home school 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.”
author of Seeking Common Ground: Public Schools in a Diverse Society
“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
“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,
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.”
author of Hugging the Middle: How Teachers Teach
in an Era of Testing and Accountability
For more details, see book web page at Beacon Press.