The Hermit Family
"[Rod] Dreher says many good things in this chapter ["Education and the Home," from Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots].
"Just a couple comments or cautions. Crunchy-con-ism needs to take care that it does not shrink below village size. Anchorite families are not the need of the hour. Family is important, but it is not all important. If I could add a qualification to Russell Kirk's statement above ["the family is the institution most necessary to conserve"], it would include the necessity of preserving the Church above all. Families are a part of this, and that is the point. We don't need hermit families. We need to take care that our children grow up in community, and this needs to be broader than the family. It also needs to be centered in Word and sacrament. If the kids are homeschooled, there are ways to arrange for this, but it takes work. I would urge Dreher and those with him to consider forming schools -- not status quo schools, but schools that are responsive to involved parents. Covenant schools are not a recent development of modernity -- they go back at least to the Jewish exile in Babylon. And I think they are at least as consistent with the crunchy-con ethos as disciplined homeschooling is."