Circle Reader, who knows much more about this sort of thing than I, suggested bringing out some broad themes rather than going through the book chapter by chapter, but there really are eight themes, neatly organized into eight chapters. Since the central thesis is that homeschooling has meant different things in our culture at different times, it seems only logical to me to look at each of these trends on their own. Which means one chapter at a time.
I have decided I will put up a chapter summary over the weekend, and then respond with my thoughts the following Friday, along with links to all other participating blogs. It could get interesting when we get to the modern history of homeschooling. Hopefully those I have spoken with thus far who have objected to his portrayal of these events will have time to contribute to the discussion. They have thus far been on the so-called “open communion” side, but then I haven’t talked to anyone who would be considered a “closed communion homeschooler,” has read the book and has been homeschooling long enough to remember any of these events. When I read the book the first time, I knew no one would likely be particularly happy with the portrayal, but we’ll see where that discussion leads, I guess.
Barring the unforeseen, here is the plan for the next few weeks:
Week of August 17: The Family State, 1600-1776
Week of August 24: The Family Nation, 1776-1860
Week of August 30: The Eclipse of the Fireside, 1865-1930
Week of September 7: Why Homeschooling Happened, 1945-1990
Week of September 14: Three Homeschooling Pioneers
Week of September 21: The Changing of the Guard, 1983-1998
Week of September 28: Making it Legal
Week of October 5: Homeschooling and the Return of Domestic Education, 1998-2008
I am looking forward to reading your thoughts and reactions to the book! You can also listen to my interview with Dr. Gaither on my radio show. The interview starts about half way through the program.