The Rowlands and their children -- Seth seven, Ariel a retarded nine-year-old, and Adam eleven -- spent ten months in rural Spain. This was an attempt, reports the father, to give them ""a fresh start, to remove them from contemporary middle-class, TV-oriented, peer-group dominated, suburban American life"" and allow them to discover themselves and what the world could offer. The Rowlands were determined to ""blur the distinctions"" -- so deeply etched into suburbia -- between learning, playing and working, and thereby not only strengthen the family and its values but also give a new perspective to the education of the children. The author chronicles their approach (some of it trial-and-error) to the children's experiences in general subject areas -- math, science, etc., and in reading and writing (the best and most valuable section) and what could only be called character development. The Rowlands' controversial concept of Ariel's training as encouragement of the ""womanly"" virtues of warmhearted, non-intellectual, non-competitive hearth-keeping is particularly unusual. Of course, as the author admits, very few families can fold tents and do likewise, but the Rowlands' emphasis on this family-centered learning is worth attention, although some nagging questions remain -- wasn't that essentially an elitist's vacation; and what about the kids' natural urge to jive with the boys and girls by the juke box at McDonald's -- their American peers with whom they will probably spend the rest of their lives?