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Abstract

This article reports on the resurgence of classical and Christian education in the United States. This education has been especially popular with evangelical homeschooling mother-teachers. It seeks to cultivate the biblical virtues of truth, goodness, and beauty through contemplating scripture. The curriculum relies on the ancient Trivium tools of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in order to do this. The inquiry seeks to examine the contexts surrounding a mother-teacher's classical and Christian educational practice guided by two questions: (1) Why and how does an evangelical homeschooling mother-teacher use classical and Christian tools? (2) What are the possibilities and challenges of classical and Christian homeschooling for an evangelical mother-teacher? This curriculum is illustrated with the portrait of April Greene, an evangelical homeschooling mother-teacher of two preteen boys. April enacted agency through the complex and dynamic development of her children and herself. April engaged the Trivium using bricolage, making educational meanings by picking and choosing from available resources and tactics to suit her purposes of intellectual and Christian identity formation. She moved beyond the borders of the official curriculum to create unofficial practices as well. These choices allowed her to negotiate the requirements of evangelical identity and the fact that living and leading in the world may require some knowledge of popular culture. April experienced possibilities related to classical and Christian curriculum, pedagogical tools, and mother-teacher identity. Classical and Christian education also presented a number of difficulties for April regarding cost, time, child agency, perspective taking, isolation, and gender burden. April's identity and agency as a mother-teacher reflected her intense devotion. She struggled with competing roles and expectations while thriving on the unique challenge of becoming an evangelical homeschooling mother-teacher.