Home Is Where the School Is

The Logic of Homeschooling and the Emotional Labor of Mothering

Jennifer Lois

NYU Press (publisher)

Mothers who homeschool their children constantly face judgmental questions about their choices, and yet the homeschooling movement continues to grow with an estimated 1.5 million American children now schooled at home. These children are largely taught by stay-at-home mothers who find that they must tightly manage their daily schedules to avoid burnout and maximize their relationships with their children, and that they must sustain a desire to sacrifice their independent selves for many years in order to savor the experience of motherhood. Home Is Where the School Is is the first comprehensive look into the lives of homeschooling mothers. Drawing on rich data collected through eight years of fieldwork and dozens of in-depth interviews, Jennifer Lois examines the intense effects of the emotional and temporal demands that homeschooling places on mothers’ lives, raising profound questions about the expectations of modern motherhood and the limits of parenting.

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