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I grew up as a member of the homeschool community back when we were hiding from the cops and getting our textbooks from public school dumpsters.

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I explained what courtship was and quoted Joshua Harris, chapter and verse. “I don’t think courtship is a smart idea,” my grandfather said.“How can you tell who you want to marry if you aren’t going out on dates? I ignored their advice on relationships, preferring to listen to the young people around me who were passionate advocates of courtship.” my grandmother wondered every time the topic came up. They both obstinately held to the position that courtship was a foolish idea. As I grew older, I started to speak at homeschool conferences and events.I talked with homeschool parents, students and alumni all over the country and started to see some challenges with making courtship work.Some of the specific challenges I identified were: So I founded Practical

Its purpose: to instigate a national conversation about how to make courtship more practical. Then couples who did get married through courtship started getting divorced.

Visits and comments poured in from all over the country about how to make courtship work and why it did not work. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce. The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.

Each year I waited for courtship to start working and for my homeschool friends to start getting married. The whole point of courtship was to have a happy marriage, not a high divorce rate.

So I humbled myself and took my grandmother out for dinner to hear why she thought courtship was a bad idea all those years ago.

She had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s and I wanted to understand how and why. After 20 years there still is no general consensus as to what courtship is.

But here are the elements most conservative communities have in common: My grandmother grew up in a marginally Christian community.