From Publishers Weekly
Home-schooling has become an elaborate social movement, with its own celebrities, rituals and networks, which now encompasses more than a million American children, observes Hamilton College sociologist Mitchell L. Stevens in Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement. Moving from why parents opt for home-schooling to the long-term effects on their children, he draws on interviews with a mix of parents from fundamentalist Christians to pagans and educational radicals and persuasively contextualizes the movement within the "organizational strategies of the progressive left and the religious right" in their attempt to preserve their core set of values: "the sanctity of childhood and the primacy of family in the face of an increasingly competitive and bureaucratized society."
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"Stevens spent ten years interviewing home-schooling families, watching them teach, pitching tents at their summer camps, hanging out at their conferences, and reading their publications. He has written a careful, intelligent book"--Margaret Talbot, Atlantic Monthly
"In the press and on television, home-schoolers are portrayed mainly as white Americans of strong Christian background, most of whom are right-wing fundamentalists. Stevens's study confirms this generic picture, yet his study helps us go beyond it. . . [T]he intellectual origins of home-schooling are surprisingly nonsectarian."--Howard Gardner, New York Review of Books
"Kingdom of Children
is about the grown-ups behind the not-so peaceful movement. . . . As Stevens makes clear, those drawn to home schooling tend to be a stronger-willed, contentious lot, and removing them from the public school system doesn't make them less so."--Rebecca Jones, American School Board Journal
"For anyone interested in home schooling, this is the book to read."--Choice
"This book is extremely well written and thought provoking.... Kingdom of Children
will no doubt play an important role in the much-needed sociological dialogue surrounding home schooling."--Ed Collom, American Journal of Sociology