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The parents of six children home-schooled in Plainfield, N.J., the Millmans offer a positive, encouraging overview of their own efforts and of the nationwide movement, though with scant hands-on specifics. Living on one moderate income in a blighted town with "terrible" public schools in the early 1990s, the Millmans started their eldest children in the local Catholic school, but were put off by the rigidity of the teaching methods. The only "luxury" they could afford was a full-time mom. Fueled by a distaste for public school education and a healthy mistrust for institutions in general, they gradually began to inform themselves about what home-schooling entailed: gathering curriculum and materials, then tailoring a program for each child. The authors put great store by "serendipity and randomness," that is, letting life provide the "teachable moment" instead of adhering to strict schedules and plans, and they emphasized free reading, learning languages such as Chinese, music and travel rather than writing and textbook use. However, their insistence on "freedom and spontaneity" poses the question: how was the day structured, accommodating the needs of six children of different ages, and by one overtaxed mother? Still, the Millmans produce impressive rates of home-schooling success, and have three kids so far in college. Their cheerleading approach, while sometimes defensive, is accessible and resource-rich. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.