Child in a school library

Guest Posting: The RearView Mirror Of Homeschooling:
5 Good Reasons, 5 Great Outcomes,
1 Big Miscalculation


I love DIY “stuff” and in 1976, after Wellesley and before law school, I married an oddly rational man (think Star Trek’s Spock) who whizzed through Dartmouth in 3 years, with honors plus a box of varsity letters, so intersecting marriage, entrepreneurship and homeschooling wasn’t that surprising. But we’re less trail blazers than just the next phase.

My late husband, CMadison and I are from families steeped in church and education. We’re members of the congregation my great-grandparents joined in 1910 and CMadison’s grandfather was president of American Baptist College back in 1936. And as his Uncle James Nabrit argued Brown v. Board of Education with Thurgood Marshall, we were cool with pursuing academic excellence on our own, revolutionary terms. That’s the backdrop to the experiment CMadison dubbed The Nabrit Family Adventure.

What follows are the 5 reasons we chose to homeschool and what we learned from the experience.

Reason #1: Money

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Reason: We couldn’t afford $20K+ tuition. Charles and Damon, were starting 6th Evan was 4th at a very good, very elite boys’ independent day school, the male version of the girls’ school my sisters and I attended. We were just 5 years into our business, but he didn’t want them on scholarship so our bill was perpetually behind. Then I had a slight (?) disagreement with the Headmaster-I hosted a “back-to-school” picnic for black families without asking permission. Many of the white families lived in the same suburbs and belonged to the same clubs so I thought it’d be great for the more geographically dispersed black families to casually socialize. Two days later our sons were expelled. Scrambling to bring the bill current we wondered about the intersection of economics and effrontery; maybe money wasn’t our biggest issue.

Outcome: The saved $20K+ made camps (Space, Engineering and Oceanography) and travel (foreign and domestic) possible. Travel made History, Geography, Literature, Philosophy and Politics so much easier.