I knew about the Calvert home instruction program before I ever moved to Baltimore because both my older brother and a cousin were graduates. (They were brought up in a little town in Tennessee with no public school.) But I didn't realize that a small but significant number of people here use the Calvert program, and other methods, to teach their kids at home.
I'm not talking about fanatics -- or people sailing around the world -- but concerned parents who feel their kids can, for one reason or another, get a better education at home than in public school. The school system isn't wild about home schooling, understandably, but it is tolerated in Maryland.
I got my first real sense of what a commitment home schooling takes when staff photographer Patrick Sandor told me he couldn't get in touch with the mother of the child on our cover during school hours. She simply doesn't answer the phone. And as one home schooler interviewed for the story pointed out, educating your kids at home can end up being extraordinarily expensive if a parent gives up an outside job to be a teacher.
So is it worth it? Turn to our cover story on Page 8 to find out.