The great Russian-American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin himself had lamented the "loss of function" as both a central cause and symptom of family decline. As he wrote in The Crisis of Our Age: "In the past the family was the foremost educational agency for the young. Some hundred years ago it was well-nigh the sole educator for a vast proportion of the younger generation. At the present time its educational functions have shrunk enormously. ... In these respects the family has forfeited the greater part of its former prerogatives." Sorokin pointed as well to the loss of religious, recreational, and subsistence functions. He concluded: "Now families are small, and their members are soon scattered. ... The result is that the family home turns into a mere 'overnight parking place.'"Carlson says "governments should protect and encourage home schools."
The most unexpected and remarkable populist movement in America during the last three decades has been the rapid growth of home schools: counting less than 50,000 students in 1980, the number approaches 3 million today. Viewed historically, these post-modern families have—in effect—responded to Sorokin's lament and have brought the critical education function back home.