Some choose home-schooling for its merits, some fall into home-schooling for financial or ideological reasons, and some have home-schooling thrust upon them.

Sally Thomas at the First Things blog reviews a new book by Gregory and Martine Millman who married in the 1980s and planned to lead a “normal yuppie life.”

“How, then, did they come to write a book called Homeschooling: A Family’s Journey?” asks Thomas.

“Two factors intervened in their quest for a mainstream middle-class life, sending them down an unanticipated long-term detour. The first was their decision to live on one income, with Martine a stay-at-home mother to their six children, a choice that put both private schools and neighborhoods with good public schools well out of their financial reach.

“The second was an incident that occurred at their eldest daughter’s inner-city Catholic school.

“Their daughter, a second-grader, had answered a test question correctly, but the answer had been marked wrong. After much wrangling for an explanation from the school, they were told that she had given a ‘fourth-grade answer’ to a second-grade question; that she was ‘not supposed to know that yet’; and that it would be unjust to her ‘less-advantaged’ classmates to reward her for knowledge that they did not possess.”

“By the time we got back into our car,” the Millmans write, “we had decided to homeschool.”

— Tom Hoopes